“Litter, what litter?”

A response to a Freedom of Information request has revealed that the York Council stopped counting the number of complaints it was receiving about litter 18 months ago!

Litter complaints admitted by York Council (click to enlarge)

Litter complaints admitted by York Council (click to enlarge)

Monthly figures have been provided only up to November 2013.

The decision not to record complaints co-incided with Labour’s cuts in the number of litter bins provided in the City.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that litter problems are worsening in many parts of the City. 

The new Council which will be elected on May 7th will certainly expect not only performance volumes like these to be gathered but also to have them published routinely on the Council’s web site

The Council recently announced further cuts to litter bin provision in sub-urban parts of the City including Foxwood Lane.

 

More litter bins axed in York

Street cleansing standards take another hit

The York Council is to remove more litter bins from the City’s streets. It is claiming that the installation of “smart” compaction bins in the City centre and Acomb Front Street has been a “success” and is now aiming to replace old style bins on a one for two basis.

Compactor bin jammed with rubbish

Compactor bin jammed with rubbish

One of the Foxwood Lane bins which will be axed

One of the Foxwood Lane bins which will be axed

The smart bins compact rubbish using solar power and are supposed to alert the Council electronically when they are full.

They have had a mixed reaction from residents and traders.

The locations where only one bin will be provided in future include:

  • Copmanthorpe – near chipshop
    • Foxwood Lane – corner near shops
    • Tadcaster Road – opposite chipshop
Another of the bins that will be removed

Another of the bins that will be removed

  • St Aubyn’s Place
  • Badger Hill – near shops
  • Tang Hall Ln – shops
  • Marygate – entrance to Museum Gardens
  • Union Terrace Coach/car park

    Litter accumulating behind a junction box. An increasingly familiar site in sub-urban York

    Litter accumulating behind a junction box. An increasingly familiar sight in sub-urban York

  • Haxby – the village – near shops
  • City Centre – Newgate Market
  • City Centre – Spurriergate – near junc with High Ousegate
  • City Centre – Kings Sq
  • Broadway – Shops
  • Blossom Street O/S Odean

Meanwhile complaints about litter drift are increasing and a petition asking for more litter bins to be provide is being drawn up

Lack of pride bllghts Tadcaster Road entrance of cycle path

Appalling litter problem on cycle path at Tadcaster Road underpass

Appalling litter problem on cycle path at Tadcaster Road underpass

Leaves and detritus pose hazard for cyclists near Tesco

Leaves and detritus pose hazard for cyclists near Tesco

We’ve asked for a litter clean up on the York – Selby cycle track. It is badly littered with graffiti adding to the problems.

Further long Tadcaster Road the dedicated cycle track is covered in leaves representing a hazard to users.

Dramatic fall in numbers fined for littering offences in York

Litter Esplanade car park river bank near Scarborough Bridge

Despite growing concerns about the amount of litter on our streets, the York Council has scaled back by nearly 95% the number of penalty notices issued for littering.

In 2013/14 only 16 Fixed Penalty Notices were issued compared to 216 in the previous year.

The number of people fined more than £100 has also dropped from the 2012/13 high when 18 prosecutions resulted in fines totally £1700.

£280 in victim surcharges were also received together with £4100 in court costs.

The Council has been criticised for the double environmental “whammy” of reducing the number of litter bins in the City while all but abandoning enforcement of anti littering legislation.

 

York backs Great Litter Count

City of York Council is getting behind Keep Britain Tidy’s annual Great Litter Count, to find out which brands are the most littered.

Residents are asked to get involved with the charity’s survey to count the types and brands of litter that blight communities across the country. Keep Britain Tidy can then work with those companies whose brands are littered the most to reduce the waste left by their customers.

(more…)

York Councils “new” litter policy

The Council is to introduce what they describe as a “new” policy on litter. Details click here

Litter complaints

In reality most of the policy is little different from that which was implemented over a decade ago.

Mechanisation has increased the areas that can be swept – particularly in the City centre – but in sub-urban areas litter has been a growing problem since bins were removed a couple of years ago.

The “policy” makes no mention of dog fouling – again a problem that has been on the increase since the Dog Wardens were cut. More joint use litter/poop scoop bins are, however, promised.

Other essential street level posts have been cut leaving York’s front line dangerously undermanned.

The effective, and much missed, Street Environment Officers have now gone to be replaced by an, improbably named, “Smarter York Officer”.

Once again the emphasis is on forcing residents to undertake work previously done by the Council.

“Spring cleans” are promised but not in areas like the Cornlands estate where standards are now very poor.

Residents will want to be sure that their taxes are being spent wisely.

They expect to see performance measures, clear targets and a real on the ground improvement plan.

Sadly that is not part of the agenda for York’s Labour Council.