The latest footfall figures, reproduced by the BID team, reveal that there has been a 4% drop in visitor numbers so far this year. It is even worse on a year on year basis and is below the county average
That is a poor platform on which to approach the, normally busy, run up to Christmas.
In Acomb, the picture is slightly different with some traders reporting steady business trends. This is despite the lamentable performance recently of the Council in keeping open spaces, gutters and the areas around trees and street furniture free of weeds and litter.
The picture in residential areas is also disappointing with weeds disfiguring many streets
Several councillors have now responded to complaints about weeds, detritus and overgrown hedges in local streets.
Joining Mark Warters and Tony Fisher, who operate on the east of the City, Westfield Councillor Andrew Waller has pledged to personally remove weeds from the Front Street pedestrian area. The precinct has been weed infested for over 3 months with growth around street furniture and trees a particular problem.
That is a shame because the image of an area – which in recent years has become more economically successful – can be disproportionately influenced by what people see on arrival. Front Street doesn’t have the advantage of the, York BID funded, clean up contractors that have brought major improvements to the York City centre environment.
Elsewhere we have asked for weeds to be treated in several locations. We think it is now time for the Council to give a public commitment to complete a tidy up programme within a specific timetable.
Thanks to Osbaldwick Councillor Mark Waters – a professional horticulturalist – we have identified one of the weeds that is damaging road and footpath surfaces on the west of the City
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense), often called
mare’s tail, is an invasive, deep-rooted perennial weed that will spread
quickly to form a dense carpet of foliage, crowding out less vigorous plants in
beds and borders.
says that horsetail “is persistent, and several applications of a strong weed
killer – possibly over a number of years – may be necessary to
completely eradicate the problem”
Horsetail has appeared in several areas in west York. These include the Council garage areas on Kingsway West and on little Green Lane. It is already doing considerable damage to the recently bitmaced forecourt access road at Green Lane.
We will now be formally submitting an official complaint about lack of action on weed growth in several areas. For example, weeds reported in early May on the Beaconsfield Street back lane have still not been cut back. It is a similar picture at many traffic islands
The Westfield Councillors are right to insist on more information being provided on building works in the area, when they meet tomorrow (Wednesday)
However, they will be meeting only a few metres away from the spoil heaps and site compound which has been constructed on the Council owned land to the rear of the Library.
Some explanation for the decision to allow the contractors to use this Council owned site will be expected. It is an issue that is not likely to go away.
Some residents still hope that Council will offer some sort of compensation for the problems that have been caused by the use of the compound
Elsewhere, the Lowfields development saga continues.
There has still not been any explanation about how the York Council came to mislead residents about the inclusion of a “police station” and health centre/GP surgery in the original consultation plans.
Both these promises turned out to be bogus. It is unclear what will happen to what, otherwise, will be unused plots on the east of the site.
On Ascot Way, access arrangements, for the heavy plant needed to complete the demolition of Windsor House, remain unclear. It seems that access for the plant will be via Kingsway West and Ascot Way It is clear that the roads are too narrow in the area to avoid major damage to adjacent verges and paths. A “one way” system has been suggested but not confirmed.
There are real concerns that the bus route will be obstructed by the likely congestion
The original hope had been that more parking lay-bys would have been provided by now.
…..and the problem of the promised replacement for the all weather games area seems to be no closer to resolution. The existing MUGA has already been converted into a building compound.
There is no word about the proposed alternative site on the Thanet Road Sports Area although officials were asked to follow this up 3 months ago.
Residents will no doubt be hoping that some answers emerge from the meeting
The demolition contractors for the Windsor House/Lincoln Court/Hob Moor school developments have taken over the Multi User Games Area (MUGA) on Kingsway West.
It in no longer accessible for local children.
Councillors have reportedly agreed to it being used as a building compound.
Sections of the fencing around the area have been removed to allow access to a new service road. The entrance used by children has been secured.
While the loss of the play area is not unexpected following a controversial planning decision a few months ago, the failure of the Council to provide updates on when a replacement facility will be provided (and where) is very disappointing. The location favoured by Sports Clubs and local residents, is on the Thanet Road All Weather Sports area near the junction of Gale Lane and Thanet Road.
At one point the Council promised funding for a new facility but all has gone quiet since the LibDems took control of the Council at the beginning of May.
The loss of the sports facility comes in the wake of similar erosion of facilities in the Westfield area with the Lowfields playing field now being developed as is the Acomb Bowling Club.
The Our Lady’s school field was developed about 3 years ago.
Support for the provision of more public open space – possibly in the form of new strays – on the outskirts of the City is growing.
to consider revoking license on 8th April
The Clockhouse pub,
which is located on the corner of Kingsway West and Tudor Road, could face
closure. An application has been made for the premises license to be revoked.
It follows two years of complaints from nearby
residents. Most related to excessive noise from the premises.
The Clockhouse is probably
better known by its former name; The Acomb Hotel.
It has been a feature
of the social life of the west of York for over 70 years.
It has changed a lot over the years as it has
had to come to terms with the changing expectations of sub-urban drinkers.
it has majored on improved outdoor areas with children now well catered for.
But it is the evening
activities that have led to the licencing hearing. Many complaints
have been registered by nearby residents. Sound levels have been unacceptably
high with open doors and windows contributing to the problem.
In October 2018
fines and costs totalling £4889.26 were levied against the establishment by
There have since been
A list of the conditions
attached to the licence can be viewed by clicking
The Clocktower event
rooms are very close to adjacent properties. Ironically some were built on part
of the former hotel site.
It is this proximity
which may lead to a further change in role for the building.
Could the Council fund an upgrade of the Thanet Road Sports area?
The future of the all weather games (MUGA) provision in the Kingsway part of York remains unclear. Sport England – with the backing of local Netball and Football governing bodies – is insisting that, if the present facility is removed, then a similar provision must be made nearby.
In effect, Sport England have a veto over new developments if they involve the loss of sports fields. They can insist that a development application is referred to the Secretary of Sate for a decision.
The Foxwood Residents Association has also voiced its concerns claiming that a fitness trail – planned by officials for Chesney’s Field – would not meet the informal sports/leisure needs of the 8 – 13 age group. Instead they urge that discussions take place with the Acorn Rugby Club aimed at funding improvements, and wider access, to the floodlit area that is already in place on the Thanet Road Sports area.
York Council officials are being particularly stubborn on this issue. It is putting at risk a plan to modernise the sheltered housing flats at Lincoln Court.
Some flexibility, urgency and imagination in addressing the issues now needs to be shown by both Councillors and officers at West Offices.