A successful series of free activity sessions for young people, run by the York City Knights Foundation, have come to an end.
Skate park sessions and inflatable obstacle courses were some of the activities provided during the easter, spring and summer holidays, paid for from the Dringhouses & Woodthorpe and Westfield ward committee budgets.
Skate park session on the Revival estate
Fun on Woodthorpe Green
Local Lib Dem councillors would like to hear from residents about what they thought went well, and what could be done differently in terms of activity sessions in the future.
Local Lib Dem councillors are in discussions with McColls to try to get a much-needed deep clean of the larger of the two car parks to the rear of the Moorcroft Road shops.
The car park, which McColls has responsibility for, is in a very untidy state, with weeds, brambles and overgrown vegetation gradually taking over the perimeter, and major issues with litter and dumping. There is also a black Peugeot car which has been there for sometime, and appears to have been abandoned – the tax expired in April, two of the tyres are flat and one of the headlights is smashed.
Weeds and litter
Cllr Stephen Fenton has met on site with the McColls area manager to discuss a plan of action, starting with McColls instructing their property management team to undertake a thorough deep clean of the car park. Stephen has also approached DVLA about the abandoned car – as it is on private land, there is nothing that the council can do.
Another concern is the seemingly increasing use of the car park as a ‘park & ride’ car park, with people parking up and getting the bus into town. This reduces the parking spaces available to shoppers and those visiting the nearby doctors and dentists surgeries. Stephen discussed with McColls the possibility of erecting some ‘Customer Only Parking’ signs to deter long stay parking.
Summer holiday activities for young people, funded by the Dringhouses & Woodthorpe ward committee, are in full swing.
Successful skate park sessions, run by York City Knights Foundation, have been held at Moor Lane Youth Centre and on the Revival estate off Tadcaster Road.
On Friday 3 August at 10am the first of three outdoor activity sessions takes place on Woodthorpe Green.
Leaflets are being delivered across Woodthorpe by developers who are promoting their ambition to build 500 homes on Green Belt land off Moor Lane.
Barwood Land’s Moor Lane flyer states that “the site was included previously within the emerging City of York Local Plan for up to 500 homes.” It fails to mention however that in the Local Plan that is currently with Government inspectors, the site is proposed to get formal Green Belt protection!
The developers state that they are developing a ‘hybrid planning application’ for the site.
A number of residents who live on Moor Lane and on streets off have contacted us to say that they haven’t received the leaflet, but streets much further away, such as St Helens Road, have received it.
Stephen, Ann and Ashley at the proposed development site
Dringhouses & Woodthorpe’s Liberal Democrat councillors will continue to oppose plans to build on this site.
Local Lib Dem councillors have welcomed the start of daily security patrols in the Ashbourne Way / Summerfield Road area, following concerns from residents about anti social behaviour.
Cllr Ashley Mason with the patrol vehicle on Summerfield Road
The Dringhouses & Woodthorpe ward budget is being used to fund a six-month trial of daily visits by a Gough & Kelly security patrol with body-worn cameras. The aim is to gather evidence of the nature of the problems, with a view to informing a decision about whether a fixed CCTV camera would be beneficial.
Residents are being encouraged to take part in a survey, which has been set up by Gough & Kelly. It can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TH7XT3Q
Dringhouses & Woodthorpe Lib Dem councillor Stephen Fenton has expressed concern at the submission of an application for a ‘scoping opinion’ on proposals to develop land off Moor Lane in Woodthorpe that has been earmarked as Green Belt.
The application refers to plans to build 500 homes on land adjacent to the Askham Bog nature reserve, along with a school, sports facilities, allotments and public open space. It is believed to be a precursor to a more detailed planning application being submitted.
The red line marks the area for which an application has been made for a ‘scoping opinion’
Developers have previously set out their desire to develop the site, most recently in 2016 when they published a brochure setting out an aspiration to build 1,250 homes:
Moor Lane green belt plans challenged
Commenting on the new application, Cllr Fenton said “This application for land that has been earmarked as Green Belt is unwelcome, and will be resisted.
“Throughout the various stages of consultation on York’s Local Plan, residents and local councillors have been firm in their opposition to the development of this site, which is right next to the Askham Bog Site of Special Scientific Interest.”
Following the submission of York’s Local Plan to Government on 25 May 2018, Planning Inspectors have been appointed to conduct an examination as to whether the Plan is ‘sound.’
Local Lib Dem councillors are encouraging residents to have their say on plans designed to tackle anti social behaviour in parts of Woodthorpe.
Example of a body-worn CCTV camera
Residents have expressed concern about vandalism and anti social behaviour in the Ashbourne Way and Summerfield Road area and also around the newly-refurbished playground at Woodthorpe Green.
In response, the Ward Budget is being used to fund a six-month trial of daily visits by a Gough & Kelly security patrol with body-worn cameras.
The aim is to gather evidence of the nature of the problems, with a view to informing a decision about whether a fixed CCTV camera would be beneficial.
The survey, which has been set up by Gough & Kelly, can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TH7XT3Q
The questions posed in the survey are:
- Do you feel there is a need for patrols with body-worn video in the Summerfield Road / Ashbourne Way area?
- Would having patrols make you feel safer?
- Are you happy that patrols have been considered as a way of documenting evidence to support the installation of a fixed CCTV camera?
- Are you happy for images of you to be recorded and stored for 31 days?
- Can you think of incidents where CCTV would have been useful in the area?
- Do you have any other comments, questions or concerns?
Two local groups in Woodthorpe are inviting residents to get together to celebrate the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
On Thursday 17th May from 1.30 to 3.30pm Dementia Yorkshire is hosting a Royal Wedding themed afternoon at St James the Deacon Church Hall on Sherringham Drive, with light refreshments and organised activities on offer.
Then on the big day itself, Saturday 19th May, the Woodthorpe Community Group invites local residents to a Royal Wedding Street Party on Woodthorpe Green from 2pm to 4.30pm. As well as refreshment stalls there will also be family games on the Green. Bring your picnic blanket or folding chairs and make it a fun afternoon! In the event of wet weather, the event will move indoors to St James the Deacon church hall.
On the 4th December, Cllr Stephen Fenton spoke at a council meeting to highlight local concerns regarding the risk of flooding from overflowing drainage ditches.
On Boxing Day in 2015, homes on Coeside and Nevis Way in Woodthorpe narrowly avoided being inundated with water, gushing from an overflowing ditch at the back of the properties – pictured below.
Since then, work has been carried out to clear drainage ditches downstream and it is hoped this will result in quicker and more effective drainage of the ditch behind the houses.
Stephen spoke at a Decision Session for the Council’s Executive Member for the Environment on 4 December, at which a Gulley Management Strategy Review was discussed. He circulated photographs taken in September (see below) which show the ditch choked by vegetation, raising concerns that when it dies back, it will settle on the floor of the ditch and reduce capacity.
Stephen said “I want to highlight the importance of drainage ditches in the ward and I am keen to ensure that their maintenance is not overlooked as the council decides how to prioritise the resources that it has available.
“I am grateful to Council staff for the investment already made in clearing out the drainage channels downstream from the ditch that overflowed in 2015. I am also pleased that we were able to dedicate some Ward Committee funds to help pay for some digging out of the ditch to be done.”