Social care cuts consultation

York residents are being invited to have their say on the future of Adult Social Care in the city this month.

City of York Council clams it is “committed to helping York’s residents live independent and fulfilling lives based on choices that are important to them. The authority already knows that where residents need care and support in older age, they want these delivering in their own homes or in a community setting. They also want improved signposting, advice and guidance, and for the agencies involved in health and adult social care to join up more and provide greater awareness of the local support and facilities available to residents”.

“To build on this, the council is carrying out a quick five minute survey to understand what is important to those who are currently accessing adult social care, and those who may potentially need to access care and support in the future. The authority is also keen to hear from Carers and those in the voluntary sector.

The results of the consultation will be used to shape services (jargon) for the future, as part of the council’s Rewiring Public Services (jargon) Programme.

In Adult Social Care, the council’s rewiring (jargon)  programme is seeking to address some of the inherent failings of, and pressures on, the existing national model for adults’ care including a lack of clarity and understanding of the system by customers, an ageing population and people living longer with disease and disability.

Following engagement with residents, staff, elected members and partners, the council is looking at a number of different ways it can achieve the outcomes that local people want -relying less on hospital-based care and care homes, with more care delivered in resident’s homes and in their local neighbourhood -within the budget available”.

The consultation is available at

Sad really that the Council is making it so difficult for residents to react to their programme of cuts in public service provision.

Language, setting up seperate web sites, failure to issue timely notices of meetings.” all adds up to confusion for many.

NB. Following on from our story about the Councils clumsy consultation proecesses and use of jargon we understand that later today (Thursday 12 February) between 2pm and 2:30pm, “Sally Burns, director of Communities & Neighbourhoods, will be answering people’s questions about proposed changes to Place-Based Services (jargon) in a live streamed Q&A session broadcast on YouTube and “

The Council are encouraging everyone to put forward their burning questions either before or during the event by email at or on Twitter using the #RewiringYork hashtag.

“It’s almost as if they didn’t want us to know”

Council delivers notification leaflet after meeting has taken place

Following on from our story yesterday, the Council has started to issue a survey form to residents asking for their views on cutting public services (aka “rewiring”).

Most residents have yet to receive the leaflet which advertises a “drop in” taking pace at the Acomb Library on …err yesterday. (There are other “drop in” dates next week)

Labour rewiring proposals

No attempt was made by the Council to publicise yesterday’s event. No media release was issued. The Consultation is not listed on the Council web site and cannot be downloaded from there. (Although we have provided a link HERE to a copy on “dropbox”)

The Council has for some reason set up a separate, impenetrable, web site containing what it describes as background information . Most residents won’t, of course,  know it even exists.  There is no link shown from the Council web site.

Waste collection "survey"

Waste collection “survey”

The rewiring blog makes much of the Council’s new (under development) web site – but fails to acknowledge the leap backwards on communications that has taken place over the last 12 months (the facility to report issues like broken street lights and potholes using the internet was withdrawn by the present administration – increasing pressure on an already overburdened “contact centre”)

The content of the leaflet is risible.

It says that residents can see a copy of the “business case” for change on the blog site. No such business case is visible.

The leaflet says “the proposed changes will have an effect on the frequency, accessibility and cost of services such as waste collection and STREET CLEANSING”. It talks of changes to “roads

The leaflet fails to say how much green bin emptying will cost a resident under Labour’s plans and doesn’t’ even mention “street cleansing” or “roads” again.

 The leaflet makes the bold statement that the Council “needs” to save £2.5 million from “this service area” They mean street level public services but don’t define them or mention current standards.

The statement is in any event untrue.

The Council can make savings in other areas. Many capital investment plans (new access bridge into the station land, new Scarborough footbridge, turning the Guildhall into a media centre etc) could be shelved with annual savings on borrowing costs equivalent to the amount being cut from essential street services.

£9.32 million on Guildhall media centre

£9.32 million on Guildhall media centre

It’s not all bad. Investment in LED lights may well save energy and running costs, and MAY prove to be more reliable and durable that the exiting street lighting systems. But there is no information provided which allows residents to make an informed judgement on that claim.

Included is a very limited prioritisation list. It muddles service improvement (collecting kitchen waste) with service reductions (charging for all green bin emptying & reducing the frequency of grey bin emptying to monthly).

The costs and implications of the latter two “options” are not explained.

So what does it really mean?

