Little Green Lane garage area resurfaced

After many representations by residents, supported by local Councillors, the little Green Lane garage area forecourt and access road has been resurfaced.

The area now looks quite tidy, although it will be important to ensure that there is no more fly tipping and that undergrowth is cut back from the boundaries.

Good job done though.

Before access road

Before

after forecourt

After parking area

After access road

Garden maintenance service for pensioners set to be saved

Neglected garage areas become a magnet for fly tipping and often become overgrown with weeds and bushes

Liberal Democrat Councillors successfully proposed, at least nights budget committee meeting, that funding for the garden maintenance scheme be restored.

A Tory Councillor – who subsequently resigned from his executive position – had proposed a £46,000 cut in the budget for the service.

It meant that nearly 100 elderly and disable residents – who are physically unable to tend their gardens – would have lost Council assistance.

Now the cut has been restored.

The funding will come from the Housing Revenue Account the income for which comes from Council tenants rents.

The housing account is expected to have a £6 million surplus during the next financial year.

Elsewhere in the Councils investment capital) budget, now includes a provision for improvements to Council garage areas.

Many garage sites need to have their forecourts resurfaced, boundary fences repaired and undergrowth removed.

Parking problems escalate but Council finally getting empty garages back into use

Residents have complained about the slow progress being made in providing parking lay-bys on some estates in west York. As reported yesterday, the Westfield Ward improvement programme is running nearly 12 months behind scheduled.

One problem area is Dijon Avenue where – because of the estate layout – only carriageway parking is possible for some properties. That space has now run out.

Dijon Avenue is one of the roads due to get an additional parking bay this year (near the amenity area)

Better news, though, on bringing empty garages back into use .

As we reported in February large numbers of Council owned garages in west York were empty.

Some had been unused for over 5 years.

Following work by LibDem Councillor Keith Aspden, the Council agreed to implement repairs where these had been the cause of the voids.

Work was ordered for garages in Bachelor Hill, Marston Ave., TheWandel/Chapelfields Rd., Wains Rd., Sowerby Rd. & Woodlea Ave., Most of these repairs – mainly to doors and brickwork – have now been completed and the garages have either been let or are under offer.

A large number of garages are, however, due to be demolished. This will exacerbate problems particularly in the Windsor Garth area.

Residents will expect the Council to invest in alternative off street parking before any demolition takes place. 

The Council has promised to provide up to date details of vacancies on its web site, to advertise voids on local noticeboards and to engage ward Councillors in re-letting campaigns.

That represents progress, but it remains a concern that it took so long to re-let garages.
One consequence was a loss a loss of around £22,000 a year in rent income.

The current position on vacancies is shown below

 

 

York Council updates list of empty garages available to rent

The York Council has updated its list of empty garages. It is still not proactively marketing them through local noticeboards and newsletters though.

Some longstanding empty garages in places like The Wandle and Bachelor Hill have disappeared from the list.

The Council has also updated its Westfield Ward news page.

 

 

Empty garages costing York Council £25,500 a year in lost rent

489 registered on waiting list for garages in west York

Figures released by the York Council confirm that there is a high level of demand for Council garages in west York.

There are waiting lists at most blocks with the most popular being at (little) Green Lane where 24 residents are seeking a garage. Ironically this is a garage area which the Council have badly neglected. It suffers from an uneven forecourt, overgrown boundaries and occasional fly tipping.

One applicant for a garage in Dijon Avenue has been waiting since 2009! 

Waiting list

Waiting list

Despite this the Council records that there are 67 garages currently vacant.

One garage in The Wandle has been unused since 2005!

empty-garages-jan-2017

Part of the problem has been a moratorium on the letting of garages in blocks which may be redeveloped.

This has affected 15 garages in Chaloners Road, which have been empty since 2014, while 21 garages in Newbury Avenue have suffered a similar fate with most empty since 2012. The development plans for Newbury Avenue are still in a state of flux so the Council is losing £500 a month in rent from that block alone.

Proposed new charges for garages have also been announced by the Council (see below)

garage-rents

We think that the Council should be much more proactive in trying to let empty garages. In many areas “on street” parking space is very limited and some residents resort to parking on verges. In turn this causes damage which is both unsightly and expensive to remedy.

The Council web site should be updated regularly with a list of garages that are empty, while Councillors should ensure that a list of garages, which are available, is displayed on local noticeboards

NB. The figures provided cover the Westfield, Acomb, Dringhouses and Holgate Wards. There are a similar number of Council garages on the east of the City

 

 

 

Trading Standards offer a day of expert training to the York Garage Industry

The York Approved Garage Scheme is holding its first training seminar on 7 November 2016. Guest speakers include the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), DVLA and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

The training, which has been organised by the Approved Garage Scheme, has been devised to support those in the industry tackle some popular issues and will provide important updates on the changes in legislation from April 2017.

The CAB will deliver a talk about the advice they give callers with complaints about vehicle sales and servicing. This will provide businesses an opportunity to be proactive in their service and an understanding of common customer complaints.

(more…)

York Council to investigate failings of weed treatment contractors

Weeds 1 York Council 0

Dijon Avenue garage area choked with weeds

Dijon Avenue garage area choked with weeds

The York Council has now acknowledged that weed control in the City in general – and Acomb in particular – has been inadequate this summer.

They are even suggesting that the contractor who was supposed to treat the weed growth may not have been doing the job correctly.

This will come as no surprise to residents with weeds in some streets now over 3 feet tall.

One of the biggest problem areas are the  forecourts of rented garages,

Andrew Waller points out some dumping which he reported on Saturday in the little Green Lane garage area

Andrew Waller points out some dumping which he reported on Saturday in the little Green Lane garage area

which have been badly neglected by the Housing Department.

It is not just weed growth, damaged perimeter fences and poor surfaces that plague the garage areas, many are subject to dumping.

Time, we think, for the Housing Department to invest some of its £12.7 million surplus in raising standards in our estates.

Well fancy that

Andrew Waller at the derelict garage site earlier in the week

Andrew Waller at the derelict garage site earlier in the week

Just 24 hours before York’s Labour cabinet were due to answer some embarrassing questions about a garage that had been allowed to fall into dereliction, workmen arrived yesterday to repair it.

The media reported on Monday that the garage on Windsor Garth had been boarded up since 2012.

Andrew Waller pointed out that there was a lack of off road parking available in the area and that the Council was losing a lot of income through failing to repair the garage.

The derelict site was also an eyesore.

Cllr Lynn Jeffries tabled a question on the long running saga which was due to be answered at tonight’s Council meeting.

Newly refurbished garage door on Wednesday

Newly refurbished garage door on Wednesday