Time to get salt bins repaired and filled

A quick check of the salt bins in the Westfield area yesterday revealed that most have salt in them. In some cases this has been left over from previous years – last winter was particularly mild.

Most had been used as litter bins and several had been vandalised with the lid hinges broken in many cases.

The Council promised to complete a review of it’s salt bins in September but nothing seems to have come of this. No attempt was made during the summer to recover the bins for maintenance. We hope the new Council will order that the bins be refurbished in the spring.

In the meantime – before we get the inevitable snow – the litter needs to be removed and the bins topped up where necessary.

A map of the location of salt bins in York can be accessed by clicking here
Empty and damaged salt bin on Dijon Avenue still not relocated away from former school entrance

Empty and damaged salt bin on Dijon Avenue still not relocated away from former school entrance

Salt bin on Tennent Road empty

Salt bin on Tennent Road empty

Kingsway West salt bin empty

Kingsway West salt bin empty

Hinges broken on Askham Grove bin

Hinges broken on Askham Grove bin

Rubbish in salt bin in Kingsthorpe

Rubbish in salt bin in Kingsthorpe

Spindle Close - full of rubbish

Spindle Close – full of rubbish

Dumping on the Cornlands Road park has been reported

Dumping on the Cornlands Road park has been reported

 

 

Time to check out your nearest salt bin

Salt bin locations west York 22nd Nov 2015

 

The York Council has a useful – but little publicised – map available “on line”. Go to http://localview.york.gov.uk/Sites/TranStreetCare/#

It shows the location of many local services including individual street lighting columns (with their I/D number and type) plus litter bins and poop scoop bins. It also shows which roads and footpaths have been adopted for maintenance purposes.

At this time of year the map can be used to locate salt bins while also displaying the route that the gritting lorries follow.

You can get daily updates on twitter from the gritting teams https://twitter.com/yorkgritter

The map indicates how many volunteer “snow wardens” there are in the area. There are seven in the Westfield ward

Volunteer snow wardens are residents who give up some of their time to clear snow during bad weather. There are 211 registered volunteers across York. The Council provides volunteers with:

  • training
  • high-visibility vests
  • snow-clearing kits
  • insurance
  • grit

We know that some of the local salt bins have been filled with litter.

If one needs attention please report it at https://www.fixmystreet.com/

 

 

Salt bins – 121 fail to find new parents

snow_wardensThe Council has admitted that only a handful of threatened salt bins have found new sponsors.

The remaining 121 bins are now set to be removed.

  • 31 salt bins are being taken over by Parish Councils
  • 6 are being adopted by Residents Associations
  • 2 others have been sponsored by other groups

Meanwhile the last Council meeting heard that the total number of “snow wardens” in the City has increased to 208.

Their postcodes can now be viewed on a map (click here)

The spread of “snow wardens” across the City is very uneven.

Council gets salt bin calculations wrong

Snow in York

The Council has published the “scores” that it gave when assessing which salt bins should be removed.

The list for Westfield can be viewed by clicking here.

The form used to allocate “marks” can be seen here (same for the whole of the City)

What is immediately obvious from the “scores” is that some potentially very hazardous routes (including St Stephens Mews and the Grove Terrace snicket) fared badly because they were judged to be on the normal precautionary gritting routes.

In reality the gritting Lorries never get near enough to these areas to have any effect on the ice.

Meanwhile our story last month about the poor take up of snow warden posts seems to have shamed some residents into action.

Some Tory Councillors are reported as having volunteered.

This news came soon after a question was tabled at last weeks Council meeting asking whether the responsible Cabinet member (Cllr Levene) would be out and about clearing snow?

Maps showing the general location of snow wardens can be found by clicking here.

Advice on clearing the footpath in front of your own home can be found here

The Council have been out and about replacing some of the grit bins (Linnet Way, Cornlands Road) which they threaten to remove, so the right hand doesn’t seem to know what the left hand is doing.

The Council’s map of salt bin locations can be found here.

All of which may be academic as the long term weather forecast shows mild weather continuing into January!!