Labour are seeking endorsement for their plans to:

  1. Reduce the investment in road and footpath repairs
  2. Reduce the number of sub-urban litter bins
  3. Sweep streets less frequently
  4. Reduce grey bin emptying to once a month
  5. Make an annual charge to everyone who has a green bin
  6. Get local “volunteers” to “manage” parks and open spaces.

Should I respond to the survey?

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t

Silence may be pronounced as contentment with the changes planned by “rewiring” supporters.

On the other hand, prioritising a very limited number of options could be used as a justification for an unpopular change to waste collection arrangements (just about the only Council service that every resident uses).

The survey can’t be answered “on line” so freepost returns will cost taxpayers over 40p each, putting more pressure on public service standards.

What we’d do

Send an Email with your views to

Say that the Council should abandon other, less essential, projects to make savings.

Say that core street level public service standards should be sustained.

Tell the Council to make future consultations timely, fairer giving full information on costs, provide a wider range of options and offer an “on line” response option.

York residents asked to complete “on line” survey about “sustainability”

Being a sustainable city means different things to different people, but what does sustainability actually mean?


Over the coming months City of York Council and its partners will engage with residents, businesses and community groups to find out what it means to them.Some of the key things people often associate with being sustainable include low levels of waste and high levels of recycling, good air quality and protecting the environment. But there are also other areas to consider including fair trade and supporting the local economy and making York a vibrant city with lots for residents to do.

To find out how well sustainability is currently understood and recognised, the council is asking for views via a short survey, here: or via social media using the hashtag #SustainabilityIs?  

Paper copies are also available in West Offices, or by calling 01904 551550.

To explore this further an event will take place on 3 March to look at how the city has responded to date.  It will contrast York’s approach with that of other cities, particularly those with strong reputations as leading on sustainability.

Bioregional, co-creators of the ‘One Planet Living’ framework will also be on-hand to explain how it helps make sense of sustainability, the practical benefits it has delivered elsewhere and the impetus it can give to future work.  

Anyone working to make the city more sustainable, including residents, community groups and businesses are all invited to attend this free event. For more information please contact the council on 01904 551550 or visit West Offices.

Customers’ social care views to shape local priorities

Adults receiving care and support from City of York Council will be asked for their views and experiences of the services as part of a nationwide survey in January and February.

The Adults’ Social Care Survey, which will be sent out by every council in England and Wales, will be used by the authority to understand the experiences of people receiving its care and support services.

The survey will focus on customers’ quality of life, how well informed they are about services, their health and well-being and their levels of safety and security.

The questionnaire will go out to a total of 1,350 customers, and will include adults living in residential/nursing care, people with learning disabilities living in the community or supported residences as well as those receiving services in their own home.

The survey is due to be sent out to a cross section of customers over the next week. Accessible versions are available for customers who need them.

The findings from previous surveys and the opportunity to post general comments on the priorities for Adults’ Social Care are available on the council’s website at

The survey is just one of a number of ways that customers can give their views on the care and support they have received from City of York. Other options include feeding back directly to service providers, using the CQC ‘Share your experience’ link on the council’s Adult Social Care webpage(, or through Healthwatch York’s new feedback centre (

Tenant satisfaction with Council estates in York tumbles

Dog fouling, lack of parking, rubbish and litter top concerns

Most York Council tenants continue to be satisfied with the quality of their home and the repairs and maintenance service.

Estates increasingly neglected

Estates increasingly neglected

However many remain dissatisfied with the opportunities available to influence management decisions.

And only 44% were satisfied with the final outcome of complaints that they had made.

However, the most significant result to be revealed, by the Councils annual survey of tenant’s views, comes on satisfaction levels with conditions on local estates.

The satisfaction level is down by 5%.

This comes as little surprise with many estates beginning to look neglected.

Weed growth, potholed bitmac, damaged verges and neglected communal areas all add up to an increasingly depressing environment.

The report on the survey results was taken to another behind closed doors meeting last week.
Behind closed doors logo

The report candidly admits,

“Customers have delivered a clear message that their estate services require attention. As well as a decrease in those very satisfied or fairly satisfied, there has a 5% increase in those very dissatisfied or fairly dissatisfied (10% 2012: 15% 2013)”.

The Labour Councillor with responsibility for Housing (Simpson Laing) failed to order any action which might stop the decline.

Tenant satisfaction results click to enlarge

Tenant satisfaction results click to enlarge



York police opinion survey and speed camera locations

Chief Constable Dave Jones and Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire are currently seeking the public’s views on safety cameras and speeding. Members of the public are invited to complete the on online survey which can be found by clicking here

The survey does have a question on 20 mph speed limits

Enforcement locations for North Yorkshire Police’s mobile safety cameras for week commencing Wednesday 21 May 2014.

