The present administration at the York Council was elected on a raft of manifesto promises which included a commitment to improved street level public service standards as well as to more open decision making.
They rightly aimed to achieve this by delegating more decisions so that they could be taken at community level.
In practice ward Councillors were given more neighbourhood responsibilities supported by an enhanced budget.
Additional funding was made available for general improvements. The Housing Estate improvement budget processes were also changed in an attempt to give those areas that did not have a residents association a share of the available resources.
Although progress in delivering schemes which were identified in the summer has been painfully slow, at least some attempt has been made to provide more transparency. The latest list of approved schemes can be downloaded (link). It lacks update information on implementation progress but it is better than was provided by the last Council.
Decisions are now being publicised on a regular basis. The latest was agreed at the end of February (click)
Its a great shame though that that the new delegated budget – totalling £1 million – and intended for highway, cycle and footpaths improvements has not produced any tangible results. The condition of several local highways is now very poor, yet the budget remains unused.
The Council today published what purported to be a delegated decision (which has apparently been approved by a senior manager) detailing how the budget will be used. However anyone viewing the Council web site would still be unable to see a list of the roads which might benefit. It simply says that the schemes are located in the Fulford and Derwent Wards.
This really isn’t good enough.
Road requiring attention were identified by local residents over 6 months ago. That is long enough to allow for resurfacing to be arranged.
We are now within 3 weeks of the end of the financial year.