Good to see that some street level public service standards are improving in west York. As we observed some months ago, the health crisis caused a rethink on street cleansing with a neighbourhood management approach producing better results. This has improvement has generally been sustained
The York Council had a challenging time in 2019 when parts of the City were blighted by weeds following the award of a poorly specified treatment contract. This year the streets have been largely clear of weed growth following the award of a new £58,000 contract to Munro Weed Control.
There are still some problem areas (snickets, back lanes, garage forecourts) but generally standards have improved.
Some progress seems to have been made on long term, seemingly intractable, problems such as rubbish storage and fly tipping in the Front Street back lane area. Notices have now been displayed indicating the penalties for fly tipping. Most rubbish storage areas are now tidier although there are some exceptions
Less good news on highways maintenance. There are still too many uneven road surfaces including long outstanding problems in the School Street area in the Acomb. White line repainting is also behind schedule.
The Councils new graffiti removal service has been successful although utility boxes and some private boundaries are still subject to attack. The utilities in particular take a long time to clean their boxes. We’d like to see the Council team undertaking this work and more effort being made to fine those who are responsible.
Local residents have asked the Council to deal with maintenance issues at the Grange Lane park.
Complaints have been raised about littering but some of the equipment is unusable as a result of vandalism, graffiti, muddy entrances and missing safety surfaces under the swings.
The Council also promised to put hardcore down on parts of the footpath link from Grange Lane to Westfield Place where it is subject to flooding. This work hasn’t been done yet. It needs to be completed before the wetter winter months arrive.
The path is now being used occasionally by cyclists as a short cut. Some arrangements for them could be made at relatively little cost.
Use by walkers has also increased since lock-down started.
The York Council has belatedly updated its open data page to show how many fines were levied for littering during the quarter ending in December 2019.
It is however refusing to release numbers for the final quarter (to the end of March 2020) and the first quarter of 20/21. The latter includes the time when lock-down restrictions were eased and the now infamous “riverside party” season started. The latter sparked a wave of complaints about anti social behaviour and indiscriminate littering by a minority of visitors.
The Council says that the March stats will be published later in July but residents will have to wait until at least September before they can judge how effectively anti littering enforcement staff performed in June.
The above is just one example of poor management. Other performance indicators also haven’t been updated since last year.