The scale of the York Council’s afforestation plans are becoming clearer.
A meeting taking place next week will hear that increasing York’s tree cover from the current 10.76% of the total area to 13% (national average) by 2050 would require 608 ha of new cover, or 21 ha per year.
York currently has 2,926 ha of tree canopy cover, representing 10.8% of its total area. 60% of this canopy cover is made up of trees outside woodlands.
The report says, “the rate of viable delivery imposes a significant constraint on new canopy cover. The York Community Woodland project (Knapton Forest) in West York aims to deliver 50-60 ha of new tree cover over the next two years.
A 13% target for 2050 would require a similar level of growth every two years“.
City of York Council is a member of the White Rose Forest (WRF) partnership which aims to provide tree canopy across large parts of Yorkshire.
The WRF project assumes an ambition for a 13% target for tree canopy cover by 2050, equating to around 22-27 ha per annum. This target would result in “an annual carbon sequestration rate at 2050 of circa 9,000tCO2 per year; equivalent to around 1% of the regions total CO2 emissions between 2020-2050“.
As with the Knapton Forest project, there has been no public consultation on the plan. The costs are unknown although, based on the Knapton land values, they could mean a taxpayers bill for several hundred million pounds.
The report doesn’t assess the scope for increasing tree canopy cover on existing amenity areas or private gardens.
The effect on food production is also unclear. The areas selected for afforestation are mainly grade 2 agricultural land.
They cover large areas near Poppleton, Skelton and Elvington.
The Osbaldwick and Derwent ward is home to 8,114 residents. Average incomes are higher than the City average. 83% of residents own their home. 9% rent privately and 6% are social tenants. There are 79 Council homes in the area. 1.3% are out of work. Crime levels are significantly below average. 90.91% of residents are satisfied with their local area as a place to live (York average 88.6%). 9.09% believe that they can influence decisions in their local area (City average 26.2). Source
Ward boundary changes mean that voting trends need to be viewed with caution. In the early part of the last decade redoubtable LibDem Campaigner Janet Greenwood held the Dunnington Ward while Jonathan Morley represented Osbaldwick. Jonathan Morley has now moved on to be the LibDem candidate in Heworth.
At the last election the ward was split between a Conservative – who lived in the Dunnington part of the ward – and Osbaldwick Independent Mark Walters, who had the smallest majority in any ward at that time.
The Conservative Jennie Brooks is standing down to be replaced on the ballot paper by Martin Rowley (who doesn’t live in the ward) and one John Zimnoch. The latter apparently made some injudicious comments on social media a few years ago which appeared to condone drink driving. His chances of election seem slim
The ward on its present boundaries has never elected candidates who don’t live in the ward.
The LibDems, who had consistently put forward Dunnington based candidates in the past, have this time inexplicably nominated someone who lives on the other side of the river Ouse. Their second candidate (Ian Eiloart) does however live in Osbaldwick.
Independent Mark Walters makes a return. He has been a principal opponent of development in the area fighting a losing battle against the Rowntree Derwenthorpe estate. His views are right wing and populist but he has been effective in asking questions which the political establishment would rather not answer. He has a good chance of re-election.
Who will join him is anyone’s guess but the Tories will expect to retain their seat.
1 Independent 1 Tory.
The Rawcliffe ward is home to 11,946 residents. Average incomes are higher than the City average. 80% of residents own their home. 10% rent privately and 8% are social tenants. There are 164 Council homes in the area. 1.7% are out of work. Crime levels are about average. 88.9% of residents are satisfied with their local area as a place to live (York average 88.6%). 25.9% believe that they can influence decisions in their local area (City average 26.2). Source
Ward boundary changes mean that voting trends need to be viewed with caution.
The Rawcliffe area was strongly LibDem for many years with first – two time Lord Mayor – Irene Waudby and later her son, Mark, representing the ward.
Labour surprisingly won the seats in 2011 only to be replaced by three Tories in 2015.
The LibDems will be looking to complete their comeback in the area and have managed to nominate a Waudby as a candidate. It is however Sam – wife of Mark – who is one of their flag bearers. Rather surprisingly Mark is contesting the neighbouring Clifton ward in which they both now live. The LibDems have, however, managed to nominate two other candidates who do live in Rawcliffe and this may prove to be decisive, when electors cast their ballots.
