Deep clean for York streets, squares and snickets during pandemic

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Over 50 streets, squares and snickelways across York’s city centre have been deep cleaned by frontline crews.

City of York Council is taking the opportunity to do a deep clean whilst the city centre is quieter than normal – so as and when the city is allowed to welcome back visitors, please help by keeping our streets clean and putting litter in the bins.

This also takes into account recently changed government guidance that allows residents to spend more time exercising during the day.

Cllr Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change: “Our front line crews have been doing a fantastic job to cleaning our city centre of weeds, cigarette butts under benches and all those nooks and crannies. 

“They’ve been working round the clock to make our city centre cleaner and safer during the pandemic. Please help them by putting your litter in the bin and making sure we keep our city clean.”

Frontline crews are working 7 days a week to carry out mechanical sweeping (using a small ride on sweeper and various pedestrian controlled machines), litter bin emptying, weeding and manual litter picking.

Staff were previously redeployed to assist the waste services team but have now re-joined the public realm service.

The deep clean includes:

  • the removal of detritus (dust/silt), weeds and cigarette butts from building lines, under benches, nooks and crannies
  • the removal of cable ties and expired notices, stickers etc.
  • cleaning the interior and exterior of litter bins.

The council is also identifying/removing graffiti on council owned buildings, which will also be removed.

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All council car parks are also being deep cleaned!

The council has worked hard to ensure crucial frontline services can continue despite the pandemic.

All crews carrying out the works will be operating under strict social distancing guidance due to the current Coronavirus restrictions.

The council has worked with trade unions to develop new ways of working and has ensured works can happen in a safe way for front line operatives and the public, whilst the city centre is quieter than normal.

Residents will hope that the teams now move on to deal with the overgrown hedges, weeds, potholes and detritus that impede paths particularly in the sub-urban area.

Council progress on Public Rights of Way

A council report says that all but one outstanding applications, for a Public Rights of Way in the City, have now been processed for a decision.

Council barriers used to obstruct public right of way

Unfortunately the outstanding application is the one for Acomb Moor (the link from Foxwood Lane to Osprey Close).

The Council promised to determine this by the end of February.

Following our story yesterday, were advised that the Osprey Close footpath obstruction has resulted from drainage works undertaken in the area.

The residents association is pressing local Councillors to provide a hardcore surface to ensure that walkers can at least get past the mud.

In that respect the path provided by the Council for the Hawkshead Close access into the wood.

Leaf detritus needs to be swept from Osprey Close footpaths

NB. We’ve asked for the Osprey Close area to be swept to remove tree detritus and the remains of last years weed growth which can still be found in some gutters.

Some weeds still obstructing drainage gullies.

More recycling put out today than Council could collect

Street cleansing issues also increase following holiday break

The Council says that the volume of recycling put out today on the west of the City exceeded the capacity of its collection vehicles. Their waste update website can be viewed by clicking here They hope to catch up tomorrow(Wednesday)

We’ve submitted numerous reports of litter across the area. This may partly be due to insecure recycling arrangements. 

Hopefully residents will help to get the area looking smart again by undertaken  some volunteer litter picks.

Delays in getting litter removed in suburban areas

We reported several problems with litter and dumping last Wednesday expecting that they would be cleared in a couple of days. Sad to say most haven’t.

The recent rain plus continuing warmer weather is likely to see hedge and grass growth. We’ll be reporting any on public spaces which block footpaths

Branches dumped in Tedder Road park

Still large amounts of litter on the Tithe Close snicket 3 working days after having been reported.

Recent rain has brought down a lot of tree detritus onto the footpath in St Stephens Square

York street cleansing review next week

The York Council is due to review the success of its new street sweeping schedules at a meeting next week.

The schedules were introduced 6 months ago. They rationalised existing routes with the Council claiming that operatives would spend longer in each street but would, in some cases, visit less frequently.

The Council report claims that the number of reports (706) about cleanliness standards were similar during the 6 months of the trial compared to the 704 in the equivalent previous period.

Lack of litter bin at bus stop on Askham Lane

Various issues were raised with the Council by residents. Not least was confusion about which areas would be swept with some snickets and Council garage areas apparently omitted from the routine visit schedule.

Several before and after photographs are included with the report (above).

Our observation is that, where cul de sacs have had a thorough clean, the standards achieved have been higher. Investment in new machinery appears to have been effective.

Litter accumulation on Grange Lane snicket

However some areas continue to be a problem with tree detritus and litter drift a continuing issue

Residents in Westfield have expressed mixed views on the new schedules.

