Housing management shambles in York

Standards seem to be slipping in the social housing sector in York with one JRHT tenant seeking crowd funding to repair damage caused by a leaking pipe.

The incident occurred on the Trusts flagship Derwenthorpe estate where the district heating system has proved to be problematic.

Crowd funding appeal following flooding damage

One local source says that the absence of isolating valves at some individual properties means that flooding problems have occurred which might have been avoided.

The incident perhaps points up a potential negative side for those in the forefront of adopting new technologies.

The York Council regards itself as an innovator and is spending huge sums on building “green” homes. While some features (insulation, solar power) are well established and beneficial, others have not been tested for long term durability in varying climatic conditions.

The rather wobbly logic behind the programme might in part be traced to a lack of professional leadership. The Council has not had anyone in charge of its housing operations since the beginning of the year.

A recent appointee to the post gave backword and it remains unclear where responsibility now lies for the day to day management of York’s 8000 strong council housing portfolio.

There are are growing problems in some estates.

In the Foxwood area, seven homes are currently empty. One bungalow was vacated by an older person when they went into a care home 3 years ago. The property has still not been relet even on a temporary basis.

Another bungalow has been undergoing repairs since it was vacated 9 months ago.

Bungalow empty for over 9 months

It also appears that the mistake made last year, of introducing a reactive cleansing service, has reappeared.

During the last lockdown the older “barrowman” approach was reintroduced . Cleaners were responsible for tidying a specific geographical area. There were notable improvements in cleanliness standards.

That system has now apparently been scrapped, with cleaners now only reacting to reports of issues.

Some estate manager posts are unfilled and the Council has failed to update its register of garages which are available to rent.

All in all, an area of concern.

York Walls repairs start

Tower Two

Works to stabilise part of the York’s historic walls at Tower Two will be undertaken by City of York Council’s ancient monuments team in collaboration with York Archaeological Trust, from 7 October.

Over the last five years, the condition of Tower Two has deteriorated with cracks and bulges appearing on the external face of the tower and more recently, the condition has begun to worsen faster than expected. This section of the walls remains safe, but work is needed swiftly to stop further deterioration. 

The council is responsible for caring for, and making accessible, York’s city walls, which are the most complete example of city walls in England. 

Now Hope Street residents join clamour for York Council to invest more in road and footpath repairs

Following yesterdays appeal by residents living in Welborne Close for improvements to roads and footpaths in their area, people living in Hope Street have added their voices to the campaign.

In the City centre street, which lies close to Walmgate, parts of the carriageway have  worn away with the surface of the road now turning to dust. This is particularly dangerous for cycle and moped riders.

Footpaths also have become a patchwork of temporary reinstatements.

The Council will be considering its budget plans for next year shortly and campaigners will be seeking a substantial increase in allocations for road and footpath resurfacing across the City.

Plea for more investment in road and footpath maintenance

Acomb Wood Drive

With the frosty weather apparently still not behind us, highway engineers will be casting worried glances at vulnerable carriageway surfaces.

Some are already showing signs of cracking. These include Acomb Wood Drive which is on a bus route.

Further along the same bus route the surface of part of Ryecroft Avenue is beginning to disintegrate.

Ryecroft Avenue

It appears that the Council have also halted this years footpath resurfacing programme.

They should have completed work in the Foxwood area by now. There are rumours of budget overspends (not born out by reports to Council monitoring committees) but regrettably officials have yet to confirm a revised resurfacing timetable.

Hopefully tomorrows Council budget decisions will concentrate n providing adequate funding to sustain basic street level  services like these.

Work on resurfacing footpaths in Bellhouse Way starts next week

Resurfacing work will commence shortly on Bellhouse Way  and will subsequently extend into Acomb Wood Drive, Osprey Close and Pheasant Drive, Ainsty Park and part of Foxwood Lane.

Residents within the area to be reconstructed are being offered a discounted extension to, or new, vehicle crossing as part of this scheme, at cost.

Bellhouse Way – paths to be resurfaced

 

Micklegate Bar closed from June

Micklegate Bar

As part of a £1.5 million restoration scheme to preserve and protect York’s medieval city walls – announced by City of York Council last month – road closures will be needed in Micklegate to allow the restoration works to be carried out safely.

The scheme will involve replacing Micklegate Bar’s roof and guttering by stripping this all back, replacing the timberwork and installing stainless steel strengthening ‘shoes’ to roof beams.

Two new walkway gates will also be installed. This will allow the Henry VII Experience museum to remain open when the bar walls themselves are closed. During the works both stairways allowing people access onto the walls will remain open to pedestrians at all times.

Micklegate retailers and businesses were consulted in advance about the works and invited to attend meetings with the council. Letters were also sent to all premises in the area.

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Government’s derisory pothole repair allocation for York

The government has announced that York will be given £120,000 to fill in potholes that have arisen during the floods and winter weather experienced over recent months

click to access interactive map

click to access interactive map

The allocation has been described as derisory as it is less that the £180,000 cut from maintenance funding over the last 2 years.

The Dpt estimates that 2,264 potholes in the City can be filled in using their allocation.