Give them a break!

Many public service workers will be on duty over the festive period.  Inevitably the services of the Police, Council workers and health professionals will be required by some members of society.

However we can all help to reduce the pressures on public services with a little forethought and consideration

Vandalised car seats in Cornlands Road garage area.

Litter on Cornlands park

Trolley dumped in little Green Lane parking area

Abandoned bike chained to Indoor bowling club railings

Vandalised house sale sign

Full litter bin

Litter near Foxwood shops. (Residents undertook a litter pick near the bus shelter yesterday)

Delays on street lighting and other York Council repairs

It looks like there is a backlog developing on street lighting repairs in York. Cllr Sheena Jackson has been pressing for a lamp at the end of Foresters Walk to be repaired but has now been told that it could be as long as a fortnight  before it is working again. Officials blame an increased number of fault reports for the backlog, although an extra member of staff has been taken on.

Elsewhere recycling collections have been erratic with several instances reported where cardboard has not been collected.

The Councils web site instructions on how much cardboard can be collected at the kerb are byzantine and really could do with simplification before the peak Christmas period arrives

We were disappointed to find that a “keep left” bollard on Gale Lane – reported 5 weeks ago – still hasn’t been repaired

We’ve asked for the repair to be expedited The darker nights, and potentially foggy weather, mean that illuminated bollards are often a key safety aid for drivers

There have also been problems in getting overgrown hedges cut back for some public footpaths.

We’ve asked for some self seeded bushes on the Thoresby Road garage area to be removed.

We reported the full litter bin on Askham Lane near the bus stop and asked it to be emptied.

Residents angry over state of roads as Council says “collect a petition”

The York Council seems to be slipping into an alternative world as they launch “democracy week” in the City. They suggest various ways of influencing their policies and priorities including attending “budget consultation meetings”.

They seem to have developed a blind spot about the quality of some of the public services in the city.

Roads, footpaths and verges in many areas are now in appalling condition and this before we suffer the ravages of icy winter weather.

Reality check needed

One resident has written to us to complain about his difficulty in getting potholes repaired in a  local road “the complaints procedure is a farce”

Potholes on poorly maintained carriageway in Welborne Close




Westfield residents survey results updated to include Cornlands Rd/Gale Lane area

The results, from the Westfield Councillors annual survey of public opinion, have been updated to include the Cornlands Road area.

The summary report can be downloaded by clicking here

Residents said they were satisfied with most public services in the area. The best performing was the bus service, mirroring the similar result obtained in the nearby Chapelfields estate.

Lack of car parking on local roads was the key grievance.

Residents wanted to see the return of a regular skip service.

There were many complaints about overgrown Council owned  trees and bushes which are obstructing paths and gardens.

Several policing issues were highlighted with anti social behaviour apparently on the increase.

The top priority for regeneration of the Front Street area was the provision of level forecourts across the whole shopping area.

The future of the Front Street area is due to be discussed at a public meeting taking place tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Gateway Centre starting at 6:30pm. 

York Council launches appeal for “estate champions”

The York Council is seeking volunteers who will check the quality of local public services in their local estate or neighbourhood.

Although in much of the Westfield area,  Residents Associations and local Councillors do routinely inspect the quality of public services we think that the more people who are involved the better.

So we hope that some will volunteer and feedback their experiences of getting problems rectified.

The speed of reaction by the Council to problems with dumping and litter has improved recently although there are still problems with some services such as the maintenance of communal garage areas and trimming hedges and trees.

Problems with road and footpath surfaces are a continuing issue as is dog fouling in some areas.



Have your say on York Council budget

 The Council has issued a media release saying, 

“City of York Council’s Executive is facing some tough decisions in 2016-17. Below outlines why these difficult choices need to be made and why residents’ views are so important.

To help shape the 2016-17 Budget proposals, the council is inviting residents to have their say through a consultation by Wednesday 20 January:

·         Online at

·         By post to FREEPOST RTEG-TYYU-KLTZ, Budget consultation, City of York Council, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

·         By hand at West Offices or libraries/Explore Centres”.

Council consultation

On line consultation questionaire

The Council of course omits to mention many options that many residents might like to take.

  • You noticeably won’t be able to vote for a pay freeze for Councillors or to reduce their support costs,
  • There’s no option to stop the “Our City” newspaper.
  • Quangos like “Make it York” are off the options list.

