Lock it or lose it warn police

North Yorkshire Police have re-issued a warning to residents to lock their doors, windows and cars.

Police Jacket close up

The warning comes following a spate of overnight house burglaries and thefts from cars including four from insecure property and outbuildings.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Smith of North Yorkshire Police, said: “As the spring weather approaches and more people are out and about, please remember to take basic security measures such as locking your doors, windows and outbuildings – even while you are at home. Thieves are opportunist and will be on the look out for insecure doors and windows and will take the first opportunity your give them.

“Don’t hand your belongings to thieves on a plate, remember not to leave your keys, bags and other valuables on display and in easy to reach places. Hide them where they can’t be seen by prying eyes.

“Also remember to remove all your valuables and tools from your vehicles.”

“The effects of burglary should not be underestimated,” added DCI Smith: “The targeting of your home, followed closely by the theft or damage of personal possessions, often has devastating and lasting effect on the homeowners, their family, and the local community.”

Incidents over the last 24 hours include:

  • Insecure outbuilding entered in the Tockwith where thieves stole a portable generator and tools.
  • An insecure rear door was used to enter a house in King Edwards Drive, Harrogate, where burglars took the keys and stole the owner’s car parked outside.
  • As unlocked BMW was entered in Hookstone Close, Harrogate and a Blackberry phone and loose change were taken.
  • Tools were stolen from a house in York when thieves used a ladder to gain access through a landing window, which was believed to have been left open while the house was under renovation.
  • Two burglaries were reported in Scarborough, during one, thieves forced open a window and stole a TV, in the other, they smashed a window and stole a TV and games console.

DCI Smith added: “Use the following check list to ensure you take the most basic security measures.”

· Lock doors, windows garages, sheds and gates – even when you are at home

· Hide your keys away at night where thieves cannot see them or easily find them

· Don’t tempt thieves by leaving valuables on view through windows, letterboxes or cat-flaps.

· Always lock your car and remove valuables

· Keep your car in the garage if you have one. If thieves can’t see your car – they can’t steal it.

· Fit a car alarm or tracking device if finances allow and remember to use them

· Don’t leave garden implements or tools outside as thieves can use these to gain entry to your property

· Leave a light and radio on when you go out at night

More detailed advice can be found on the North Yorkshire Police website www.northyorkshire.police.uk/crimeprevention

Since the beginning of 2012, North Yorkshire Police have made more than 140 arrests in connection with burglaries.


We are just one week
from Budget day, and I need your help.

As you may have seen in Nick Clegg’s excellent PMQs today, Liberal Democrats in
Government are fighting to make sure this Budget will deliver major changes to
our tax system; putting money back in your pocket and making the richest pay

And we need to spread the word. Let
us know what you’d do
with an extra £60 in your wages every month, share it
with your friends and also see how many people in your area will benefit.
Let’s deliver real tax cuts for the hard working people in Britain who are
playing by the rules, and call time on Gordon Brown’s tax-dodger charter.
Did you know hundreds of people with seven-figure incomes are using armies of
accountants to avoid billions of pounds in taxes? Tycoons should no longer be
allowed to get away with it.
It’s time for a Budget for the millions, not millionaires. And one that will repair
the damage caused to our economy by Labour.
Remember, Liberal Democrats have already made sure 900,000 pensioners and low
paid workers have been lifted out of income tax all together, and 23million
people have been given a tax cut. But it is time to go further and faster.
Tell us what you’d do with your tax cut and see how many people in your area it
would help:

New petition on Council web site

Ashley Mason who is one of the residents who are organising the petition aimed at continuing the distribution of refuse sacks

Residents living in the South Bank and Clifton parts of the City have launched a campaign aimed at persuading the Council to continue issuing refuse sacks to those living in terraced houses and flats. Labour Councillors are currently planning to discontinue the service at the end of the month.

The petition reads:
“We request the York Council to continue to issue refuse bags free of charge to those households in the City who are unable to accommodate other types of waste container”.

In support of the petition residents say; “For many years the Council has issued a supply of biodegradable refuse sacks to properties such as terraced houses and flats where the provision and storage of wheeled bins – which are provided free of charge to other households in the City – is impractical. The sacks ensure that refuse is stored and presented for collection in a tidy and sanitary way. The Council has announced – without any consultation with residents – that it will cease the distribution of the sacks shortly. This means that residents will have to buy their own. There is a concern that refuse will be presented in unsuitable containers increasing the risk of spillage and vulnerability to attacks by rodents and other animals. The new policy would discriminate against those residents living in areas of terraced housing. The petition seeks a review of the Councils policy”.

The petition can be “signed” on the Councils web site at http://www.york.gov.uk/ “Have your say” ePetitions.

Meanwhile volunteers have collected a further 200 signatures on the “Save the Beckfield Lane recycling centre” petition. They had a stall on Front Street on Wednesday. This petition can also be “signed” on the Councils web site where it has already secured the support of 128 visitors.

New service from York Register Office

York Register Office, 56 Bootham, York YO30 7DA

City of York Council’s Register Office will be offering a new ‘all in one’ service next month to make it easier for new parents to register the birth of their baby.

