Poor turn out at Dringhouses “ward forum”

Only about 20 residents (plus a couple of Labour Councillors from other parts of the City) turned up at the Ward Forum last night despite the welcome attendance of Julia Mulligan the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Attendance at Ward meetings has fallen off since the council stopped publicising the meeting dates in ward newsletters.

Julia Mulligan spoke and answered questions for about an hour.

She confirmed that she is maintaining Police and PCSO numbers at the level she inherited – 1392 and 183.

On 20mph limit enforcement she said that the new ACPO guidelines would be adopted in N Yorks. This means that 20mph limits will be subject to the same process as 30mph limits. If a road has persistent speeding problems then it could be subject to enforcement. Residents will have to record their concerns through the 95 Alive forms and the same process will follow.

There will be no new resources to do this so they will just have to take their turn with all the rest. The main difference is that if people are stopped in a 20mph limit then there will be the same options of taking a speed awareness course, instead of a fine and points, as there is now for the 30mph limits.

However the new policy does represent a change of approach from the Conservatives in North Yorkshire, who have previously been as sceptical as we are about wide area 20 mph limits and the wisdom of allocating scares Police resources to roads where there have been no recorded accidents.

If any tickets are issued in the new 20 mph areas during the first year of operation, on roads with a low accident record, then it is likely that the new Council, which will be elected in May 2015, will decide to scrap the new restrictions.

Woodthorpe waste bins not emptied as bin men “work to rule”

Parts of the Woodthorpe and Westfield wards have not had their bins emptied today.

It is the seventh working day of the new bin emptying regime. The crisis is now being blamed by the Council on a “work to rule”.

The Council are bullying the local media into not reporting the problems which today meant that bins in the following street have not been emptied.

Black Bin :

◦Alness Drive (Part)

◦Tarbert Cres

◦Deveron Place

◦Halladale Close

◦Torridon Place

◦Ashmead Close

◦Etive Place

◦Tarbert Crescent

◦Coeside

Green Bin :

◦Bramham Avenue

◦Marsden Crescent

◦Marsden Avenue

◦Grange Lane

◦Hotham Avenue

◦Barkston Grove

◦Askham Lane

◦Askham Grove

◦Apple Blossom Court

◦Westfield Place

◦Branton Place

◦Sandringham Court

The Council says that it will return tomorrow (Wednesday) to these properties.

York Council ward boundary responses now “on line”

The Boundary Commission has now published the consultation responses it received when asking for the comments of local residents.

Responses were received from the Liberal Democrats, Labour and Green parties (The Conservative Party did not respond)

2 Councillors and 1 MP sent comments as did 6 Parish Councils and 22 residents.

Overall this was a pretty disappointing response rate although generally interest only increases when specific proposals are tabled. That will be the next stage in the process.

There was strong support from a significant proportion of residents and York Central Liberal Democrats for the introduction of single member wards throughout the City. Single member wards were also favoured by the only Conservative Councillor to respond and had the support of some Parish Councils.

There was some support for the re-introduction of annual elections (although this did not form part of this stage of the consultation).

There were some inconsistencies in the responses. Local MP Hugh Bayley argued that Parished and non Parished areas should not form part of the same ward. He then went on to support a Labour proposal to merge Heslington, Fulford and part of the (non Parished) Fishergate ward!

Labour also made a bloomer in saying Foxwood Lane was the existing boundary of the Westfield Ward (with Dringhouses). In fact the boundary currently follows a line from the Acorn sports field to Acomb Wood. Labour wanted Bellhouse Way to be the new boundary.

All the responses can be viewed here

The Boundary Commission are expected to publish draft proposals for new ward boundaries in April 2013.

Historic Local Landmark Set For Facelift Thanks To Ward Committee

The Tyburn, the site which hosted executions in York for more than 400 years is to get a facelift after local Councillors agreed to fund improvements from the local Ward Committee budgets.

The Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward Committee has allocated £1500 of funding to pay for the area to be cleaned up and the bench repaired. The area will also be replanted in the Spring with new flowers to brighten up the area.

If funding allows it is hoped that an extra new bench could be installed at the site along with a new information board to explain the history of the site to visitors.

Executions at the Tyburn took place until 1801 when the events were moved to the castle. Possibly the most famous execution at the Tyburn took place in 1739 when notorious highwayman Dick Turpin was executed for horse theft.

The site is currently marked by a small paved area and a plaque.

The Tyburn is an important part of local history so I am pleased that the Ward Committee is able to fund these improvements.

The site has a fascinating, if gruesome, history so I am pleased that the improvements look set to include a new information board to explain that history to residents and visitors.

Dringhouses has a rich history and is a key gateway to the city so it is important that we invest in restoring the site and promote pride in the area.

You can see The Press coverage of the story here.