Despite the economic recovery, York lagged behind the rest of the country in the number of new homes completed last year.Behind closed doors logo

A report published after a “behind closed doors” meeting held last week revealed that only 50 affordable homes were built in the City last year.

This is down from the 282 built during the last year of the Liberal Democrat led Council administration in 2010/2011.

It compares to the annual target of 790 new homes adopted by Labour Councillors following a “strategic market assessment”.

On average, 150 affordable homes had been built annually during the pervious 5 years.

Alarmingly the number of new affordable homes being added by the Council is now less than the number of Council houses being sold under “Right to Buy” legislation

Year

RTB Applications RTB Sales

11/12

20 6
12/13 88

23

13/14 77

53

The Council has failed to invest the income from RTB sales effectively

The Council has also failed to use its substantial £12.86 million housing surplus to buy empty homes on the open market, and resolutely refuses to use the “New Homes Bonus” (money provided by the government to recognise house building success) on affordable homes.

Small wonder that Labour did not want these figures to be debated in public.

The only crumb of comfort was that – in line with the rest of the country – the total number of planning applications for new homes rose from 370 units in 2012 to 1578 last year, although a significant proportion of these were for specialist student flats.

The Moor Lane car park – formerly used by Park and Ride services and which has been largely abandoned for the last 4 months – has now officially been declared surplus to requirements Behind closed doors logo

At a behind closed doors decision session yesterday it was agreed that the site would be disposed of.

To whom it may be sold and when remains to be seen. The site is zoned for housing in Labour’s latest Local Plan.

Ann Reid says,

“It is time that the Council made a decision on the future of the old Park and Ride car park on Moor Lane.  

There has been minimal use as a Pay and Display car park and although the College has used it over the summer I don’t believe that is sustainable over the longer term.  

The car park is also looking very shabby with no one taking responsibility for litter clearance or street sweeping.  

The sooner a decision is made the better.  

Any change of use will be subject to the normal planning process with the residents having the opportunity to comment on any proposals“.

 

 The City of York Council will start work week commencing 29th September 2014 to reconstruct the footway shown on the plan right.

This scheme is programmed to take 3 weeks, weather permitting.

The work consists of excavating the current tarmac surfacing, re-grading the stone foundation and relaying a new layer of tarmac.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Selected road kerbs are to be replaced and a tactile crossing is to be installed across the junction with Bramble Dene.

The Contractor carrying out the work will be City of York Council’s Highways department who are responsible for safety and for providing access while the work is ongoing.

The contractor will be working between 8.00am and 4.00pm Monday to Friday.

Skips on Saturday

The skips below are funded by your local residents association using their Estate Improvement Grant. The skips are removed once they are full so please make sure you arrive in good time if you intend to make use of them.

1. Please remember to take your waste to the site only on the dates advertised

2. If the skip is full or not on the site, please do not leave your waste. This is classed as fly tipping and is illegal

3. Bulky items including furniture, fridges and freezers are not accepted. To arrange disposal of Bulky items including furniture, fridges and freezers are not accepted. To arrange disposal of one of these items please ring York (01904) 551551.

 

20 September 2014

Thoresby Road 10:30am

04 October 2014

Cornlands Road 12:30pm
Dringfield Close 8:30am
Ganton Place 10:30 AM

11 October 2014

Ostman Road 10:30am
Community House Bramham Road 8:30am

18 October 2014

Bramham Road/Grange Lane

12:30pm

Labours 20 mph speed limits are not working

20 mph sign

Figures gained from the York Council by the Liberal Democrats under Freedom of information legislation confirm what most had suspected.

The new “signed only”20 mph speed limits have had little effect on vehicle speeds.

In the South Bank area—where the lower limits were introduced 2 years ago—the average speed of vehicles on several roads has actually INCREASED

On Prices Lane average speeds are up from 21 to 23 mph with a similar picture on part of Scarcroft Road (22 to 23 mph)

On most roads the average speed is the same as it was when the limit was set at 30 mph.

This is in line with results from other parts of the country.

Only in relatively narrow terraced streets—and on one section of Bishopthorpe Road itself—has there been a reduction in speeds, but even there it has usually been less than 1 mph.

When leaving the City on Bishopthorpe Road at a point near Rectory Gardens the majority of driver’s are now travelling at 29 mph rather than the 33 recorded before the change to a 20 mph limit.

The Council has declined so far to publish an analysis of accident rates in the new 20 mph areas. However the numbers Killed or Seriously Injured on all York’s roads last year—the first since resources were focused on introducing 20 mph speed limits—increased from the 51, recorded in 2012, to 58.

Tudor Road speed limit confusion click

Tudor Road speed limit confusion click

Local Councillor Ann Reid  said,

“We should set the most appropriate speed limit for each urban road.

People understand 20 zones with speed tables at schools, shops and major crossing points, but there is now a confused mix of 30mph and 20 mph roads around our area.”

The FOI data for South Bank can be downloaded by clicking here

———

Andrew Waller who is the LibDem candidate in the Westfield ward by election on 16th October has produced the following evidence of confusion over speed limits.

