Waste collection and other problems mount for York residents

Anyone reading the agenda for todays City of York Council meeting may mistake it for a meeting of a University debating society. Verbose, borderline pompous, motions and amendments dominate the agenda.

As the first face to face meeting of the authority since coronavirus struck, there has been plenty of time to fashion an agenda which talks to the people of the City.

Instead we have are offered the spectacle of Council members essentially having a chat with each other.

The City’s day to day problems may as well be taking place on another planet.

The meeting is, for the first time, being held at the racecourse. Perhaps bookmakers will be on hand to offer odds on anything useful emerging as the race reaches the final furlong at 10:00pm?

Earlier in the week, the Councillor responsible for waste collection held a special meeting to discuss the pressing issue of the release of “Chinese lanterns” in the City. The opportunity to also discuss the backlog in refuse collection was missed.

Yet hundreds of unemptied green bins currently adorn our streets.

Earlier a controversial change in the playground refurbishment programme was agreed at a “behind closed doors” meeting. Emergency “delegation” powers – which allow officers to make decisions without consultation or democratic input – were exploited.

The opposition claim (with some justification) to be outraged by the decision. Have they found a way of holding those responsible to account? Apparently not, judging by tonight’s agenda.

With (rightly or wrongly) COVID restrictions being lifted from Monday, the Councils top priority should now be to end the emergency powers and introduce effective governance arrangements.

In the real world, taxpayers expect basic public standards to be maintained.

It is not just the York Council that is out of touch.

Sad to report that, as of yesterday, the promised work to remove overgrowth obstructions from the A64/Tadcaster Road cycle path had not been completed by Highways/Yorks or the Council.

Obstructions on Tadcaster Road cycle path

The lack of action contrasts with the panic decisions taken last spring when roads and car parks were closed in order to allow “social distancing” on paths which were already much wider than those which are currently obstructed.

New games area – Council delay response

We asked 4 weeks ago what had happened to the promised replacement for the children’s games area on Kingsway West.

The area is currently being used as a building compound. The contractor was beginning tt remove storage containers from the area today although work on Lincoln Court and the new centre for the disabled won’t be completed for a few weeks at least (it is running behind schedule with COVID partly to blame according to the Council).

A response to a Freedom of Information request was due today but the Council now says that they can’t reply before 3rd Ocotober.

The enquiry resulted from a promise made on 18th March 2019 when the Council’s Executive agreed to provide a replacement for the Kingsway West Multi User Games Area (MUGA) which has been taken out of use as part of the project to extend Lincoln Court.

The minute read;
a ii) To note that in approving Option 1 a commitment is made for alternative recreational facilities following community consultation including Sport England within Westfield Ward in mitigation for the loss of the Multi Use Games Area. The alternative facilities provided are to be agreed by Executive and will be subject to a further report and budget approval.”

18 months later and there has been no further word from the Council on how the replacement plan is going.

Sofa dumped in play area

A sofa has been dumped in the Cornlands Road park play area. It is surrounded by rubbish. The issue has been reported to the Council but it is a shame that an area intended for use by younger children should be defaced in this way. Hopefully the Police will be able to increase patrols in the area.


Elsewhere at the recycling centre in the Acomb Car Park rubbish has been fly tipped. We’ve asked for the area to be cleaned up and for some of the recycling bins to be repainted.


Grange Lane Park – dog fouling problems

The installation of railings around the play equipment on Grange Lane has not entirely eliminated problems with dog fouling.

Gate being left open at palygorund

Gate being left open at palygorund

Unfortunately the access gate does not have a spring on it and it is often being left open.

We hope to have a spring fitted and a notice erected reminding people to kept the gate closed.

Meanwhile we’ve reported the full poop scoop bin for emptying

Full poop scoop bin on Grange Lane reported for emptying

Full poop scoop bin on Grange Lane reported for emptying

Cornlands Park entrance to be closed?

The Council is consulting residents about the possibility of gating one of the entrances to the Cornlands Road park.

Cornlands Park entrance closure proposal click to enlarge

Cornlands Park entrance closure proposal click to enlarge

The proposal comes after complaints about noise and vandalism from some residents.
Entrance to Cornlands Park 2
 Closure of the access would remove one of the potential “escape routes”

Following the work of the local residents association in getting new play equipment installed, the park is beginning to be more of an asset for the area.

However there are still problems with litter and the poop scoop bin needs to be replaced.

Some residents wish to see the area secured after nightfall.


Fears for childrens safety as service standards wobble

Thorn bush overhanging public footpath

Thorn bush overhanging public footpath

Snickets are often a source of concern to both users and neighbouring property owners.

None less so that that linking Parker Avenue to Grange Lane.

Often problems are reported there with graffiti, litter, weeds and vandalism to boundary fences.

Today we have had to report a badly overgrown rose bush which is almost blocking the footpath. The thorns are a particular hazard for young children who may be wheeled past in prams.

We hope that the Council will act quickly to have the bush cut back

Grange Lane play area

Grange Lane play area

Meanwhile the Grange Lane play area is once again the subject of litter and dog fouling. The swings have also been vandalised.

The playground really does need a fence round it to prevent access by dogs and to stop litter drift.

It should become a “poop scoop” area with proper enforcement.

Again an issue overdue for Council attention.



87% say reopen Woodlands play area

Rowntrees promise early action

Rowntrees play area

87% of residents, responding to the survey that we took in the area a few weeks ago, said that they would like to see the Woodlands play area off Bellhouse Way reopened at least during day light hours at weekends.

10% were undecided on the issue with only 3% opposing the proposal

The equipment has been unavailable for several months now because of health and safety fears.

However many residents have pointed out that young children trying to climb the 2 metre high railings, which surround the play area, are probably at greater risk

The Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust has now responded to the local Residents Association promising that – following some minor works – the area will be reopened within a couple of weeks.

Elsewhere in the Woodlands estate, survey respondents were critical of the mowing arrangements for verges. They had been left uncut for so long that, after cutting, the area resembled a hayfield.

A site meeting to discuss the problem has taken place.

The Trust also plan to do some maintenance work on their shrub beds.

Acomb play equipment labelled “dangerous”

Weeds overwhelming play equipment

Weeds overwhelming play equipment

Aerial wire broken

Aerial wire broken


Play equipment in Grange Lane, Acomb has been labelled as “dangerous” by parents due a lack of maintenance.

Earlier today two pieces of play equipment were unusable with one – a wire ride – potentially hazardous for users.

Weeds and nettles were growing up through another piece of equipment making use impractical.



The area was badly littered.

The council has been heavily criticised in the past for failing to secure the playground against dogs.

Fouling continues to be an issue.