Save Beckfield Lane recycling centre campaign gets timely boost as £3 million bill hits York taxpayers

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The Council has admitted that it is York is “slipping behind other unitary authorities, who have introduced alternative waste management methods and strategies”. This is despite a forecast 2% increase, in the amount of waste recycled by residents, by the end of the year (47.01% compared to 45.1% in 2010/11).

The failure to invest in reuse and salvage, coupled with the pending closure of the Beckfield Lane recycling centre on 10th April, means that taxpayers will pick up a bill for £3 million in landfill tax penalties this year.

The petition to keep the Beckfield Lane facility open is getting good support. Anyone who can help to gather signatures on a petition is asked to contact Reuban Mayne on York 781589

Proposed changes to York Sunday bus services 112 & 113

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Major changes are planned to the Sunday bus services which provide links to Copmanthorpe, Bishopthorpe and Skelton. This results from the decision by Coastliner to discontinue their 112 and 113 services.

The Council are proposing to subsidise 3 new services one of which would route down Tadcaster Road.

Proposed changes
• The Council propose the following option for Sunday services in place of the existing services on routes 112 and 113:
• Provision of an hourly service between Bishopthorpe and the city centre via South Bank on the same route as the weekday route 11.
• Provision of an hourly service between Copmanthorpe and the city centre on the same route as the weekday route 13.
• Provision of an hourly service between Skelton and the city centre on the same route as the weekday route 19.
• No direct services between Skelton, Clifton Moor, Wigginton, Haxby and Monks Cross.
• No services before 10.00 or after 19.00 on these routes.

Comments on the new arrangements by emailing or writing to Paul Brand, City of York Council, 9 St Leonard’s Place, YORK, YO1 7ET. Please ensure that your comments are received by 2 March 2012.

It is likely that any new routes and services will begin in summer 2012

Make do and mend

Celebrate International Women’s Week and recognise the ingenuity and inventiveness of women through the ages.

This lecture with Meridith Townsend starts right back in the Georgian Period and concentrates on how women altered, borrowed and adapted their clothes to keep up with the latest fashions. It goes on to concentrate on the War Years of the 1940s using anecdotes from women, who came up with the most ingenious ways to keep their families clothed and to continue to celebrate events, such as weddings, in style.

The lecture takes place at Explore York Library Learning Centre 1.30pm to 2.30pm on Sun 4 March – cost £4

For tickets please visit

Acomb Wood: Welly workout

We will be having a general tidy up of the woodland. We will be cutting back some trees, litter picking and any other little jobs that need completing this spring before everything starts growing again.

Mon 5 Mar, 1pm to 3pm at Acomb Wood

Cost: FREE!

For more information and to book you space please contact Jenny Cairns on 07833 436832 or Please come prepared to get muddy. All tools will be provided.

Blossom Street roadworks start on 5th March

The Second phase of work is due to start next month (week commencing 5 March).

Significant work was carried out on Blossom Street at its junction with Queen Street, close to Micklegate Bar during phase I in September 2010. Phase II is due to start shortly and will focus on Blossom Street and Holgate Road and their junctions with The Mount and East Mount Road.

The main features of the work will include:
• Full replacement of old traffic signals with new modern equipment.
• Partial resurfacing of the carriageway
• Pedestrian crossings to be widened and modernised, incorporating on-crossing detection.
• Widening of the footway on the corner of Holgate Road.
• Inbound and outbound cycle feeder-lanes on Blossom Street.
• Inbound cycle lane on Holgate Road starting at Dalton Terrace.
• Inbound bus stop outside the Reel Cinema to be extended and the shelters and cycle parking repositioned.
• A new bus shelter introduced at the outbound bus stop (for bus numbers 3 and 4).
• New stop-line and signals (inbound only) on Holgate Road near to Holgate Villas to keep queuing traffic out of, and ameliorate the air quality in the bottle-neck at the end, but which will not affect traffic capacity.
• No change to number of traffic lanes.

Full details of the planned improvements are available at

Labour confirm Council Tax increase in York

Labour have gone ahead with their threat to increase Council Tax rates by 2.9%. A further rise of over 2% is forecast for April 2013. They turned down the offer of a £1.8 million subsidy from the government to freeze tax levels

We know that many residents still don’t fully appreciate what is going to hit them over the next few weeks and months. Our guess is that anger will grow as the following sequence of events take place:

• February: Acomb Council branch office closes

• March: Higher Council Tax bill arrives. Many find that they will have to pay over £30 a year more.

• April: Car parking charges up 18% for residents. ResPark charges up. Issue of refuse collection sacks in terraced areas stops. Beckfield Lane recycling centre closes. Number 4 ftr bus services axed. Disabled people attending specialised work placements told that they may be transferred to the private sector. Unemployment increases as organisations like Future Prospects are forced to reduce their activities.

• May: Potholes in roads and footpaths are still unfilled following winter damage. Only a handful of roads are put on resurfacing list. Elderly seeking Council help with home care are told that the bar has been raised. Council will now only act if their needs are judged to be “substantial”. Around 200 elderly people lose existing home care service. However the Council finds money to provide “free” WiFi in City Centre.