There are lots of things that need to be done when a baby is born, so from the beginning of April (Monday 2) the first phase of “Tell Us Once” will be launched, which will save parents time and money notifying departments of the birth.

Previously, parents have been required to contact various government departments and local council services individually about the birth.

The new service does this for parents – for free – and from April the new service will notify the following automatically:
• Department of Work and Pensions
• Jobcentre Plus
• Housing Benefit Office
• Council Tax Benefits Office
• Library Services
• Children’s Services (Family Information Services)
• HM Revenue and Customs
• Child Benefit
• Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit

The second phase will launch in late spring and will provide a similar service for bereaved relatives when registering a death.

York Register Office, 56 Bootham, York YO30 7DA
tel: 01904 654477
fax: 01904 638090
email: registrar
Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm; Saturday 10am to 3pm. Emergency contact: 07786 747859 Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays (not Christmas Day) 10am to 11am

Government backed scheme offers 95% mortgages on new homes on Tadcaster Road in York

A local house builder (Taylor Wimpey) has announced that the Coalition Governments “new buy” mortgage guarantee scheme will be available on it’s Tadcaster Road “Revival” housing development.

The development has properties ranging from flats at £108,000 to 5 bedroomed homes costing nearly £400,000.

The key features of the government scheme include:
 Up to a 95% mortgage
 You will only need a minimum 5% deposit to buy a new home
 The scheme is available across all Taylor Wimpey developments in England
 NewBuy is open to first time buyers and existing home owners

See Taylor Wimpey’s web site for more details http://www.taylorwimpey.co.uk/newhomes

North Yorkshire Police mobile safety camera routes 14 – 20 March 2012

North Yorkshire Police will be carrying out mobile safety camera enforcement on the following roads in the York area between Wednesday 14 March 2012 and Tuesday 20 March 2012.

•A64 east-bound carriageway Bowbridge Farm Tadcaster
•A1237 Monks Cross, York
•B1222 Naburn lane, York
•B1228 Main Street, Elvington, York
•B1228 Dunnington Lodge, Elvington, York
•A64 west-bound carriageway, Bowbridge Farm, Tadcaster
•Northfield Farm, Cobcroft Lane, Cridling Stubbs
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.


Missing light in Middlethorpe

Councillor Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Neighbourhoods, has urged the City of York Council’s Labour Cabinet to bring forward plans to replace streetlights which had been cut down. The call comes with the news that the replacements are hoped to be in place by the end of the summer.

This means some residents will have gone nearly six months without streetlights before seeing any action.

The Council has only outlined the plans, and Councillor Reid says the lack of detail leaves too many questions from residents unanswered.

She said “At the time when Labour cut down the lampposts without a plan to replace them, Liberal Democrats called for action to be taken as soon as possible. Finally, a plan has emerged, but the lack of detail will leave residents in the dark for even longer.”

“Labour are implying that this is a new investment. In fact, the money is simply being taken from other areas in the Neighbourhoods budget. They are simply robbing Peter to pay Paul. This means residents will see a decline in services elsewhere to pay for Labour’s mistake in cutting down the streetlights.”
Cllr Reid went on to attack the proposed system for prioritising action saying “The cabinet has said that individual wards will be ranked on a priority basis, but we don’t know what this system will be based on. I do hope that this system is made clear and transparent to the public. It needs to be based on hard evidence, not on which wards the Labour cabinet chooses to help first.”

“Streetlights are a vital service. They deter crime and help to keep our roads safe. For local people to be without them for such a long time is unacceptable. This is a problem that needs to be fixed as soon as possible.”

Seeing the light?

With controversy still raging over Labours decision to remove 600 street lights from the City, questions now being asked about the costs and benefits of some of the replacement units.

One type being trialled extensively across the country is the LED light. The unit costs about £700 plus disconnection/reconnection charges. It has lower maintenance costs. The manufacturer’s claim it will last for 60,000 hours compared to the 18,000 hour life of the more common sodium unit.

It is more efficient using about 25% less electricity; which also means lower CO2 emissions.

It was these figures that led the former LibDem led Council to introduce a lighting modernisation programme which will pay for itself (through lower maintenance and energy costs) in less than 3 years.

However, such savings are put at risk if units like this one in Acomb are allowed to burn during the day time.

Long queues at bus stops as ftr is withdrawn from York

Long delays have been reported on the number 4 bus route following the withdrawal of the ftr bus.

The replacement double deckers are one man operated meaning that loading times have more than doubled. Long queues have formed at some bus stops. The situation in the evening rush hour is likely to be chaotic.

No proper provision for the disabled has been made, capacity for push chairs has been reduced and, of course, many elderly people are unable to access the upper floor of double deckers.

It signals the end of a progressive public transport policy in the City. If the council had persuaded First to provide modern replacement vehicles with smart card readers then the inevitable criticism of the backward leap might have been mitigated.

As it is, once again Dringhouses is bearing the brunt of Labours unnecessary cuts to local public services.