So how good are York Council services?

The results of two recent surveys allow us to measure what residents say are good and bad about City of York Council services.

The Council’s own “Talkabout” panel has given a verdict this summer.

Talkabout results June 2016

Talkabout panel results – click to access

Best service - refuse collection

Best service

It is the first comprehensive look at customer satisfaction with services in the City since polls were scrapped by the, then Labour led, administration in 2013.

These can be compared to a more detailed survey being undertaken in west York where residents have also given a verdict on service quality.

The Talkabout respondents indicate that satisfaction with their local area as a place to live has increased for 83% in 2013 to 92% today.

Worst service - road repairs

Worst service – road repairs

66% of the panel are satisfied with the way that the Council runs thing compared to 54% three years ago

One of the few areas judged to be deteriorating was law and order. 77% said that York is relatively free from crime and violence compared to 80% in 2013.

Looking at street level services, 39% (2013 – 33%) though litter was a problem in their local area although the majority (61%) still thought litter was not a problem.

survey results as at 26th Sept 2016Problems with vandalism showed small increases (17% up to 18%), as did drug dealing (15% up to 26%) and drunk/rowdy behaviour (25% up to 30%)

The numbers who though that the Council was doing well in at improving green spaces was static at 48% but those who thought the Council was doing well in improving streets/public spaces was down from 49% to 45%.

Looking at the more detailed poll conducted in west York, it may be significant that the 4 most criticised public services (footpath repairs, road repairs, the availability of litter bins and local car parking facilities) were not monitored in the citywide survey.

Although most residents indicated that other services were “satisfactory” there were large numbers of people who rated some services as poor.

These included weed control (31% poor), tree/hedge maintenance (36%), Policing (31%), and garage area maintenance (20%).

The top ranked services were refuse collection (91% rated satisfactory or good), recycling (92%) and street lighting (89%)


Residents say “No” to Tour de Yorkshire subsidy

Highway surfaces also criticised in latest resident’s survey results

A survey of 10,000 homes in west York has produced a interesting insight into residents views.

Results March 2015

Asked whether the York Council should use £150,000 of taxpayer’s money to subsidise the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race scheduled for 3rd May, 63% opposed the idea.

This will be a blow to the Councils “Cabinet” who approved expenditure of £250,000 on the event, before deciding to take half of the subsidy from business rate income.

Most criticised public service was highway maintenance. 78% said that road and footpath surfaces were unsatisfactory. This is a major rebuff for the Labour/Green Council budget for next year which will see £300,000 cut from maintenance expenditure.

70% of respondents thought that the Knights Rugby team should be able to play at the new Community Stadium. Talks on accommodating the Knights needs are rumbling on with little sign of differences being resolved quickly. Relationships deteriorated a couple of months ago when Council officials launched a public attack on the rugby clubs owner. The future of the Community Stadium is due to be debated at a meeting scheduled for 27th March.

Opinion was more divided on other issues with 53% undecided about whether the standard of healthcare in the city was satisfactory.

Lowfield Care Village delays rapped by residents.

Artists impression of new "care village"

Artists impression of new “care village”

Survey results highlight a lack of communication by Council

A door to door survey undertaken in the Lowfields and Tudor Road area over the last few weeks has found growing dissatisfaction with York Council consultation arrangements.

Residents say that they have heard little from the Council about the delays to the retirement village which was to have been built on the former Lowfields school site.

Originally expected open last year, work on the village has yet to start as the Council struggles to find partners and funding for the project.

A few weeks ago one section of the Council proposed building on all of the school playing field – the original intention had been to restrict building to the school ”footprint”.

The enlarged proposal was opposed by planners but concerns remain that the idea might be revived.

63% of respondent to the survey though that part of Lowfields playing field could be retained as a nature reserve. 29% opposed the idea while 8% were undecided.

Respondents also said:

  • The development should be aimed at providing homes for older people
  • Part of the playing fields should be retained as community amenity space
  • The playing fields should not be built on and should be secured after nightfall (There has been no casual access to the site for over 3 years).

The Chapelfields survey 2014

Preliminary results are available for this year’s public opinion survey which has been undertaken in the Chapelfields area.

Damaged verges a source of complaint

Damaged verges a source of complaint

Over 500 homes have been visited during the last couple of weeks.

