Ward funding boost for Dringhouses and Woodthorpe

Dringhouses & Woodthorpe ward will receive a big funding boost this year thanks to plans brought forward by City of York Council’s new Executive.

good-news

The proposals will see Ward Committees given an allocation of a £925,000 budget to fund projects such as street clean-ups and offer grants to local voluntary groups. The process for allocating highway improvements has been partly localised as part of the plans as has some social care funding. Work will also be undertaken by council officers to identify further budget areas which could be devolved to communities.

Here is how Dringhouses & Woodthorpe will benefit:

  • Annual ward Budget: £23,785
  • One-off ‘Pride in York’ fund: £4,260
  • Ward highway programme: £13,991

Re-establishing proper Ward Committees was a key part of the Liberal Democrat manifesto and something we are pleased to have been able to deliver.

The proposals begin the process of devolving power and budgets to local residents and community groups. This enhanced pot of money will give wards the opportunity to tackle local priorities and develop community initiatives. It increases overall funding to nearly £1million from the £75,000 in grants available under the previous Labour Council.

A full breakdown of funding by ward is set out below.
Funding by ward

Local residents to get greater say on ward improvements

The return of ward committees with devolved power and budgets will be put to the cross-party Communities and Environment Policy and Scrutiny Committee on 27 July.
Ward committees may consult on investing in more off street parking

Ward committees may consult on investing in more off street parking

Then, on 30 July, Executive will consider the report which recommends significantly increasing wards’ share of a funding pot of £925,000. This could be used by the revised ward committees to allocate to projects such as street clean-ups, or grants to voluntary groups and, for the first time, to fund road repairs and to add more local capacity to the adult social care voluntary sector.

These proposals aim to be the first steps in devolving a number of funding streams to wards, and asks officers to identify further budget areas which could be localised.

The Executive will be presented with a set of options for the make-up and remit of ward committees.

They will be chaired by local councillors and at them, local residents will help decide collectively which projects will be supported to tackle local issues, to improve the council’s accountability to residents and to provide opportunities to influence services at the local level.

The number of times the new ward committees will meet and the degree of consultation they engage in will be considered, as will be the level of officer support allocated to them and their activities.

Ward budgets will be looked at too. The proposal is to devolve additional budgets to wards to create a single, enhanced pot for each ward which can be used flexibly to meet their priorities and to develop community initiatives which could reduce reliance on central council services. The new, revised ward committees will have a significant overall increase in budget.

The process for allocating highway improvements will be partly localised through the new ward committees. It is proposed to transfer £125,000 from the annual highways maintenance budget and £125,000 of Local Transport

Plan capital to create a £250,000 ward highways programme, and an allocation made to each ward from this.
In addition, the enhanced pot could be made up of:

  1. a ‘Ward Grant’ of £150,000 (subject to council budget decision) allocated to each ward committee on a per capita basis.
    More litter bins may be provided
    More litter bins may be provided
  2. a ‘Pride in York Fund’ totalling £450,000 (subject to council budget decision) made up of £250,000 on a one-off basis and £200,000 per annum on a recurring basis. Wards that receive the highest amounts from the Pride in York Fund will receive additional officer support to help them develop schemes and initiatives.
  3. a ‘Community Care Fund’ of £75k per annum (from the Adult Social Care Community Development Fund and subject to council budget decision) will be devolved to wards, on a per capital basis, over two years to support the prevention or delay of people needing to access formal care packages and statutory support.

Examples of initiatives that ward funding could support include:

  • Helping a community group to take on management of a local project e.g. looking after a piece of local open space
  • Undertaking a local clean-up
  • Supporting affordable and accessible transport options so people are able to access services.

Cllr Keith Aspden, Deputy Leader of City of York Council with responsibility for Economic Development and Community Engagement, said:

“These proposals increase the money for ward committees to spend to nearly £1million. They begin the process of devolving power and budgets to local residents and community groups.

We want to give wards this enhanced pot of money so they can genuinely tackle local priorities and develop community initiatives.
“We also want to build on local spending on highways and are asking council officers to explore further budget areas which could be devolved to wards in the future, for example, public health budgets alongside a clear and transparent approach to ward spending.”

Terry’s development exhibition tomorrow (Tuesday)

Terry’s Development exhibition.

The exhibition will take place tomorrow (2nd July 2014) between 3 and 7.30pm at St Chad’s Church Hall, Campleshon Road, YO23 1EY.

 The next Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward residents Forum (aka Ward Committee) will take place on Thursday 10th July in St Edwards Church Hall, Tadcaster Road commencing with a “drop in” at 6:30pm

Exhibitions  include an update on progress at Chapman’s Pond and proposals to extend St Edwards Church Hall

The meeting agenda (start  7:00pm) includes

  •  Police update,

  • York Yourth Council and

  • information on the new park and ride sites at Askham Bar and Poppleton Bar

 

Lost for words in York

The Council have released their “official” attendance figures for the meetings set up to improve communications between its “Cabinet” and residents.

As expected, the numbers attending the meetings have been low, reflecting a general cynicism about the sincerity of the Council leadership.

The number of residents attending – according to the Council – was:

1. Haxby and Wigginton – 61 (including 20 or so children)
2. Westfield – 15
3. Hull Road – 26
4. Clifton – 16

The meetings replaced the quarterly Ward Committee meetings which had a higher attendance level.

The cost of the “community conversations” so far is put at £772.25.

The new Council, when it is elected in 2015, will need to be much more sensitive to public opinion if it is to regain the trust of York residents.

Dringhouses salt bin petition to be considered next week

Ann Reid with local salt bin

Ann Reid with local salt bin

A petition calling for the salt bins, that wee  removed by the Council in the autumn, to be returned in time for next winter, will be considered next week.

The petition was collected by local Councillor Ann Reid and would also restore West Thorpe and Leeside to the primary gritting rota.

The number of salt bins in the ward was reduced from 35 to 28.

Although, because of the mild winter, there have been no major problems with ice reported recently, a return to more normal winter temperatures is likely to result in considerable inconvenience and hazards on some footpaths.

Under the Liberal Democrats led Council, until 2011, ward budgets were available which could be used to provide additional bins  if local residents voted for them.

This scheme was scrapped when Labour took office.

The meeting takes place in The Snow Room (sic) – Ground Floor, West Offices (G035) on Thursday 20th March starting at 4:00pm. Residents wishing to speak at the meeting must register first by telephoning (01904) 552062 at least 24 hours before the meeting takes place.

Dringhouses & Woodthorpe Resident Forum tomorrow (Monday)

Monday, 3rd March, 2014 7.00 pm

Venue: Woodthorpe Primary School, Summerfield Road, York YO24 2RU

Agenda

1. 7.00pm Drop In Talk to ward councillors, policing team ; pick up information on ward grants 2014-15, have your say on how health services are commissioned in York. York Older People’s Assembly will have a stall.

2. 7.30pm Main Meeting: Welcome and Minutes from the last meeting

3. Police Report

4. JRHT report on play area (Sheringham Ave/Bellhouse Way)

5. Smarter York and environment issues – with Russell Stone CYC

6. Tour de France – a presentation on the arrangements for the event and how communities can get involved

7. 2014-15 Ward Priorities/Ward Budget

8. Annual Planning Panel elections

9. Have Your Say