Anyone expecting the York Council’s Executive to take decisive action, to address declining public service standards at their meeting yesterday, will have been disappointed.
Despite a plea from Independent Councillor Mark Warters that a team be set up to deal with outstanding complaints, the Councils leadership remained tight lipped.
Cllr Warters was echoing a similar call from a growing number of Liberal Democrat supporters in the City
Many residents may conclude that there is something seriously wrong at West Offices.
Not only is there no timetable for addressing outstanding issues, but communications with residents are poor while many local Councillors (not all) fail to roll their sleeves up and tackle issues directly in their wards.
The York Council is no longer a “can do” organisation. It’s become a “maybe things will get better next year” type authority.
That won’t do. Its the kind of complacent attitude that has prompted a rise in more extreme political ideologies elsewhere in the country and abroad. It needs to be reversed, and quickly.
Not everything is bad, of course. Some individual Council officials are making limited progress in improving our streets as we show here.
Although attention in the City has – rightly – been concentrated on the floods and their aftermath, other areas have also suffered during the recent wet weather.
We have taken up several issues using the Fix My Street web site which we recommend to residents wanting to ask for repairs and improvements.
Several faulty street lights have been reported by Cllr Sheena Jackson over the last few days. These include number 3 in Bellhouse Way. If you report a streetlight please remember to quote the number which is displayed on the lamppost as well as the street name.
A pothole on Foxwood Lane has also been reported by Sheena
Sheena has asked for black bags dumped in the Foxwood Lane hedge to be removed
The wet weather means that more verges like this in Windsor Garth have been churned up
Good news with the salt bin at the junction of Kingsway West and Danesfort Avenue now having been filled
Litter accumulation on the Tithe Close snicket has been reported
Rubbish bag dumped in Teal Drive salt bin
The little Green Lane garage area continues to deteriorate. The lack of action – the problems were reported 4 months ago – will now be referred to the Ombudsman
More damaged verges this time in St Stephens Road
and again in Kingsway West
Still no sign of repair to the carriageway in Windsor Garth
Good news in Ascot Way where an overgrown hedge has been cut back
Just a few weeks after we reported that the York Council seemed to be getting on top of a backlog of complaints, further issues have arisen.
Nettles overgrowing footpaths, broken glass, full poop scoop bins, graffiti and litter in back lanes have all been reported but are still awaiting Council attention two weeks later. A confirmation of receipt of the complaints had been sent by the Council on 8th September when the issues were sent on to the responsible department for action.
The problems had been reported through “Fix my Street“. This web site allows progress to be publicly recorded. Some issues logged two weeks ago have been addressed – an abandoned bike on York Road has been removed and a clothes recycling bank emptied – but several remain outstanding.
Local Councillors have been asked to escalate the outstanding issues.
Nettles overgrowing Bellhouse Way – first reported on 6th September and a hazard for passing children
Broken glass on School Street back lane – outstanding for two weeks
Litter in Gladstone Street/Beaconsfield Street area back lanes
Poop scoop bin full on Dijon Avenue . First reported 6th September -may have been emptied but is now full again (and very smelly!)
Clothes bank has been emptied in Acomb car park but rubbish now being piled on top of can bank
Liberal Democrats have raised fresh concerns over York’s membership of a new super council after it was revealed that money could be cut from frontline survices to fund the City’s contribution.
Labour run City of York Council has decided to join with Leeds, Bradford and other West Yorkshire metropolitan authorities in a new super council, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, from April 2014. York will be expected to contribute around £4million-a-year to the authority, which will have a range of roles including deciding major local transport schemes and overseeing economic development.
At last week’s Full Council meeting, in response to a question from Lib Dem Councillor Keith Orrell, Labour confirmed that they did not know where the £4million-a-year would come from but they would consider taking it from York’s revenue budget – which funds frontline services. (more…)