The biggest complaint from residents was the lack of car parking space. Many verges have been damaged over the winter.

Asked what the York Councils should do to remedy the problem. most thought that more lay-bys should be provided.

1. Provide lay-bys


2. Provide a new programme of dropped kerbs/verge crossovers


3. Provide matrix style verge protection


4. Provide off street parking in front of blocks of flats


5. Bitmac vulnerable verges


6. Leave things as they are


Residents were also asked when they last saw a PCSOs or Police officer patrolling the estate. Here the results were disappointing with very few saying that they had seen an officer during the last 2 months.

This is much lower than was recorded 4 years ago.

Asked how they would like the Police to stay in contact, residents gave the following preference order.

1. Leaflets
2. Facebook
3. Meetings
4. Text
5. Telephone
6. Visits
7. Twitter

Residents were keen to see additional events provided at the local community centre. Those most mentioned were – in order –

  1. Youth Activities (primary school age)
  1. Youth Activities (secondary school age)
  1. Pre-school provision

46% said that dog fouling is a problem in their street, while 19%  had found it difficult to contact the Council to raise issues.

14% had found that the higher income tax thresholds introduced by the Coalition government had directly helped them.

Finally residents were asked to give their verdict on several controversial issues. Their responses were:

1. The York Council should take up the governments grant offer and freeze Council Tax levels Agree 79%
Disagree 7%
Unde 15%
2. I support the deployment of more “number plate recognition cameras” in York (a Labour Council plan which could lead to local motorists paying an additional £150,000 a year in fines). Agree 23%
Disagree 57%
Unde 20%
3. The Minster badge residents discount parking scheme should be retained Agree 85%
Disagree 1%
Unde 13%
4. The Council should spend more improving sub-urban and residential areas even if this means spending less on paving projects in the City centre Agree 80%
Disagree 7%
Unde 13%

The survey will be carried out in other parts of the Westfield Ward over forthcoming weeks.

Updated results will be published on this web site periodically

Updated public opinion survey results – Lendal Bridge closure, traffic congestion, 20 mph speed limits

These are the public opinion survey results for West York updated as at 20th December 2013.

Traffic   congestion getting worse? Agree 91%
Disagree 2%
Unde 7%
Lendal   Bridge closure a success Agree 7%
Disagree 80%
Unde 13%
Lendal   bridge – lift access restrictions Agree 87%
Disagree 5%
Unde 8%
No   justification for building in Green Belt Agree 90%
Disagree 3%
Unde 7%
Public   service standards are deteriorating Agree 89%
Disagree 2%
Unde 9%
I am opposed to city wide 20 mph speed limit Agree 81%
Disagree 7%
Unde 12%

The Council is also conducting an “on line” poll on the Lendal Bridge “trial”

It can be accessed by clicking here.

Residents survey cites poor highway maintenance as York’s biggest public service problem.

York residents survey results click to enlarge

York residents survey results click to enlarge

A survey completed by over 400 residents living in the west of York has revealed that highways and footpath maintenance are now the biggest cause for complaint.

73% thought that road and footpath maintenance had got worse in the City over the last 2 years.

The service was followed closely by ice clearance which 69% thought had got worse.

This is bad news for the Labour Council as the response come before the latest set of cuts to winter maintenance are implemented.

Parking provision was criticised by 65% with the large increases in parking charges introduced by the Labour Council likely to be the main influencing factor.

More than 50% of respondents also thought that litter, control of dogs, refuse collection and weed removal had got worse.

Only crime prevention fared relatively well, with 66% saying that the quality of the service was unchanged

The survey results will add pressure on the Council to support additional investment in street level public services at its meeting on Thursday.

Labour fall to 5th place in Acomb poll

Broken rose

Results of a door to door survey in the Hamilton Drive part of Acomb have seen Labour fall to their lowest ever level of support.

Asked which party they would support if there were a Council election tomorrow, only 3% said they would vote Labour.

The Conservatives and UKIP were vying for second place behind the Liberal Democrats who were favored by 40%

The poor Labour showing is put down to problems with the introduction of new waste collection arrangements and threats to reduce the amount of ice clearance undertaken in the neighbourhood.

200 homes in the area were visited by surveyors.