Not can you vote to save money through the lower debt (interest) charges which would come if the subsidy was reduced for big investment schemes like the:

  • New swimming pool at Monks Cross
  • Access bridge to the York Central development or
  • Development of the Guildhall site.

There isn’t even a “write in” option for those feeling inventive!

You can say whether you prefer a tax rise to service cuts but you aren’t offered a choice on how much any increase might be!

NB It is likely that the cap in increases will be around 3.9% most of which will be ring-fenced for elderly care.

The Council justifies its stance by saying, “This year’s budget proposals will seek to ensure the council’s priorities continue to be delivered, whilst also ensuring the council’s financial position is managed effectively.

Litter, footpaths, dog fouling, dumping & weeds top residents concerns

Thanks to those living in the Front Street and Hob Moor areas who have been returning the LibDem Focus “grumble” sheets.

So far the most complaints have been about:

  1. Litter
  2. Uneven footpaths
  3. Dog fouling
  4. Dumping
  5. Weeds/bushes obstructing paths

So pretty much basic public service standard issues.

This weekend we’ve moving on to look at services in the Cornlands Road and Askham Lane areas.

We’ve already been out and about this week checking on public service standards in the west of the City. Around 255 issues have been reported via “Fix My Street” including
Dogs have badly fouled the tithe Close snicket

Dogs have badly fouled the Tithe Close snicket

Weeds are still a problem on some footpaths

Weeds are still a problem on some footpaths

Grange Lane park play equipment still needs strimming

Grange Lane park play equipment still needs strimming

Swings damaged on Grange Lane aprk

Swings damaged on Grange Lane park

Full litter bin on Askham Lane reported by Cllr Sheena Jackson

Full litter bin on Askham Lane reported by Cllr Sheena Jackson

So how good are street level public services in York?

Well you’ll not find out from looking at the stats presented to the Council’s Executive committee

Graffiti 2nd September

Graffiti 2nd September

Those reported on 27th August contain performance measures for only a minority of street level services.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Many residents would expect that the volume of issues raised on each of the core activity areas of the Local Authority (see left) would be routinely reported to the Councils Executive together with stats showing the speed of response, the results of quality checks and customer satisfaction measures.

In August performance states were only provide for:

    • Graffiti removal where the Council claimed to have dealt with issues “in less than 3 days” (quicker for obscene graffiti)
Graffiti 26th September

Graffiti 26th September

  • % of roads in poor condition (No results since 2013/14)
  • YCC % telephone calls answered in 20 secs  (45%)

Even in these cases the validity of the claimed performance must be open to doubt.

We reported graffiti on the flood gates on North Street on 2nd September.

25 days later it was still there.

We had similar problems when reporting broken glass in School Street and nettles overhanging a footpath in Bellhouse Way

Residents can report issues using “Fix My Street” they can record progress made in remedying issues on an interactive map (click here)

York Council urged to speed up response to complaints about local services

A large number of issues with Council service standards on the west of the City have been lodged – through the “Fix my Street” system – this week.

In many cases it seems that the York Council is struggling to catch up with a backlog which developed over the bank holiday.

Full clothers recycling bin Acomb car park

Full clothers recycling bin Acomb car park

Abandoned bike on rack off York Road

Abandoned bike on rack off York Road

Broken Glas back School Street

Broken Glas back School Street

Dumped black bags in back lane

Dumped black bags in back lane



litter and weeds back Beaconsfield Streert

Litter and weeds on Front Street back lane

School Street carriageway needs resurfaicng

School Street carriageway needs resurfaicng

Vandalised garage door Thoresby Road

Vandalised garage door Thoresby Road

LibDem Councillor reporting increased problems with public service quality

Andrew Waller has been out and about inspecting public service standards in the Westfield area. Here are some of the issues that he has reported.

Blocked  drain on Moorgate

Blocked drain on Moorgate

Overflowing poop scoop bin in Grange Lane

Overflowing poop scoop bin in Grange Lane

Junction box on Bramham Road damaged

Junction box on Bramham Road damaged

Blocked drain on Bramham Road

Blocked drain on Bramham Road

Overflowing cigarete  bin on Front Street

Overflowing cigarete bin on Front Street