In Chapelfields 62% of respondents to our survey have rated the street cleaning service as “satisfactory”. 23% said it was “poor” and 15%  rated it as “good”

In a separate Focus survey, asked whether there was “less litter on local streets since the new cleaning rounds were introduced a couple of months ago“, 50% said there wasn’t.

There is better news on the response by the Council to litter complaints.

Those reported, via the improved on line service, usually generate a speedy response.

Complainants are also now told when an issue has been remedied.

A big step forward

 

Streets cleaner, reporting systems improving in York

Although there is still a long way to go, many streets in the City are noticeably cleaner than they have been in recent years. It represents a success for the Council’s revised street sweeping processes where the emphasis now is on doing a thorough job rather than concentrating on speed. 

gb-spring-clean-logo-badge-finalCommunal areas and parks are still liable to litter problems. In some parts of the City residents are getting together to promote “clean up” events on or around 4th March. A range of support items for the “Great British Spring Clean” can be found  by clicking here

The Council’s own “on line” reporting systems are also improving although only the litter response team seem to be fully up to speed. Click here to access

before-and-after-andrew litter

York Council to up litter bin emptying frequency in City Centre

"Rover" inspects new poop scoop / Litter bin at the entrance to Grange Lane park

“Rover” inspects new poop scoop / Litter bin at the entrance to Grange Lane park

New litter bins arriving in Westfield

We understand that the York Council will shortly consider extending the hours that litter bins are emptied in the City centre.

New bin on Chesney's Field

New bin on Chesney’s Field

A meeting taking place on 28th November will consider implementing the trial of an additional litter bin servicing round which will see bins emptied from 06.30 to 21.00.

The objective is to improve the visual appearance of the city centre foot streets.

Litter on our streets seems to have increased in recent months so the new plan is to be welcomed.

New bin in Foxwood Park

New bin in Foxwood Park

The trial is being sponsored by the York BID although the funding only covers the period up to the 31st March 2017, when the success of the initiative will be reviewed.

Meanwhile litter problems in the Westfield area are being tackled.

New and replacement litter/poop scoop bins are being installed at some locations this week.

The bins are being funded by the Ward Committee.

Still a lot of litter on Bramham Road

Still a lot of litter on Bramham Road

York street cleaning maps published “on line”

Following an intervention from Cllr Andrew Waller, the Council has now published maps showing street cleaning frequencies across York.

The maps are available “on line”. Click here to access

The Council says that “in order to target our resources in the most effective and efficient way possible, we have reviewed our street cleansing schedules based on the local knowledge of front line employees. This has enabled us to identify what is actually needed rather than undertake work just because its always been done that way.

As a result of this we have commenced a trial of new street cleansing schedules in each of the wards from the beginning of August 2016 for a period of 6 months.

Although some locations may have a reduced frequency of mechanical sweeping, this means that when we do undertake mechanical sweeping we will have the time to do a more thorough job leading to improved standards of cleanliness”.

City centre footstreets

The changes do not include the city centre foot streets as this is a distinct service undertaken seven days a week, all year round, between 5.00am and 8.00pm, this service has recently been reviewed and the Council is currently working with the York Business Improvement District team on how they can work together to bring about further improvement in the city centre.

Feedback

If residents have any feedback during the 6 month trial period please email the shaping neighbourhoods team at: shapingneighbourhoods@york.gov.uk where the responses will be monitored and collated.

The Council says, “as well as giving us valuable feedback, you may wish to consider how you might be able to help with the upkeep of your local environment, this may, for example be in the way of volunteering as a snow warden or as a litter picker. See volunteering opportunities (click) page for further details and other ways to volunteer”.

Following the end of the trial, further consultation will be held followed by a report to the Executive Member for the Environments Decision Session in Spring 2017

Information event

The Council is holding an event at Hazel Court for residents on Saturday 15 October 2016 from 10.00am to 12.00pm.

The sessions will be jointly delivered between a number of council teams and external agencies.

Westfield

The schedules for the Westfield area are reproduced below.  Generally, there is little change although there may be some concerns about sweeping  frequencies at smaller shopping areas like Foxwood Lane.

Some publicly maintainable footpath links ( Chesneys Field, Kingsway West, The Green) are shown on the maps as “private”. These will need to be cleaned regularly as will housing department communal and garage areas.

But overall the plans seem to us to be worth a trial especially given the decision of the previous Labour administration to substantially reduce the street cleansing budget

Manual street celaning

Manual street celaning

Mechanical street cleaning

Mechanical street cleaning