We’re reporting leaf fall issues when they represent a safety issue. No one expects the Council to clear all leaves immediately but footpaths do need some priority.
We reported the self seeded Sycamore tree on Balfour Street several months ago and were promised that it would receive attention. The tree has damaged the adjacent railings and made the adjacent path uneven. The tree needs to be replaced, with an appropriate species, on the ample adjacent site.
In the meantime Balfour Street is covered in tree detritus and needs to be cleared
Initially we thought this was a joke but apparently not.
The York Council is now seeking volunteer “Leaf Wardens”. Their job will be to sweep up fallen leaves from (Council owned) public places including highways.
Now we know that many residents do try to keep the area outside their homes clean and tidy. Many will pick up litter, remove weeds and even mow verges.
Some may sweep up fallen leaves while others may clear snow.
The motivation for most volunteers is to improve the appearance of their neighbourhood over and above what is possible using the resources available to the local authority.
But it is what the label suggests – a voluntary action prompted by community pride.
In our view, the Council is now trying too hard to institutionalise and exploit that goodwill
So we now have “snow wardens”, “flood wardens” and “litter pickers” all kitted out by the Council.
The collapse of the weed killing programme this summer, footpaths blocked by overgrown trees/ hedges and, most recently, a sharp decline in the reliability of the bin emptying service should have acted as a “wake up” call to the Councils leadership.
What residents first want to see – before they are asked to do a second job as well as their day job – is the Council delivering good quality public services at street level on a consistent basis.
No one expects leaves to be swept up immediately the first bad weather of autumn arrives. But they do expect to be told what the Council will do, when and to what standard.
The council should publish revised “customer contracts” or “Service Level Agreements” and report back regularly on improvement plans.
They should then consult Parish Councils, Councillors and residents associations before they offer any patronising training on how to sweep up leaves.
High winds have been blamed for he increase in litter seen today. Insecure recycling has been blown around many suburbs with the Council struggling to catch up on their collection schedules post New Year.
Full litter bin on Bellhouse Way
Leaf and tree detritus in gutters on Askham Croft
Litter blown by high winds today in St Stephens Road
Surface water problem at junction of Ashford Place and Ascot Way
As we reported last week, the Council has been slow to deal with a hazard presented by an overgrown rose bush on the Tedder Road park. Its thorn branches have been overhanging a footpath at eye height for several weeks.
Cllr. Sheena Jackson has now taken direct action herself over the weekend and cut back the dangerous branches . We hope that the Council will soon trim the rest of the bush.
While in the park, Sheena took the opportunity to sweep up the leaf fall in the well used snicket which links Otterwood Lane and the Tedder Road park. The Council has been asked to clear broken glass from several locations in the area.
Residents are reminded that the current cycle is the last for emptying green bins (garden waste – including leaves) until April.
It’s been a quiet start to Christmas Eve. Morning storms appear to have passed by now, leaving a lot of surface water on roads and footpaths where drains are blocked. There are particular problems on Mount Vale, under the Leeman Road railway bridges and on Carr Lane.
Only a few people have ventured into the City centre and there are car parking spaces available in most car parks. They may however fill up quickly this afternoon as public transport begins to wind down.
The St Nicholas fair is now closed although the Shambles Market is doing some brisk business.
There is a lot of tree detritus and fallen leaves on the paths so care is required.
Shambles (Newgate) market is open
The St Nicholas Fair has ended
Slippery leaves pose a threat for unwary pedestrians and cyclists
Innovative forms of transport may be needed later today