Stephen secures enquiry into grass verge management

Local Lib Dem councillor Stephen Fenton has secured a scrutiny review into the state of grass verges across the city.

Stephen called for the review in response to local concerns about damage being done by vehicles parking or driving on the verges, particularly in suburban streets.

His call for a review was approved at the council’s Economic Development and Transport Policy and Scrutiny Committee meeting on 16th March. Details of the proposed scope of the review can be found here.

The cross-party review will look at the council’s current policies and legal procedures. It will also explore how the council can work in partnership with residents to protect and improve the condition of verges. A council survey in 2000 found that just over 11 miles of verges across the city were considered to be in a ‘poor’ condition.

'Grass' verges around Dringhouses are taking a hammering

‘Grass’ verges around Dringhouses are taking a hammering
















Stephen commented: “Since being elected last May, residents have raised concerns with me about the state of grass verges. Parking and driving over verges makes some areas of our city look like badly ploughed fields and these verges can cause problems for other motorists and pedestrians. However, there often seems to be a lack of clarity whether parking is allowed and what enforcement work currently takes place.

“With continued national funding cuts the council does not have money to throw at the issue so we need to look at what currently happens and how we can work in partnership with residents. I also want to look at what other councils have done to tackle the issue whether this be trees, posts, grass filled plastic cells or other solutions.”

Stephen is asking residents to e-mail him with examples of verges being destroyed by inconsiderate motorists, at

‘Clean for the Queen’ success

The ‘Clean for the Queen’ weekend of community clean-up activities was wholeheartedly embraced by many residents, including in Foxwood and Woodthorpe.

Lib Dem councillors Sheena Jackson and Andrew Waller (Westfield ward) and Stephen Fenton (Dringhouses & Woodthorpe ward) joined volunteers in a clean-up at Foxwood Park, which forms part of the boundary between the two wards.

Andrew, Sheena and Stephen, suitably tooled up!

Andrew, Sheena and Stephen, suitably tooled up!

As well as litter picking, there was a lot of environmental work done, such as cutting back some of the trees along the boundary with Bellhouse Way.

A good morning's work!

A good morning’s work!














Stephen also ventured further afield to do some litter picking at Woodthorpe shops, on the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust’s Woodlands estate and at the old Park & Ride site at Askham Bar.

Action on drainage in Woodthorpe

The council is taking action to address drainage issues in Woodthorpe.

Work is underway to unblock a drainage channel that runs from Acomb Wood Drive to Alness Drive and beyond.

The channel had been affected by tree roots, which have been removed. Work is also being undertaken to dig out the channel, in order to increase capacity and reduce the flood risk to nearby properties.

Alness Drive, looking down the woodland path towards Acomb Wood Drive

Alness Drive, looking down the woodland path towards Acomb Wood Drive

Help play a vital role in preserving York’s orchards

 A new citywide project which hopes to encourage more communities to play a vital role in finding and preserving orchards in York through a new York Heritage Orchard Group has launched.


Traditional orchards are wildlife havens which contain elements of woodland, pasture and meadow grassland, and are often bordered by native hedgerows.

They are recognised as representing ‘biodiversity hotspots’ and have been identified as priority habitats through both the national and local Biodiversity Action Plans.

However, statistics from the national charity Peoples Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) has found that around 90 per cent of these habitats have been lost since the 1950s.

In order to help halt this decline and to protect these important habitats, City of York Council is inviting individuals and communities to get in touch if they own or care for an orchard, which they believe may be of heritage interest to help get this new group off the ground.

York talk on climate change ahead of United Nations conference

For_the_love_of_yorkshireExperts in the field of sustainability and climate change are inviting community groups to join them at one of several events being held across the region to talk about tackling climate change.

The special event takes place at City of York Council’s West Offices (Snow Room) from 12noon on Thursday 3 December.

The engagement session focuses on the new ‘For the Love of Yorkshire’ climate campaign and also the benefits of tackling climate change for cities and regions.

This session takes place during the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference on 30 November to 11 December, which is recognised as being one of the most important international efforts in recent years. The’ For the Love of Yorkshire’ campaign will also be taking climate messages from York to the European conference.

Last chance to cut energy bills in York – Meeting on Wednesday

Yorkshire Energy Partnership are a local Community Interest Company working across York and North Yorkshire to encourage the installation of renewable technologies.



They have worked with City of York Council previously installing solar panels on their properties and have held many information events across the district including one at Acomb Library in May.

Yorkshire Energy Partnership are hosting an information event at the Poppleton Centre, Main Street, Nether Poppleton, YO26 6JT on Wednesday 18th November, 3-6pm

The Government currently have several incentives to help homeowners move towards renewable technologies and away from fossil fuels.

The Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) are payments you receive from energy suppliers for having solar panels installed. As you may have heard, the Feed-in-Tariff is going to be significantly cut in January from 12.47p/kWh to 1.63p/kWh.

Any residents who are thinking about getting  Solar Panels are being encouraged to get them installed before the end of December in order to receive higher rate of Feed-in-Tariff and get it locked in for 20 years.

At the event, Yorkshire Energy Partnership and local installer Solarwall will be on hand to answer any questions, discuss the suitability of properties and explain the upcoming changes to the Feed-in-Tariff.

They will also be able to discuss other renewable technologies as well as the Renewable Heat Incentive.


Action on leaf litter clearance

Cllr Stephen Fenton has secured action to remove compacted leaf litter on the cycle track which links the Askham Bar Tesco store with Moor Lane.

The 'leaf vacuum' in action on 11th November

The ‘leaf vacuum’ in action on 11th November






















The council’s ‘leaf vacuum’ was deployed to clear up the cycle track on the morning of 11th November.

A significant improvement!

A significant improvement!













Residents who are aware of any other footpaths or cycle paths that are in need of clearing should call Stephen on 07751 963215 or e-mail

Flooding risks in York

Kings Staithe web cam click to update

Kings Staith web cam click to update

It’s that time of year again and a flood warning has been issued by the Environment Agency.
River levels are not expected to increase to those seen in 2012.
Detailed river levels can be found on the EA web site
The best indicator remains the real time CCTV camera which records river levels on Kings Staith (above).
There is a significant risk if the top of the “no entry” sign disappears under water!
You can register to receive flooding alerts by clicking here (phone text or Email)