Safety camera van The mobile safety cameras will be in operation at the following sites at various times over the coming week. Cameras will not be in use all day, every day. The locations were accurate when this news release was produced.

You can now view the results of the safety camera enforcement activity on our website. Up to date data for the previous week is uploaded every Tuesday which can be interrogated by route and date ranges.
Deployment and results

Due to operating constraints, our mobile safety camera locations may change without prior warning.

  • A1237 Monks Cross, York
  • A64 eastbound Tadcaster  by-pass
  • A64 westbound Tadcaster by-pass
  • Skipwith Road, Escrick
  • Brayton Lane, Brayton, Selby
  • Millfield Road, Chapel Haddlesey
  • A63 Cliffe
  • A19 Burn
  • A162 Sherburn by-pass
  • A64 eastbound, Islington, Tadcaster
  • A64 westbound Street Houses, Bilborough
  • A64 westbound Wharfe Bridge, Tadcaster
  • B1228 Dunnington Lodge, Elvington
  • Tadcaster Road, Dringhouses, York
  • Strensall Road, Huntington, York
  • Church Lane, Wheldrake
  • Millfield lane, Poppleton, York
  • Greenshaw Drive, Haxby
  • A64 eastbound, Heslington, York
  • A64 westbound, Heslington, York
  • (more…)

    Lendal Bridge – Council conduct on line poll

    Lendal Bridge closure Nov 2013

    Attempts by the council’s leadership to justify the Lendal bridge closure on Radio York today are being greeted with derision by most listeners.

    The Council have singularly failed to provide update reports on footfall (shopper numbers), accidents, journey times (all classes of vehicle), air quality and the levels of successful appeals against the fines imposed by the number plate recognition cameras.

    However they are now conducting an “on line” survey of resident’s views.

    The chances are that few will even know that this is going on so the results will be open to manipulation.

    Click here to take the survey (it takes only about 1 minute to complete)

    Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats survey – conducted through a house to house delivery to 7000 properties in west York – has attracted a large response. Around 10% of the forms have now been returned and analysed. The percentages are now stable. The latest figures are:

    click to enlarge

    click to enlarge

    90% say “lift Lendal Bridge access restrictions”

    click to enlarge

    click to enlarge

    An overwhelming majority of residents have given the thumbs down to the current closure restrictions on Lendal Bridge.

    Responding to a survey carried out by the Liberal Democrats, in the Dringhouses, Woodthorpe and Hob Moor areas, only 8% have said that the trial is a success.

    90% want the restrictions to be removed.

    A massive 95% say that traffic congestion in the City has got worse over recent months.

    The results underpin the findings from other sources.

    Over 35,000 penalty notices have been issued since the Lendal Bridge and Coppergate ANPR cameras were installed.

    Stand and deliver  Labour adopt traditional approach to transport funding in York

    Stand and deliver
    Labour adopt traditional approach to transport funding in York

    The influential “Trip Advisor” web site has logged a large number of complaints from visitors who are vowing never to visit the City again.

    A Facebook page has also been set up by opponents of the restrictions.

    The Council leadership continue to maintain an air of lofty indifference to resident’s views prompting new calls for a referendum on the future of the restrictions.

    An opportunity to test resident’s views, at a reasonable cost, will come on 22nd May when European Parliament elections are already scheduled to take place.

    By then, however, some traders may have been forced to close as City centre shopper numbers continue to fall.


    There is no consolation for the Council’s Leadership from residents other responses to the survey.

    88% say there is no justification for Labours plans to build on the Green Belt, while 80% remain opposed to a wide area 20 mph speed limit.

    Most damming verdict comes from the 93% who believe that public service standards have got worse since Labour took office.

    No one who has responded so far believes that standards have got better.

    Childcare in York – have your say and win £100!

    Are you a mum, dad or carer of a child or young person under 16 years old? (or 18 years old if disabled or with additional needs)

    •             Do you use, or would like to use, childcare in York?

    •             Are you a mum, dad or carer to be?

    •             Do you have views on the quality and availability of childcare?

    Then we’d like to hear from you! City of York Council wants to make sure that childcare meets families’ needs. Your opinions are really important to us and will help us to encourage high quality childcare that is available in the right place, at the right time and at an affordable price. We will do this by working closely with childcare providers and partner organisations.

    Have your say and be in with the chance of winning £100 of high street vouchers. Click here Have your say