We’ve been out and about checking on public service standards in west York in the wake of the recent storms. These are some of this weeks reports
The Council have promised a thorough review of the snickets in the area. The residents association is currently conducting an audit of standards. In several there are problems with worn paths, weeds, litter, dumping and damaged boundary fencing. During the summer months, anti social behaviour is an issue in some while other s are obstructed by trees and hedges.
Hopefully these issues will all be addressed later it the year.
Some reports of highway defects are being knocked back with “no further action required” responses this year.
One of the deficiencies of the Councils “report it on line” system is that no reason for inaction is given. There was a time when a pothole might go unfilled because it didn’t meet what were styled “the Councils intervention level”. Basically they weren’t judged to be deep enough.
Eventually frost damage would, of course, ensure that it did become bad enough to justify filling.
But there are some very uneven roads which are, perversely, being judged as safe these days
Council officials are also reluctant to send warning letters to drivers who have damaged verges, even when it is obvious who is responsible,
One piece of better news, with local Councillors reporting that work on finishing drainage work on the Osprey Close footpath will recommence shortly. The footpath may be diverted around the worst of the mud with further repairs to the land drains taking place when the area dries out.
Winter will be with us soon now and with it the risk of icy weather. Frost damage, to a poorly maintained highway surface, can be devastating making expensive reconstruction work inevitable.
Residents are being urged to report any potholes so that they can receive attention. There is rightly some scepticism amongst residents with reported highway defects often marked up with paint but then seemingly left for months before work is undertaken
Council leadership set to prioritise road repairs, play
facilities, housing, energy efficiency and Social Care.
The new Council leadership has announced changes to the budget
that it inherited. As expected, extra investment in improvements to street
level public services are planned.
There will be extra investment in
Additional Litter bins
Street environment (cleaning and community
Electric vehicle charging point maintenance.
The biggest investment will be £1 million spent on road repairs
and a further £1 million on cycling/walking improvements
There will be a £250,000 boost for children’s play facilities.
The Council will invest £1 million in speeding up housing modernisation
and a further £1 million on energy efficiency improvements
£22,000 is being taken for the reserves to improve children’s and adult social care standards.
Several of the proposals are less than transparent. We are told, for example, that the Council will “Re-purpose funding from the Leeds City Region Business Rates Pilot to strengthen our approach to inclusive growth, including child poverty, greening the high street and promote lifelong learning”
Also, the Council will fund “connections with communities most impacted by EU exit to better understand their needs, and to take forward the community hubs work initiated”
Four schemes are intended to be self-funding. They relate to
foster care, Special Education Needs and Disability pupils, Public Health and mental
The proposals will be welcomed by many in the City. It will, however, take more than £1 million to get the City’s roads back into good order.
£4.25 million of the plan is capital investment, meaning higher debt charges in the future (and less to spend in the revenue budget).
The plans are likely to be criticised for failing to clearly identify the objectives of some of the changes with no detail given of how the success of the projects will be measured.
No KPIs are listed and there is no clear vision of how the City will look in 4 years’ time.
Residents may feel that prompt attention to reducing the costs of some inherited major projects is necessary, especially if demands on taxpayers in future years are to remain under control.
It really shouldn’t cost £35,000 to “ launch a public
Citizen’s Assembly on how the Council can best work in an open way”
The Council must become a “can do” rather than a “can talk” organisation.
Still it’s a start, and a better one than was managed by the
last two Council administrations.
The proposal will be discussed at a meeting taking place on 17th July
When the list of streets which will be resurfaced this year was published a few weeks ago, it prompted disappointment in many areas.
For example the Herman Walk access road to Spurr Court had been scheduled to be resurfaced 4 years ago, but mysteriously disappeared for the programme before work could start. The carriageway has now almost worn away with the base layer increasingly vulnerable to ice damage.
Not surprisingly other roads in the same area – which were laid at the same time – are also showing signs of wear and tear. Resurfacing now would avoid more expensive repairs in later years. (NB. The Council was allocated additional monies to cover carriageway repairs earlier in the year)
Highway defects represent a particular hazard for cyclists. We’ve reported several over the last few days that require prompt attention. The last systematic programme of cycle margin resurfacing works in York took place over 10 years ago.
Some concrete surfaces are now breaking up. Heavy vehicles, accessing sites on Windsor Garth, are wrecking the Kingsway West highway. This is likely to get worse as work commences on the Ascot Way redevelopment plan
City of York Council will be carrying out essential resurfacing works on Askham Fields Lane, Askham Bryan from Monday 23 May.
The work is expected to take up to 5 days to complete, weather permitting. Work will take place between 9.30am – 4pm.
In order to carry out these works safely, a temporary road closure of Askham Fields Lane will be in place. Residents are advised there will be no access or egress for vehicles during working hours except in emergencies.
There will be no on-street parking during these times. Residents who require vehicular access are asked to inform operatives onsite to ensure safety. Vehicular access will only be allowed if it is safe to do so. Pedestrian access will be available at all times.
As with any construction work, there is likely to be a certain amount of disruption. Residents are assured that everything reasonably possible will be done to keep this to a minimum, however motorists should expect some delays and plan their journey accordingly.
The contractor carrying out the work is Specialist Surfacing who will be responsible for safety.