Of the 3 existing Conservative Councillors, two are seeking re-election in the ward. Peter Dew, who currently holds the transport policy portfolio for the coalition, also lives in the ward. His “Lendal Bridge” moment relates to a lamentable lack of effective action to repair roads in the City.
He is joined once again by Stuart Rawlings who does not live in the ward. He is understood to have ambitions to be the next Tory Council Group Leader.
The third Tory Councillor Sam Lisle will try his luck in the distant Westfield Ward on 2nd May
Labour support declined substantially in 2015. Somewhat surprisingly, they have imported as a candidate the controversial Dave Merrett, from Micklegate. We doubt that Dave Merrett will ever recover politically from his stubborn support for levying fines on motorists using Lendal Bridge and Coppergate when he was the transport chief.
We do increasingly wonder whether either Councillors or officials actually routinely check the quality of public services in some parts of the City?
Take the cycle/footpath which links Water Lane to Hazelnut Grove and Rawcliffe beyond.
It is obstructed with nettles, brambles and weeds. It has clearly not been swept for months?
We hope that even if the York Council ignores issues like these, residents will report them using the Fix My Street web site (as we have done today). Regular maintenance can make a big difference to the local environment
No ring road improvements scheduled. Little being spent on reducing congestion
The Councils transport investment programme has been published. As usual the devil will be in the detail and the programme could be scrapped if there are major changes in the make-up of the Council at the May 7th polls.
Around £775,000 is to be spent on improvements to bus services. £250,000 of this will go on the delays Rougier Street bus shelter while £200,000 will address “pinch point improvements”. Once again sub-urban areas fare badly in the allocations (separately on the agenda for the same meeting a £20,000 plan to improve facilities in Rawcliffe is recommended for rejection)
Proposed extra lane for A19 pinch point
£2 million is being spent easing the “pinch point” on the A19 near the Designer Outlet. Much less is being spent elsewhere in the £2.4 million budget although the modernisation of variable message boards – which have been increasingly unreliable – is welcome.
£468,000 is being spent on a range of small schemes. The biggest is the provision of a cycle link at Scarborough Bridge. This is mostly being covered by central government grant.
Wetherby Road VAS
This is only being allocated £450,000 in the programme which is still driven by Labour priorities. School safety schemes, school crossing warning signs, “speed management” and the renewal of the vehicle activated signs (VAS), like those on Wetherby Road and Green Lane, will all get a boost.
Money is also asset aside to develop future improvements and to continue maintenance of the City Walls. The alleygating programme will also continue.
No expenditure on improvements to the northern by pass is expected over the next 12 months despite promises from the Labour Council leadership that this was now one of their priorities.
Hopes that Council Leader James Alexander will step in to address the bins crisis have been dashed. His involvement here was photographed only a few weeks before the last local Council elections
• Winscar Grove
• Langsett Grove
• Roseberry Grove
• Landalewood Road
• Grimwith Garth
• Gouthwaite Close
• Rivelin Way
• Doe Park
• Roundhill Link
• Stubden Grove
• Thornton Moor Close
• Dale Dyke Grove
• Boltby Road
• Morehall Close
• Oakdale Road
• Bransholme Drive
• Whitley Close
• Hayforth Close
• Handley Close
• Wellesley Close
• Ilton Garth
• Ryburn Close
• Loxley Close
• Rishworth Grove
• Eldwick Close
• Lanshaw Croft
• Ebsay Drive
• Lindley Road
• Barmby Close
• Redmires Close
• Gillingwood Road
• Wharnscliffe Drive
• Harden Close
• Lindley Wood Grove
Green Bin: (Clifton)
• Burton Stone Lane
• Burton Green
• Ashton Avenue
• Ingram Avenue
• Waveney Grove
• Burrill Avenue
• Evelyn Crescent
• Marjorie Waite Court
• Crombie Avenue
• Crichton Avenue
• Wilberforce Avenue
• Bede Avenue
• Intake Avenue
• Lucas Avenue
• Link Avenue
• Rowntree Avenue
• Sutton Way
• Little Avenue
• Kingsway North
2. Chelkar Way
3. Fewston Drive
4. Angram Close
5. Swinsty Court
6. Leighton Croft
7. Keats Close
8. Reighton Avenue
9. Lawnswood Drive
10. Melton Drive