York Council tackling nettles.

Contractors were out today removing nettle growth from the side of the Foxwood Lane footpath.

Contractors in action on Foxwood Lane

The nettles had been a nuisance during the late summer period although not, this year, as bad as in some previous years.

Mechanical treatment – often by local farmers – is usually an efficient and economical way of controlling weeds and cutting back hedges.

Meanwhile a Freedom of Information request has revealed that this year weed control contractors have only been paid part of the £37,020.89 value of the contract. The response says that £18,498.70 has so far been paid during the current year.

The response does reveal the amounts paid to specialist weed control contractors over the last 9 years.

Weeds blocking public footpath in Windsor Garth reported again this week
  • 2019/20 – A. Morrison’s & Sons £37,020.89.
  • 2018/19 – Munroe’s – £31,189
  • 2017/18 – Munroe’s – £31,189
  • 2016/17 – Munroe’s – £31,189
  • 2015/16 – Munroe’s – £27,192
  • 2014/15 – Dobsons – £68,538
  • 2013/14 – Dobsons – £66,867
  • 2012/13 – Nomix Enviro – £69,792
  • 2011/12 – Nomix Enviro – £79,036

Interestingly the York Council, in the Spring, accepted a tender the value of which was only half that submitted in 2011.

It was later discovered that the list of streets to be treated was incomplete.

There have been chronic problems with weed control during the summer and, as we reported a few days ago, many streets still require attention.

Public services improving in York this week

The York Council has had a good week in providing public services. 100% refuse collection success today with the only significant missed collections, earlier in the week, down to “blocked accesses”. Their web page detailing service standards achieved can be accessed by clicking here

Elsewhere the fallen leaves that we reported on Bellhouse Way have been cleared from the paths

Bellhouse Way largely clear of leaves
Elsewhere we have reported leaf fall on Chesney Field….
…and on Foxwood Lane
We’ve also asked for the snicket link to Chesney Field to be cleared of obstructions and detritus

Stile collapses

We’d reported on several occasions that the stile access from Foxwood Lane onto Acomb Moor was unstable. It has now collapsed (wood rot).

Hopefully the field owners and local Councillors will get it fixed. There si no grazing on the moor at present so security is not compromised.

A decision on the Public Right of Way route, which uses the stile, will be made by the York Council in February.

Bus shelter clean up welcomed

We reported last week that several of the Council owned bus shelters in west York were looking shabby. Some were overgrown with weeds and undergrowth.

We are pleased to report that, following our highlighting the issue to the York Council , some of the shelters have been tidied up. Undergrowth has been cut back from the shelters making them much more user friendly.

However the work undertaken has also served to emphasise how much these shelters need a coat of paint and other refurbishment.

Many are now rusting quite badly.

Foxwood Lane shelter. No longer an Arboretum
Shelter near Otterwood Lane as tidied up
Askham Lane bus shelter, although very rusty, is now free of undergrowth

We were also pleased to see for the first time for some time today that the Cornlands Park was largely free of litter.

There seems to be a slow improvement in some public service standards in the City following a disappointing summer.

Cornlands park

Weed growth damaging York’s appearance

Meeting on Monday to consider possble solutions.

It looks like the improvements to the weed killing programme on hard surfaces have failed to materialise.

A “third” application of weed killer was to have been applied to drainage gullies, footpaths, forecourts and other areas during the last 4 weeks.

While there have been improvements to some traffic islands (the build up of silt on Longfield Lane, Foxwood Lane and Gale Lane has been removed) the vast majority of the A1237 is remains overgrown.

The A59, Water Lane and Jockey Lane – all reported months ago – remain untreated.

There will be some serious questions to be answered at the meeting.

Last minute reprieve for number 12 bus service?

Reports are emerging from the Council which claim that the 12 bus service, which was to have terminated in Woodthorpe from next Sunday, will now continue to serve the Acomb Wood Drive, Bellhouse Way and Foxwood Lane loop.

The decision – which is understood to involve a Council subsidy – was taken in a behind closed doors decision. No advanced notice of the proposal was published by the Council.

The service will run on an approximate 40 minute frequency.

The original plan would have left most of the 500 homes on the Acomb Park estate without an accessible bus service for large parts of the day.

A copy of the Mon-Fri First timetable, which will operate from 30th September, can be downloaded by clicking here

A copy of the Saturday timetable, which will apply from 5th October, can be downloaded by clicking here

Changes to service 14 were announced earlier in the summer.

Timetable to address York public service woes needed

Anyone expecting the York Council’s Executive to take decisive action, to address declining public service standards at their meeting yesterday, will have been disappointed.

Despite a plea from Independent Councillor Mark Warters that a team be set up to deal with outstanding complaints, the Councils leadership remained tight lipped.

Cllr Warters was echoing a similar call from a growing number of Liberal Democrat supporters in the City

Many residents may conclude that there is something seriously wrong at West Offices.

Not only is there no timetable for addressing outstanding issues, but communications with residents are poor while many local Councillors (not all) fail to roll their sleeves up and tackle issues directly in their wards.

The York Council is no longer a “can do” organisation. It’s become a “maybe things will get better next year” type authority.

That won’t do. Its the kind of complacent attitude that has prompted a rise in more extreme political ideologies elsewhere in the country and abroad. It needs to be reversed, and quickly.

Not everything is bad, of course. Some individual Council officials are making limited progress in improving our streets as we show here.

The drainage channel on Foxwood Lane has been cleared
The Field Lane cycle track has been cleared of obstructions
But for every success there is a failure. The footpath on Hull Road remains obstructed despite pedestrians being forced onto the busy highway
and weeds still haven’t been treated even on streets where Councillors actually live!
New issues are emerging each day. This footpath on Field Lane, near the Hull Road junction, is now obstructed.
Not the Councils responsibility, but there has been a build up of litter on the Teal Drive “pocket park”. Reopened 6 weeks ago, it is being well used but it does need routine cleansing (or a litter bin). Reported to JRHT.

Check those drains!

Although surface water flooding is usually associated with winter conditions, issues can arise at this time of year.

We are likely to experience intense rainfall over the next few days.

This means that any blocked drainage channels and gullies will be tested. Residents would be wise to check any public gutters near their properties and report any blockages.

The gully near the Foxwood shops has been blocked for several months. It has got gradually worse as weeds have gone untreated and detritus has accumulated. We have asked for prompt attention.

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward

 Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Westfield ward. 

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference 

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Lincoln Court Ascot Way York YO24 4RA

Conditions 3 (materials) and 10 (audible plant) of 19/00083/FULM 

Ref. No: AOD/19/00227 

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15 Kingsthorpe York YO24 4PR

Single storey side and rear extensions 

Ref. No: 19/01318/FUL 

178 Foxwood Lane York YO24 3LT

Erection of single storey extension extending 4.05 metres beyond the rear wall of the original house, with a height to the eaves of 2.54 metres and a total height of 2.77 metres. 

Ref. No: 19/01353/LHE 

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Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning on line web site.  http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

NB. The Council now no longer routinely consults neighbours by letter when an application is received