Preparing For Cold Weather

City of York Council says that it is is supporting Public Health England’s Cold Weather Plan which looks at ways of reducing unnecessary deaths and illness this winter.

click to access

click to access

That’s a bit rich coming from a Council that has just decided to scrap 2/3 of the city’s self help salt bins and take around 30 miles of road off the gritting schedules!

Alternative view

They say that there are between 2000 and 2500 excess winter deaths each year in Yorkshire and Humber, many of which are preventable.

The Cold Weather Plan aims to prevent avoidable harm to people’s health by highlighting the negative health effects cold weather can have whilst enabling people to prepare and respond appropriately.

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Burton fails Westfield as “adopt a salt bin” scheme launched

The names of the 5 Labour Councillors who voted on Monday to scrap most of the “self help” salt bins in the City have been published. They include 3 Councillors who were parachuted in by the Labour Leadership to replace members who had refused to take part in the highly unpopular decision.

Burton: protesting against cuts 2 years ago

Burton: protesting against cuts 2 years ago

The five Councillors were:

S Burton (Westfield) Substitute

• N McIlveen (Rawcliffe)

• R Potter (Heworth)

J Riches (Holgate) Substitute

• N Barnes (Hull Road) Substitute

They endorsed the cuts which were originally proposed by Cllr Levene (Heslington)

The decision of representatives from Westfield and Holgate to endorse the cuts is particularly disgraceful, as those wards will face the brunt of the cut backs, which also involve stopping gritting some bus routes (including the number 24 in Westfield).

Westfield Liberal Democrat Councillor Lynn Jeffries attended the meeting and voted against the cuts.

The Council have now said that residents groups may “adopt a salt bin” if they feel that it serves a particular need in their area. As the salt bins (which cost £300 to provide) already exist, the residents groups would “only” need to find around £50 a time to have each filled. Contact the following Email address if you want to “adopt a salt bin” andy.binner@york.gov.uk

Mini_Grit_Bin

If it is a mild winter, then one fill might be enough.

Another alternative might be to use a private contractor to keep the bins filled.

We have mixed feeling about the scheme which could discriminate against deprived areas.

However it has the advantage of keeping the bins on the streets so that, after Labour inevitably lose control of the Council in 2015, normal winter maintenance services can be resumed quickly by the new Council.

These are the 15 salt bins in the Westfield Ward that the Council propose to remove.

They are:
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Winter de-icing cuts go through by 1 vote.

Labour have forced through plans to cut salt bins and gritting routes in York despite opposition from residents, community groups and local councillors.

Ann Reid with local salt bin

Ann Reid with local salt bin

Earlier this month, Labour run City of York Council decided to cut two-thirds of salt bins and remove nearly 30 miles of roads from priority gritting routes, including on bus routes. Liberal Democrat Councillors Ann Reid, Nigel Ayre and Keith Aspden ‘called-in’ the decision for further review. However, at a special meeting of York’s Corporate and Scrutiny Management Committee last night, Labour used their majority to push through the controversial proposals by 5 votes to 4.

At the meeting, the Lib Dems tabled an alternative set of plans which would have safeguarded salt bins at schools, elderly people’s homes, sheltered housing and community hubs such as local shops and libraries. It also said all bus routes should be on the priority gritting routes; community groups should be consulted before any salt bin is cut; and it called on the Labour Cabinet to review its decision to carry out an online only consultation on the cuts. These alternative plans were defeated by Labour.

Speaking at the meeting Cllr Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Environmental Services, said Labour’s plans were “flawed” and “a substantial number of areas will be left without a regular gritting regime, leading to access problems for public transport and to schools in icy weather”.

She criticised the Labour Cabinet for prioritising schemes such as buying an Arts Barge over delivering frontline services, adding:

“It is a matter of priorities where budgets are spent. It is easy for the Labour administration to blame Government cuts; however, they are still able to find resources for pet projects while street level services like salt bins and gritting, which people pay their council tax for, are cut”.

The proposals have met with fierce opposition from local people with 1,000 residents signing a Lib Dem petition against the cuts. Meanwhile, Kingsway Area Residents’ Association recently said that the plans could see elderly and disabled people trapped in their homes this winter.

