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 cllr.sfenton@york.gov.uk

Patching things up

Action by local Lib Dem councillor Stephen Fenton has resulted in some much-needed road surface patching work being done on Leeside and Ashbourne Way.

Kerbside road repairs on Leeside

Kerbside road repairs on Leeside

 

 

 

 

 

A number of potholes have been patched on Ashbourne Way

A number of potholes have been patched on Ashbourne Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over on Tadcaster Road, Stephen has asked for action to be taken on the very poor state of the cycle path at the entrance to Little Hob Moor. Excavation work undertaken on behalf of a utility company has left the area in a real mess, and poses a hazard for pedestrians and cyclists.

Damaged path at the entrance to Little Hob Moor

Damaged path at the entrance to Little Hob Moor

A ‘simple guide’ to reporting graffiti on telecoms cabinets

Cllr Stephen Fenton has drafted the following ‘simple guide’ to reporting graffiti or other damage done to BT or Virgin Media street cabinets, based on recent experiences in trying to get graffiti cleaned up. Stephen would welcome comments on how this guide could be improved!

Is it a BT or Virgin Media (VM) box?

When you come across a cabinet has been subject to a graffiti attack or some other form of vandalism, the first step is to try to work out whether it is a BT or VM box. This information will determine who to report it to. Whilst the council will arrange for graffiti to be cleaned off cabinets for which it has responsibility (eg traffic lights boxes), it is not responsible for telecoms cabinets.

Some BT cabinets are easily identifiable, either because they have a poster on the front of the cabinet or BT stencilled on the side.

BT box front view

BT box front view

BT box side view

BT box side view

BT fibre cabinet

BT fibre cabinet

There is no consistently easy way to identify Virgin Media cabinets but if the chamber lid is marked CATV or NTL it will invariably be a VM cabinet.

Virgin Media box

Virgin Media box

 

 

 

 

 

If you have a fair idea which type of cabinet it is, there are various ways in which you can report damage.

Reporting damage to BT cabinets

The BT web page which contains instructions for reporting damage to cabinets can be found Here . You are invited to call 0800 023 2023 and choose Option 1. You will be connected to an advisor who will ask for details of the location of the cabinet. It’s helpful if you can provide the address of the nearest property and the postcode. You will be given a reference number. The BT cabinet pictured above was reported in mid December 2015 and was cleaned up within four weeks.

Reporting damage to Virgin Media cabinets

The VM web page which contains instructions for reporting damage to cabinets can be found Here. You can choose to report the issue by phone, on 0330 333 0444, or click on ‘Contact Us’ then ‘Something else’ then ‘Reporting an open or damaged cabinet’.

The phone reporting service is automated, so you don’t get to speak to a person but instead answer a number of questions. You should provide as much information as you can, such as the address of the nearest property and the postcode. At the end of the call you will be given a reference number.

Reporting via the website is quite straightforward, but you are not issued with a reference number.

I reported the VM cabinet pictured above in mid December via the automated phone line and got a reference number, but then had to chase up twice via the website route. This did eventually prompt a helpful and attentive e-mail from a representative at the VM Operations Centre who admitted that there had been some ‘minor issues’ with the automated reporting line. He verified the information needed (nearest property and postcode) and undertook to raise an order to have the cabinet cleaned and repainted.

I’d welcome any additions / amendments / improvements to this simple guide.

Woodthorpe shops repair work underway

We are pleased to report that the Co-op estates team is making good on its commitment to put right some of the issues identified for action around Woodthorpe shops.

Before Christmas, trees were pruned and drains cleared. Now work is underway to replace broken bollards and paving slabs in the area to the side of the shops, at the entrance to the car park – pictured below.

Woodthorpe shops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Lib Dem councillors will now seek permission from the Co-op for the double yellow lines at the entrance to the car park to be repainted.

Askham Bar litter pick success

Local councillors Ann Reid and Stephen Fenton were joined by 14 residents for a successful community litter pick on Sunday 24th January at the former Askham Bar Park & Ride car park.

The site got a thorough going over, generating a large pile of rubbish which the council is to collect.

Askham Bar rubbish

The litter pick was organised following growing concerns that the site was becoming an eyesore (pictured below).

Moor Lane car parkThe team that assembled on 24 January was able to clear the vast majority of the litter on site, though the dense and prickly nature of some of the vegetation made it a tricky task. It was also a challenge to clear the grass bank that leads down to the car park from Moor Lane – this area has been partially cleared for now.

