Planning Committee to decide on Wilberforce Trust application

The council’s Planning Committee will meet on Thursday 19 April to decide on the application by the Wilberforce Trust to build three three-storey blocks accommodating 30 apartments, and a two-storey office and community element, on its land to the east of St Leonards Hospice and The Square.

The officer report recommends that the application is approved. The report is available on the council website Here.

Date set for start of traffic signals work on Tadcaster Road

The Council is due to commence work to refurbish the traffic signal junction of Tadcaster Road and St Helens Road as part of the Traffic Signal Asset Renewal Programme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The work will consist of:

  • Full renewal of the traffic signal equipment and ducting networks – this will include changes to pedestrian crossing equipment to facilitate Puffin style near side red /green man displays.
  • Conversion of the staggered pedestrian crossing on the south to a straight across crossing.
  • A new pedestrian crossing is to be provided on the northern arm

Works will start on Monday 30th April for the main civils / groundworks with all work expected to be fully completed by Friday 8th June 2018.

The hours of working will be 7:30am – 5:30pm, Monday – Friday and 9:00am – 3:00pm Saturdays. In order to safely install the duct crossings over the carriageway some evening works will be required. Works will be suspended between Wednesday 16th May and Friday 18th May and on Saturday 26th May due to York Race meetings.

Three-way traffic management will be in place at the junction during the works and motorists are expected to experience severe delays while the works are underway. Controlled pedestrian crossings will be provided during construction to allow pedestrians to cross the road safely. There may be some temporary footway closures in place, however full access will be retained to all businesses properties during these works.

The southbound bus stop on Tadcaster Road will be temporarily relocated during the works. It is not anticipated that there will be any diversions or suspensions to bus stops and services during the works. For more information on please visit www.itravelyork.info

Fewer Community Police in York

A response to a Freedom of Information  request has indicated that front line PCSO numbers have dropped by more than half in York since 2016.

PCSOs passing out in 2014

Liberal Democrat Councillor Ashley Mason, who is currently serving as the Vice Chair to the Police & Crime Panel, recently submitted a Freedom of Information request to North Yorkshire Police Force. He wanted to know the number of community police officers patrolling the streets of the City.

In response, Cllr Mason was told that there are currently 25 front line PCSOs in York.

This compares to 64 in 2016.

Cllr Mason had also requested the figures for the last 10 years, but unfortunately, was told that this information was not recorded.

This revelation comes amidst growing concerns that the fall in police numbers, due to Government cuts, has lead to increases in crimes throughout England. Although this has been denied by Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, a leaked report from her own department, has suggested reductions in police numbers were “likely” to have led to the increase.

Earlier this year, PCC Julia Mulligan promised to look into the neighbourhood policing system in York, after many local councillors expressed concerns about the lack of local officers in their communities.

Councillor Ashley Mason, Liberal Democrat and Vice Chair of the Police & Crime Panel:

“PCSOs are a vital link between the police and the communities they serve.  To loose so many over two years is shocking.”

“It is interesting to see that the Police and Crime Commissioner say that numbers high, which suggests that some PCSO’s are being taken away from the City of York.”

“I will be writing to the Police and Crime Commissioner to express my concerns and insist that her review of the force begin as soon as possible”

PCC Julia Mulligan has responded by saying that the North Yorkshire Police website, from which the figures in the FOI response were taken, was incorrect.

Councillor Ashley Mason responded by saying:

“I sent through a request to North Yorkshire Police for them to confirm to me the number of PCSOs working in York. I was a little surprised in the first instance when I was only referred to the North Yorkshire Police’s website, as the numbers indicated were low.

“I queried this with the force’s Civil Disclosure Unit and was again directed to North Yorkshire Police’s website, where I was told that the numbers of PCSOs could be found under the details of the ‘York North’ and ‘York City’ Neighbourhood Teams. As indicated on the website, only 25 PCSOs are detailed.

“If as the Police & Crime Commissioner has said that these numbers are incorrect, then this should be absolutely reflected on the North Yorkshire Police Force website, particularly if Councillors and members of the public are going to be directed to the website. Neighbourhood policing is extremely important to communities here in York and therefore, it is essential that information provided to the public is correct.”