It expected that salt bins will start to be removed from the streets of York in the next couple of weeks.

Details of the meeting and decision can be found here: http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=602&MId=7815

The Lib Dem proposal, tabled by Cllr Carol Runciman and defeated 5 votes to 4, was as follows:

(more…)

Salt Bin Petition tops 1,000 ahead of this evenings crunch meeting

Yorkshire and Humber MEP Rebecca Taylor has backed calls to reverse cuts to salt bins and gritting routes in York after 1,000 residents signed a petition against the proposals.

Rebecca, Keith and residents

Rebecca, Keith and residents

The Labour run City of York Council plans to cut two-thirds of salt bins and remove nearly 30 miles of roads from priority gritting routes, including on bus routes.

Lib Dem Councillors Ann Reid, Nigel Ayre and Keith Aspden have ‘called-in’ the decision for further review and the proposals are now set to be reconsidered at a special meeting of York’s Corporate and Scrutiny Management Committee later today.

The plans have met with fierce opposition from residents and Kingsway Area Residents’ Association recently said that the cuts could see elderly and disabled people trapped in their homes this winter.

Speaking on a visit to Fulford at the weekend Rebecca Taylor, Lib Dem MEP for Yorkshire & the Humber, commented:

“The fact that 1,000 residents have signed the Lib Dem petition shows the strength of local opposition to Labour’s plans. The Council needs to consider the impact the cuts will have on elderly and vulnerable in places like here in Fulford. I would urge the Labour Council to listen to local residents and reconsider their plans to cut salt bins and gritting routes in York”.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on City of York Council, commented:

“Local residents in Fulford and Heslington tell me they want the Labour Council to focus on delivering basic frontline services like gritting and salt bins. This is also what the Lib Dem Group has consistently called for including in our motion at last week’s Full Council. However, while Labour is finding money to buy an Arts Barge and increase the pay of senior staff they are still cutting basic services for taxpayers”.

The Lib Dem petition against the plans. It can still be found here: http://yorklibdems.org.uk/en/petition/save-our-salt

Road and path de-icing cuts – crunch meeting on 21st October.

The Council’s review committee will meet on Monday 21st October to look again at Labour Councillor Levene’s plans to cut de-icing activities.

Revised gritting proposals click to see larger map

Revised gritting proposals click to see larger map

He decided last week to scrap most salt bins in the City and remove many roads from the routine gritting schedules.

This is a major issue which potentially affects the safety of all York residents.

The meeting will take place at West Offices starting at 5:00pm

A copy of the agenda and supporting papers can be found by clicking here

Damaged salt bin Cornlands Road

Damaged salt bin Cornlands Road

Residents may also attend and speak at the meeting. To do so you must register to speak before the meeting by contacting Jill Pickering on York 552061 (E-mail : jill.pickering@york.gov.uk)

The deadline for registering is 5.00pm on Friday 18 October 2013.

The telephone numbers and Email addresses of the members of the committee are reproduced below. Residents can contact them to make representations

Councillor John Galvin Chair (Conservative) 01904 704829 Email: cllr.jgalvin@york.gov.uk

Councillor Sandy Fraser (Labour) 01904 651443 Email: cllr.sfraser@york.gov.uk

Councillor David Horton (Labour) 01904 777274 Email: cllr.dhorton@york.gov.uk

Councillor Lynn Jeffries (LibDem) 01904 551088 Email: cllr.ljeffries@york.gov.uk

Councillor Ken King (Labour) 01904 783024 Email: cllr.kking@york.gov.uk

Councillor Neil McIlveen (Labour) 01904 623062 Email: cllr.nmcilveen@york.gov.uk

Councillor Ruth Potter (Labour) Phone: 01904 438634. Mobile: 07947 539725 Email: cllr.rpotter@york.gov.uk

Councillor Carol Runciman (LibDem) 01904 764356 Email: cllr.crunciman@york.gov.uk

Councillor Chris Steward (Conservative) 01904 638810 Bus. email: cllr.csteward@york.gov.uk