 

 

 

Community litter pick on Sunday 24th January

Cllr Stephen Fenton has organised a community litter pick at the former Askham Bar Park & Ride car park (now the ‘Moor Lane Pay & Display car park’).

The litter pick will take place on Sunday 24th January between 11am and 3pm.

A 'grot spot'!

                                                    A ‘grot spot’!

Stephen has organised the litter pick in response to residents’ concerns about the state of the (mostly empty) car park. Litter ‘grabbers’ and refuse sacks will be provided.

Anyone wanting to join in the litter pick should contact Stephen on 07751 963215 or e-mail cllr.sfenton@york.gov.uk

 

Dringhouses & Woodthorpe Ward Committee meeting, Wednesday 20th January

Residents are invited to the Dringhouses & Woodthorpe Ward Committee meeting on Wednesday 20th January at Woodthorpe Primary School, Summerfield Road, YO24 4RU.

There is a drop-in session at 6.30pm and the main meeting starts at 7pm.

The full agenda is available at http://tinyurl.com/DringWardMeeting

20 Jan ward committee

 

 

 

 

 

Plan for chicane on Thanet Road

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

The Council is consulting local Councillors on plans for accident reduction initiatives in the area. By far the most controversial is likely to be a proposal to introduce a chicane on Thanet Road outside Lidl.

The initiative was prompted by the 11 accidents which have been recorded on the stretch of road between the Gale Lane junction and St James Place. Four of these were due to children running onto the highway. All of the accidents were recorded as “slight” (i.e. no major injuries)

While chicanes do slow traffic, they are unpopular as they lead to increased congestion.

We think that the installation of guard rails would be a better idea.

 

Sign boost for local shops

Action by local Lib Dem councillor Stephen Fenton has led to a new ‘local shops’ sign being installed on Tadcaster Road.

Local shops sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sign points the way to the Middlethorpe Grove shops, home to award-winning family butcher Ged Bell, Fringe hairdressing salon and Creative convenience store.

“It is in everyone’s interests to support local retailers,” Stephen said. “And the local community have shown their commitment to the area by setting up a new community group, which I am pleased to support. There is more we can do to improve the area, such as installing a community noticeboard and repainting or replacing the cycle hoops, and I am looking forward to helping to get more things done.”

York launches Breathe 2025 campaign to inspire a smokefree generation

City of York Council is urging people and organisations across York to sign up and support Breathe 2025, a new campaign to inspire children to grow up smoke-free and protected from health harms caused by tobacco.
click to view video

click to view video

While the region has the highest adult smoking prevalence in England (20.1% compared to an England average of 18%), only one in eight 15-year-olds smoke and the proportion of young smokers is dropping.

Within the next decade there could be a generation of children that don’t smoke.    .

City of York Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health Councillor Carol Runciman said: “We want children who have started school this year to be the pioneers of a smokefree generation: today’s five year olds can be smokefree at 15 when they are preparing for their GCSEs and so can all the year groups following them.

“They can be smokefree when they leave school or college and as adults. Breathe 2025 is about how all of us can inspire and help them to make that happen.”
The campaign is being run by a collaboration of partners across Yorkshire and the Humber, including City of York Council and Public Health England.

People and organisations are being asked to show their support by going to the campaign website or Facebook page and signing up to one or more simple, practical actions. This could be pledging to watch and share the Breathe 2025 video, or promising to display a Breathe 2025 poster.  There are a range of simple actions to choose from, as individuals or on behalf of an organisation such as a school, GP or local business.

Councillor Runciman continues: “Giving children and young people the best start in life is a priority for City of York Council, parents, family members and many other organisations and communities in York – and not smoking is a great start so please go to the Breathe 2025 website and show your support.”

City of York Council’s Interim Director of Public Health, Sharon Stoltz said: “Evidence suggests that if young people don’t start using tobacco by the age of 26 they will almost certainly never start, so we have a great opportunity here to transform the health of our region and we can do it within the next 10 years.

“It is estimated that smoking in York costs society around £50.1m annually and smoking breaks cost businesses in York £24.2m each year.  Around one in two smokers die from a smoking-related illness.  If we can prevent young people from smoking that’s not just an investment in their health as individuals, it’s an investment in a healthier future for everyone.”

The Breathe 2025 website is at www.Breathe2025.org.uk