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

Street cleansing problems highlighted at meeting

Litter problems on areas like the Foxwood shops were discussed at a residents meeting yesterday. The residents were told that the street cleansing service was having difficulty in recruiting staff. Local Councillor Simon Daubeney reported that a new litter bin would be provided opposite the shops at the end of Hatfield Walk.
We’ve asked for new springs to be provided on the gates to the football pitch area on Foxwood Park. The old ones are broken allowing the gates to swing open. In turn this allows unsupervised access for dogs. Dog fouling on nearby footpaths is a continuing issue.
It’s reached the time of year when tree detritus and ripe fruit can fall in significant quantities onto some foot and cycle paths. This is potentially hazardous. We’ve reported problems on the Bellhouse Way path between Acomb Wood Drive and the Foxwood Park.
The path is also obstructed by overhanging tree branches

Action needed, Action taken

Mixed outlook on several outstanding public service issues in west York

We’ve reported a broken utility sign at the top of Grange Lane
Exposed cables have been tied to street signs in Milner Street for several weeks now.
Graffiti and litter continue to blight the Grange Lane snickets
We’ve suggested that hard core be used to make footpaths in the Grange Lane Westfield Park usable in wet weather
New record holder for the largest weed award. This 3 metre monster in Dijon Avenue next to a telegraph pole.
Loose rubbish continues to blight the rear of Front Street
Overgrown snicket on Gale Lane becoming a crime concern. We”ve asked the Ward Councillors to act.
Reported yet again litter, detritus and weeds on the Tithe Close snicket. Issue recorded by the Council as “solved” Clearly not!
Weeds flourishing on Hotham Avenue
….and Foxwood Lane
….and School Street

….But weeds cleared from Dijon Avenue garage area by Council. Now looks very tidy.

More missed bins

Council needs to “come clean” about the extent of its resourcing problems

Another day and another raft of missed bin collections.

Mostly the failures are down to inadequate staffing, unreliable vehicles and full lorries.

Yet the Council has so far failed to say when replacement vehicles will arrive in the city.

…and there is a growing suspicion that other services are being depleted in a desperate attempt to plug the gaps in the waste collection service. One estate still has litter strewn around from collections which took place weeks ago.

No post recycling litter pick today (or for some time)
Many litter bins are overflowing

Litter a growing problem on some Council estates

Litter is left for weeks without being swept.

Keeping estates clean and tidy until recently was the responsibility of estate workers. There was one in each major neighbourhood. They were sometimes styled as estate “handymen” and part of their duties was to repair minor items of street furniture. They were funded from rents.

They helped to keep neighbourhoods in good condition and would often be seen in the area proactively dealing with issues.

The Council recently decided to get rid of the role with responsibilities transferred to a mobile team.  Since the change, there has been a noticeable drop in standards. This seems mainly to be due to the fact that, rather than routinely patrol areas looking to address issues before they were widely noticed, the new approach is mainly “reactive”.

That is the staff respond to complaints.

Many will remember fondly the last decade when the Council, for a time, employed “lengthsmen” to give local roads that extra bit of care. They achieved more in improving standards than mechanical sweeping alone could provide.

That sadly also is a now thing of the past.

The drop in standards has been an increasing concern for residents associations. The issue has been drawn to the attention of Executive Councillors who have responsibility for service quality. There has been little response so far.

Unless the Council publishes an acceptable service standard contract for activities like these – the core of its work as a public authority – then it is likely that volunteer efforts will tail off.

That would be a great shame as whole communities would suffer.

Litter levels increasing

Graffiti removed from street furniture in east York

Following action by Cllr Mark Walters, Virgin media have cleaned graffiti from many of their cabinets in east York. The above are in Tang Hall.
Unfortunately, the position in west York seems to have deteriorated with more graffiti appearing. This BT telephone kiosk in Beagle Ridge Drive is due to be removed shortly, but in the meantime it has become a target for the “artists” The Foxwood Residents Association has now formally complained about the amount of litter in the neighbourhood. They wat to see the return of “lengths-men” and dedicated estate workers, The Foxwood shops forecourt is a particular problem area.

With shorter days, the reliability of street lighting will once again become a priority. No doubt local Councillors will be undertaking a sweep of their wards checking for faults. Residents also may want to report issues. Generally faulty bulbs are replaced quickly if reported via the Councils “on line” site https://www.york.gov.uk/reportproblems (click)

Now goal posts disappear from Westfield

A set of goal posts have disappeared from the playing field to the rear of Westfield Place.

Only one set of goal posts on Westfield park

The removal follows a series of actions by the York Council which has seen sports facilities eroded in what is York’s poorest neighbourhood. The sports field at Lowfields has been built on, the multi user games area closed and a (private) bowling green sold for housing.

No consultation took place before the set of goalpost were removed.

One set remains. The ward committee had been expected to arrange for the posts to be repainted, and the pitch remarked, before the start of the football season.

We’ve also reported litter problems on the park

Vandals put lives at risk

Sorry to see that the beacon support post on the Gale Lane zebra crossing have been vandalised. Electricity supply cables exposed. We’ve reported the problem to the Council who we hope will respond promptly
Also on Gale Lane the detritus build up around traffic build outs has now reached record proportions. Clearly not been swept for months. Another issue for the Council to tackle before winter places extra demands on drainage channels
Full litter bin also reported
and litter near the entrance to the Westfield Place park entrance and around its perimeter

Post bank holiday clean up needed!

There was a disappointing amount of litter lying around in some neighbourhoods today. We’ve reported over 20 issues to the Council

As well as litter, these included weed growth, hedges blocking footpaths and dumping.

Litter was particularly bad on Chesney’s Field while a hedge overgrowing from Hob Moor is now obstructing Kingsway West.

We are told that the Council will be making a statement about the failed weed control contract within the next few days.

Problems with litter, weeds, overgrown hedges, dumping etc. These were in the Foxwood area.

“Get a grip” call to local Councillors as footpath weed problem spreads

Residents have called on local Councillors to intervene to ensure that weeds growing on local paths and gutters are cleared. Today’s weather, damp and warm, is likely to see the problem get worse over the weekend.

Weeds are obstructing footpaths, gullies and garage areas in the Westfield Ward

In the little Green Lane garage area grass is now growing through the recently resurfaced forecourt. It is a similar situation in Windsor Garth

The weather also means that hedges will be growing more quickly. We’ve reported this bramble bush which is obstructing the public footpath near the entrance to Hob Moor school
Although the Council says that they have removed litter from the Tithe Close snicket, this doesn’t seem to be the case.
Similar situation on The Reeves snicket
The only thing that the Council seems to be doing quickly this summer is knocking down parts of west York. This is all that is now left of the Windsor House elderly persons home. There is some mud on local roads which needs to be monitored.
Still no sign of the replacement for the children’s games area at Hob Moor. Contractors using the old all weather games area for storage are at least polite!