“There is no better example, of the muddled way in which the new “wide area” speed limits were introduced, than on Tudor Road. (see pictures above right)

Vehicles approaching from Stuart Road are told that a 30 mph limit is in force.

Meanwhile motorists already on Tudor Road are told that the limit has changed—to 20 mph— about 100 metres before the road junction.

Small wonder that the Police aren’t able to enforce the speed limits and that motorists are confused”

Join us for the Big City Read 2014 finale event at Explore Acomb Library Learning Centre on 24 September with the York-based author of this year’s chosen novel, The Orpheus Descent.

Acomb Library Learnign Centre Feb 08

After a summer of 24 events held in libraries across the city alongside associated events held by partners, Big City Read author Tom Harper will bring this year’s Big City Read to a close on Wednesday 24 September at 6.30 pm. The event is free but booking is advised through any Explore York Library.

Tom will reminisce on his experiences of being this year’s featured author, the events he has taken part in and will give a taste of some of the other books he has written to take Big City Read participants’ reading further.

The Big City Read issues 5,000 copies of the chosen title to residents to read over the summer. Books always have some link to York and the book for this year, The Orpheus Descent is by local writer Tom Harper. Tom came up with the idea for the book from reading in the University of York Library, which he researched in more depths in York’s libraries before writing the novel in York.

Big City Readers have given Explore York Libraries feedback on The Orpheus Descent including: “A well-crafted archaeological adventure with a fast-moving narrative thread and telling descriptive passages”,  “A thought-provoking read” and “A rattling good yarn by a new-to-me teller of tall tales! If they’re all as entertaining as this, then I’d happily read his others.”

Fiona Williams, Chief Executive of Explore York, said: “It has been another successful Big City Read and we would like to thank Tom for all the time he has given us. I loved the book and am now reading another of his about the Crusades.”

Call for business case and Yearsley guarantee

Stadium Project

Liberal Democrat councillors are calling for guarantees over the future of Yearsley Pool and more information on the financial plan for York’s Community Stadium.

The Lib Dems have ‘called-in’ the Labour Cabinet’s decision last week to approve plans for York’s Community Stadium.

The decision will now be re-considered at a cross-party scrutiny meeting on Friday 26th September.

Under the latest plans for the stadium and leisure complex at Huntington, total costs for the scheme rise to £37m and the Council will borrow an extra £4m towards financing the project.

The plans have been attacked by users of Yearsley Pool, which could close under the proposals, and York City Knights, whose chairman says the scheme would leave the club “70% worse off”.
Read more »

Figures released today (17 September) by the Office for National Statistics have shown the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) has fallen by 42.8 per cent since August 2013.

Today’s figures means the number of claimants in York has fallen for the sixth consecutive month.

The statistics show there to be 1,441 claimants in York, a decrease of 75 from last month.

The claimant count represents 1.1 per cent of the working population contrasts to the regional average which stands at 3 per cent.

The figures are also much lower than the national average which is currently 2.3 per cent.

Today’s figures mean there are 1,010 less claimants than in August 2013.


Westfield Liberal Democrat campaigner Andrew Waller is demanding that Labour-led City of York Council comes clean on whether it plans to introduce charges for green waste collections.

He has sought an assurance that ruling Labour councillors have no plans to introduce a charge covering all green bin collections. At present, residents are charged £35 annually for the collection of a second green bin.

Local Liberal Democrats have highlighted a fall in recycling rates, which has been linked to the scrapping of green waste collections between November and March, and the closure of the well-used Beckfield Lane recycling centre. The tip’s closure in 2012 was ordered by Westfield Labour councillor Dafydd Williams when he was the Cabinet member for Environment.

Andrew Waller commented:

“Local residents are rightly angry that the council spent £13,000 on leaflets and stickers telling them that green bin collections are free, when we already knew that because it’s what we pay our council tax for. It would be an outrage if Labour were to now perform a u-turn and introduce charges for all green bin collection.

“Many people I have met in recent months are fed up with the green bin collections stopping before the leaves fall, especially now that they don’t have the option of going to Beckfield Lane tip. People who swept up leaves in public areas were doing the council and public a service by dealing with them before they became a slip hazard – but now their green bins are full from the end of October until March.

“I am concerned that any new charge brought in would lead to a further increase in fly-tipping, which of course costs money to clean up.

“People will not put up with any more decisions being made behind closed doors and so I am challenging James Alexander’s Cabinet to rule it out now. They have taken a service which was part of York’s strength as a green city, and trashed it.”

Farmer forced to remove cattle from nature reserve

Work is taking place on Hob Moor to install a new drain. The system will serve the new development on the former Our Lady’s school site.

It is understood that the work has forced a farmer to remove his cattle from the moor.

The development has always been unpopular with many as it was almost twice the size originally envisaged.

In addition the impact on traffic in the area is expected to be significant with many fearing that lack of parking space could cripple the estate. Already narrow roads like Ashford Place and Ascot Way are bearing the brunt of noise and vibration. from construction traffic.

However concerns about the Hob Moor nature reserve have been ignored by the Labour dominated planning committee when the developer has come back with several requests for modifications to their plans.

We understand that concerns have been raised with English Nature

Inadequate drainage in the area was one concern which led to a significant change to the site height about a month ago

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