• June: Complaints about stray dogs and footpath fouling increase following a reduction in dog warden numbers. Residents expecting more CCTV, security improvements, car parking lay-bys etc, told that Ward Committee funding averages less than £10,000 per ward. 20% of litter and “poop scoop” bins removed.

• Summer: Reduced spending, on crime prevention, results in more burglaries and vandalism. Enforcement of alcohol sales to minors scaled back. More anti social behaviour evident. Voluntary bodies and charities struggle with reduced grants. Some flounder. Litter on streets increases following a reduction in street sweeping. New refuse collection rounds bring chaos. Collection is on different days each fortnight. Cuts to parks and open spaces budget means York fails in “Britain in Bloom” contest. Fly tipping up since Beckfield Lane centre closed.

• Autumn: Number of cyclists involved in accidents increases. The Council faces increased insurance claims from pedestrians who have fallen on uneven footpaths. Enforcement of under age sales of fireworks is scaled back. It is a noisy October. Gulleys haven’t been cleaned for at least 6 months. Heavy rain brings flooding to several streets.

• Winter: The number of streets gritted is reduced. Salt bins, left out all year, are found to have been vandalised. Those remaining are filled only 3 times before the budget runs out. Salvation Army forced to reduce services for “rough sleepers” as grant runs out. Street environment budget also used up. No money available to deal with damage to verges, graffiti and dumping.

• Spring 2013: Charities, sports clubs, scouts and charities told that they will lose their discretionary rate relief. Parish Councils told that provision to avoid “double taxation” is being discontinued. Green bin garden waste collection stopped. Residents told to compost waste in garden. Privatisation of waste collection announced.

York’s debt per head is at an all time high. Opposition Councillors point out that it is now the equivalent of the external debt of Fiji (and twice that of Greenland).

Partners In Crime Thursday 8 March, 7pm – 8.30pm at Dringhouses Library

An evening with mother and daughter crime novelists Pauline Kirk and Jo Summers, who write as PJ Quinn.

Pauline and Jo will read from ‘Foul Play’ and forthcoming novel ‘Poison Pen’, and give tips on getting published. There will be a question and answer session at the end.

To book your free place contact Dringhouses Library on tel. (01904) 552674 or email

Dusty bin makes a come back

The Council is likely today to decide to reduce the number of litter bins on our streets by about 20%.

At the same time it has announced that it will follow the lead of other Councils in introducing a new design of “intelligent” litter bin. The bins use solar power to “compact” waste and are capable of sending an “empty me” Email when they are full.

The Council is right to trial technology like this.

However, they are talking of putting them in the City centre and removing 5 of the old style bins at the same time. This they think will reduce both emptying costs and the street clutter which some find intrusive in the historic core.

There is a limit to how far some people will walk to use a litter bin and a well dispersed network of bins is the best way of ensuring that street litter does not ruin the environment.

The decision to reduce the amount of litter picking by barrowmen in residential areas is another example of short sighted thinking.

Whether the Council will adopt the type of bin which segregates recyclable waste (bottles, cans, papers etc) remains to be seen. The 3 bin suite is larger than anything we have had in the city before but Labour were insistent that we should offer the recycling option when they were in opposition, so we will have to wait and see whether they are consistent now that they are making the decisions.

The key question though for “dusty bin” is whether it proves to be reliable and whether the extra costs can be justified.

Mobile safety (speed) camera routes 22 – 28 February 2012

North Yorkshire Police will be carrying out mobile safety camera enforcement on the following roads between Wednesday 22 and Tuesday 28 February 2012.

Those being checked in the York area include:

•A64 east-bound carriageway Bowbridge Farm Tadcaster
•A64 west-bound carriageway, Bowbridge Farm, Tadcaster
•Millfield Lane, Poppleton, York
•Beckfield Lane, York
•Green lane, Acomb, York
•Ryecroft Avenue, Woodthorpe, York
•Temple Lane, Copmanthorpe, York
•A1036 Tadcaster Road, York
•A1237 Monks Cross, York
•Strensall Road, Huntington, York
•The Village, Stockton-on-the-Forest, York
•A1036 Malton Road, York
•A171 Jugger Howe opposite Springhill Farm

The mobile safety cameras will be in operation at the above sites at various times during the dates stated. Cameras will not be in use on the above routes all day, every day.

64% back Council Tax Freeze

64% of residents, responding to a Liberal Democrat Focus survey, have backed a proposal to freeze Council Tax levels in the City for a further year.

The survey was carried out in the Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward together with parts of Westfield, Acomb and Micklegate.

The option is being considered on Thursday and is expected to get the backing of both Liberal Democrat and Conservative Councillors.

The option is available as the Coalition government has offered a £1.8 million subsidy to the city if it keeps tax levels down.

Labour are proposing a 2.9% increase with a minimum 2% more to come the following year. This option drew the support of only 14% of respondents.

A third option – to hold a referendum to see whether residents would support an increase of over 3.5% – won the support of 22% of respondents.