Revamped playgrounds re-open

The playgrounds at Woodthorpe Green and Nelsons Lane have re-opened after improvement works were completed.

£30,000 has been spent at Woodthorpe Green to install new swings, adventure equipment and a zip wire. £17,000 came from City of York Council central budgets, with £11,000 from the Ward Committee and the remainder from development funds. In addition, the Woodthorpe York Community Group secured a Yorventure grant of £12,000 for the installation of an accessible roundabout.

At Nelsons Lane £32,000 has been spent, which includes a donation from local children’s nursery Little Green Rascals.

Ann, Ashley and Stephen at Nelsons Lane…

…and at Woodthorpe Green

Local Lib Dem councillors Ann Reid, Ashley Mason and Stephen Fenton worked with the Woodthorpe York Community Group and Chase Residents Association to engage with residents to determine the priorities for the revamps, and then young and old alike were asked to vote for their favourite designs.

Lib Dem councillor Stephen Fenton said  “There has been a bit of a wait whilst snagging issues were resolved, but it’s wonderful to see the enjoyment that children and their families are getting from the revamped playgrounds.”

“Local residents’ involvement was key to realising these improvements, and it’s another example of where Ward Committee funding is making a real difference to our communities.”

Date announced for Post Office re-opening

A date has been announced – 13th April – for the planned re-opening of Dringhouses Post Office on Tadcaster Road.

The branch closed in November 2017, and shortly after the Mace store in which it was based also closed.

In an e-mail to local Lib Dem councillor Stephen Fenton, a representative from Post Office Ltd said:

“I can confirm that the branch is scheduled for re-opening on 13th April. The new operators of the business are attending training prior to this and they will also receive onsite support from 13th – 20th April. We do understand the importance of Post Office services within the local community and hope that this information will ease any further cause for concern.”


Cllr Stephen Fenton has welcomed the news: “Many residents have contacted me asking for information about when the Post Office will re-open, so it is great to have a proposed re-opening date. I am sure that the Dringhouses community will support the new business owners as they embark on this new venture.”

 

 

Easter activities for young people in west York

Skatepark and inflatable ‘arena’ sessions have been organised for youngsters in Foxwood, Dringhouses and Woodthorpe over the Easter holidays.

The sessions, at Foxwood Community Centre, Foxwood Park and Moor Lane Youth Centre, are being run by the York City Knights Foundation and are being funded by the Westfield and Dringhouses & Woodthorpe Ward Committees.

Further activity sessions are booked in for the May/June half term and the summer holidays, including arena sessions at Woodthorpe Green.

Latest plans unveiled for St Helens Road / Tadcaster Road crossing improvements

Council officers have unveiled the latest draft of proposals to improve pedestrian crossing facilities at the St Helens Road / Tadcaster Road junction.


 

The scheme was approved by the council’s Executive in June 2017, and is part of the five-year replacement programme to renew traffic signal assets within the city (the TSAR programme)

The changes proposed look to improve pedestrian facilities, bringing them in line with current guidance, while having only minor impacts to vehicle delay. The main changes proposed at this junction are as follows:

  • A new pedestrian crossing on the northern side of the junction (outside the Cross Keys pub)
  • The existing staggered pedestrian island over Tadcaster Road is removed from the southern arm and a straight across pedestrian facility is provided
  • The island in the southern arm has been removed to allow the stop lines to be brought forward to improve driver to pedestrian visibility at the junction
  • Guard rail to be reviewed and if possible rationalised
  • Full refurbishment of the traffic signal equipment and ducting network.  This will include changes to pedestrian crossing equipment to facilitate Puffin style near side red / green man displays
  • Implementation of MOVA (Micro-processor Optimised Vehicle Actuation) control strategy at the junction to reduce delays
  • Associated road marking changes to facilitate the above

Local Lib Dem councillors are inviting residents to let them have any comments on the proposed scheme, so that these can be fed back to officers. Please send any comments to Cllr Stephen Fenton at cllr.sfenton@york.gov.uk