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.
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
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.
· 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”.
On line consultation questionaire https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/YorkBudget
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. (more…)
Well you’ll not find out from looking at the stats presented to the Council’s Executive committee
Graffiti 2nd September
Those reported on 27th August contain performance measures for only a minority of street level services.
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
% 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)
Little attention has been given to a report to tomorrows Cabinet meeting which shows a marked decline in the quality of some public services in York
Graffiti taking longer to remove
It is taking the Council between 2 and 3 days to clean graffiti now – almost double the time taken two years ago
The number of York residents on the housing waiting list has increase from 1344 to 1439 over recent months It is still low compared to historical levels (because many applicants were struck off the list last year by the Council)
Only 62% of tenants are satisfied now with the Council as a landlord. To a degree this reflects the lack of investment in the Council estates across the City (a LibDem regeneration plan was voted down last week by the Labour/Green coalition)
Customer satisfaction with the quality of streets and public places has slipped below 50% as has satisfaction with green spaces.
Only 48% think that the Council is tackling anti social behaviour well.
Fewer residents (12%) are now “volunteering”
The number of people aged over 65 admitted to residential and nursing care homes had risen to 767 (per 100k population) by the end of last year. Numbers are increasing again this year.
By December 27 residents were victims of delayed discharges from hospital. Of these 15 were down to York Council care failings.
Waste going to landfill increasing
The Council is failing its waste management targets. Consequently taxpayers will foot an increased £3.7million landfill tax bill.
Stage carriage bus use in the City is stable. The Council refuses to publish monthly figures indicating the number of buses running on time (was 84% last year according to DoT figures)