Action needed, Action taken

Mixed outlook on several outstanding public service issues in west York

We’ve reported a broken utility sign at the top of Grange Lane
Exposed cables have been tied to street signs in Milner Street for several weeks now.
Graffiti and litter continue to blight the Grange Lane snickets
We’ve suggested that hard core be used to make footpaths in the Grange Lane Westfield Park usable in wet weather
New record holder for the largest weed award. This 3 metre monster in Dijon Avenue next to a telegraph pole.
Loose rubbish continues to blight the rear of Front Street
Overgrown snicket on Gale Lane becoming a crime concern. We”ve asked the Ward Councillors to act.
Reported yet again litter, detritus and weeds on the Tithe Close snicket. Issue recorded by the Council as “solved” Clearly not!
Weeds flourishing on Hotham Avenue
….and Foxwood Lane
….and School Street

….But weeds cleared from Dijon Avenue garage area by Council. Now looks very tidy.

That was the week that was in York in pictures

York Council needs to have a plan to remedy high profile problems.

“Bottle” bridge is back

Fresh set of bottles and cans disfigure Ouse Bridge in York. It should be possible to fine the culprits, there are CCTV cameras in the area.
Nearby this years crop of parapet weeds are now in flower. No attempt has been made by the Council to remove them despite fears that they may affect the structural stability of the bridge. The issue was first reported in May but the Council has still not responded
We’ve some sympathy with the Council’s grass cutters who have struggled with wet weather this week. Means that several verges, like this is Kingsthorpe, are now overgrown
The grass cutters task isn’t made any easier if garden waste and other material is dumped on verges!
A lot of highway trees are now showing signs of “sucker” growth round the lower trunks. These can cause a problem with sight lines.
Easier to control is weed growth around street furniture. Many lampposts haven’t been strimmed or treated with weed killer this summer.
Footpath widths are gradually being reduced following the failure of the Council to undertake any edging work over the winter period. There are calls now for the weed control function to be taken back “in house” by the Council next summer. The staff employed could be used on verge edging and tree maintenance work during the winter period.
Narrow footpath width and poor surface on Kingsway West forcing pedestrians to walk on verge
Thanks to the Councils Community Safety Unit at the York Council who agreed on Thursday to have the accumulated rubbish in the little Green lane garage area removed.
It’s not just in west York that problems with weed growth on traffic islands is a significant issue. Above from Cllr Mark Warters illustrates the problem on the A166.

Dumping blights back lanes in York

We were sorry to see that rubbish is piled in some terraced streets in the City. Nothing depresses an area more than fly tipping so the Councils robust level of fines are probably justified – albeit sparingly used.

In the Green Lane area yesterday we found two examples of dumping. The area now has 100% wheeled bin operation which has reduce litter drift. But, since the closure of the local recycling centre on Beckfield Lane 6 years ago, problems with dumping have increased. They are exacerbated by relatively high charges levied by the Council for removing bulky waste  

Regular visits by skips to estates were stopped about 2 years go. This decision has also impacted on how tidy our streets are

So something needs to change.

Recycling pont in Acomb Car park needs a “makeover”

Poor commercial storage arrangements at back of Front Street

Rubbish accumulating in Gladstone Street back lane

Rubbish in Howe Street back lane


Students, rubbish and recycling


Student WasteA review of the way that students dispose of their rubbish in York has been published.

It is fair to say that the accumulation of piles of rubbish in areas with a high student population has been a cause of friction in the past. This usually peaks at the end of term when students move out.

Issues have included:

  • rubbish and recycling put out at the wrong time/day/place
  • waste not properly disposed of at the end of term/end of year
  • complaints from other residents about waste issues
  • low levels of recycling

rubbish-monk-bar-car-parkIt is likely that areas with a large student population may be targeted to increase recycling. A move from black sacks to the use of wheeled bins may also be considered.

In 2014 and 2015 dedicated end of year clear out programmes took place in both areas of student housing, co-ordinated by the Smarter York and NE officers. These involved the following activities:

  • Leaflets delivered to all affected student households in May detailing the options for recycling/reuse/disposal of waste
  • Extra rubbish and recycling collections organised on designated dates/times for both housing areas (in 2014 there were 4 extra dates, in 2015 there was one extra date)
  • Charity reuse banks sited in key locations and students encouraged to donate suitable items: Monk Bar Car Park corner of Kent Street and Barbican Road, corner of Garrow Hill Avenue, Jaipur Spice Car Park, Londis at Penleys Grove Street
  • Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) – students with student union cards are allowed take waste to Hazel Court using van/trailer without the need to apply for permits. Use will be monitored by staff at the HWRC to ensure that valid student union cards for the York learning establishments are only accepted and that the number of occasions each student uses the service is reasonable.

Thoresby Road rubbish removed

Council workers have cleared the rubbish from near the flats in Thoresby Road. It had been there for nearly a week.

Sheena and rubbish

Some tenants had been storing surplus items on balconies and in communal areas. Following a recent fire, the Council asked for areas to be kept clear.

Unfortunately a promised rubbish wagon did not arrive to coincide with the clear out. Some residents then added to the pile of rubbish

Perfect Storm

Council official blame a series of factors for the problems. 

Reduced bin emptying frequencies and the closure of the nearest recycling centre on Beckfield Lane contributed.

Many tenants didn’t have their own transport and the skips provided  through the residents association were coming less frequently than  in the past.

Even the Councils paid for bulky rubbish removal service only takes certain types of rubbish.

Things look set to get worse as Labour roll out their £35 green bin emptying charge while their policy of emptying grey bins only once every 3 or 4 weeks could produce a “perfect storm” for dumpers.

Residents can sign a petition opposing further reductions to the bins emptying service by clicking here.

The Liberal Democrats have promised, if they are elected to lead the Council again on May 7th, that they will re-introduce ward budgets. In the past these funds have been used to stage recycling days when a convoys of waste vehicles tour the ward removing unwanted items.