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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Manor School, Low Poppleton Lane

Contact: Cindy Benton 

No. Item


6.30pm Surgery

You will have an opportunity to talk to:

  • Cllr Tracey Simpson-Laing
  • Cllr David Horton
  • Michelle Watling, Street Environment Officer
  • The Safer Neighbourhoods Policing Team
  • Cindy Benton, Neighbourhood Management Officer
  • NHS Foundation Trust


At the surgery residents had the opportunity to speak to their ward councillors, the Safer Neighbourhoods Team, the Street Environment Officer, Penny Goff, Membership Manager, NHS Foundation Trust, Andrea McCartney of York CAB and Cindy Benton, Neighbourhood Management Officer. 


7.00pm Welcome and Minutes

  • Police

An update from your Neighbourhood Policing Team on ward issues and your chance to ask any questions


  • NHS Foundation Trust

A presentation on the Trust’s first year and information on how you can become a member


  • First York

Your chance to ask representatives from First York about the bus services in the ward.


  • Proposed Ward Schemes 2009-10

Your ward councillors will present the provisional ward schemes list for the coming year


  • Have Your Say

Your opportunity to discuss local issues and concerns with your ward councillors


The meeting will be chaired by Cllr Tracey Simpson-Laing


Cllr. Simpson-Laing, chair of the meeting, welcomed everyone and invited them to inspect the minutes, which were agreed and signed.


Safer Neighbourhoods Team Update


3.1       PC Graham Cooper recapped the residents’ police priorities for the ward: vandalism and criminal damage, burglary and anti-social behaviour.

3.2       Anti-social behaviour is occurring in specific locations in the ward and the Safer Neighbourhoods Team are continuing controls to identify culprits, conduct visits and intervene with shops to stop selling alcohol.

3.3       There is no specific pattern to the instances of criminal damage and vandalism that occur in the ward, though they are often alcohol related. They are working with the council database to identify graffiti tags and working with schools to help eradicate the problem. 

3.4             Burglary in Acomb is down on last year, though non-dwelling burglary, of shed and garages, etc., is slightly up. The police are targeting the offenders they believe are responsible and PCSOs are visiting victims, offering crime prevention advice and arranging leaflet drops in areas affected by burglaries. They are also working with existing Neighbourhood Watch schemes and trying to expand the schemes to new areas of the ward. New schemes have been set up in the past six months.

3.5       The Safer Neighbourhoods Team are encouraging people to use the Immobilise Property Register, an online register of valuables and electrical items. There are currently 25,000 people registered in York and people should contact the Safer Neighbourhoods Team if they’re interested.

3.6       There will be an action week at the end of March. The police will be working with other agencies to produce a week of visible joint partnership working to tackle ward issues. 


Q. What happens with people who do vandalism?


A. They are arrested and dealt with through the system. If we can prove who’s doing it, they will be treated as any other criminal.


Q. Are the leaflets about burglaries effective?


A. The leaflets get the message out as widely as possible. The Safer Neighbourhoods Team also works with Neighbourhood Watch coordinators and examines crime trends.


Q. What can you do about cyclists on pavements?


A. PCSOs are trying to educate students about safe cycling practices and make them aware of their responsibilities. Adults can be issued with Fixed Penalty Notices and before Christmas there was a campaign to target people cycling on pavements or cycling without a light. Improved cycle lanes might also help alleviate the problem.


York NHS Foundation Trust


4.1       Mike Proctor, deputy chief executive of the York NHS Foundation Trust, spoke to encourage membership of the Trust and introduced Penny Goff, Membership Manager of the Trust.

4.2       York NHS became a Foundation Trust two years ago, giving the trust more freedom from the Department of Health and, as it is based on having a membership, introducing an element of local democracy into the NHS. So far, York NHS Foundation Trust has around 18,000 members, who play a variety of roles in the trust. They can sit on the board of governors or shape the board of governors, as over 50% of the board is elected by the Foundation Trust.

4.3       The NHS Foundation Trust employs 5,000, operates on 70,000 people and treats 65,000 people in accident and emergency every year. The hospital affects everyone’s life, either directly or indirectly, so everyone has a vested interest in having a good hospital.

4.4       To improve services at the hospital, they are working to involve the local community, focus on patient safety and improve performance. In addition to measuring performance by national standards, they want to consult the community on the criteria they use in measuring performance.

4.5       One recent important development in healthcare is that patients can now choose to be treated at any hospital in the country. The NHS Foundation Trust would like patients to choose York because it offers the best service rather than because of the location.

4.4       In efforts to improve services at the hospital they are exploring ways to develop the site. The ward block needs capital investment, and parking facilities need to be developed.

4.5       Some of the specific improvements at the hospital involve increasing capacity – they increased bed numbers by 60 this year – and increasing staffing levels; evidence shows that the number and quality of nursing staff is the factor with the single greatest impact on the quality of care that people receive when they are in hospital.

4.6            Though they have one of the best records in infection control in the country, infection control is a continuing priority for the hospital.

4.7            Another ongoing priority is a reduction in waiting times for treatment. As a result of investment since 1997, waiting time targets have been reduced from a maximum of 18 months in 1997 to a maximum of 18 weeks at present.

4.8       York hospital has become a regional leader in the areas of diabetic retinal screening, the treatment of macular degeneration with Lucentis and the delivery of vascular services.

4.9            Overall, the Foundation Trust will allow the hospital to listen more to the needs of the community, get more people involved in the Trust as members, governors or electing governors, and help to ease the boundary between different services.


First York


Terry Walker, Transport Planner from Development and Transport, spoke about bus services in the ward. He explained that no one could attend from First as they are currently restructuring, which means that the management team will be moving from York to Leeds. Cllr. Simpson-Laing invited the meeting to address questions about the bus service to Mr Walker.


Q.        There is no start/finish date for the timetable for the No. 1 bus route and the published timetable is unspecific, indicating that it will travel at frequent intervals. How is it possible to estimate the time of a bus?

A.        The paper leaflet has a start date but it is not prominent and it’s common not to put an end date on the timetable as it’s often not known when it will be altered. The new timetables should be available in a week. There shouldn’t be reduced frequency at peak times. “Frequent intervals” is used by many companies, and is taken to mean at least every ten minutes, and when advertised as such it is monitored by the industry regulator. The interval should not be more than 15 minutes, allowing the company 5 minutes leeway. It was originally introduced to increase frequency, but in practice it cuts down the information against which the company is monitored.  

Each bus stop has a unique number. If you send a text message with this number, and if the bus has tracking equipment, you can get an estimated arrival time. If there are problems with the service it defaults to the scheduled times, which can be misleading. It’s not perfect, but when it’s working well it’s very good.


Q.        The X54 service is now run by two different companies, but you can’t split your journey between the companies.

Q.        The X54 has limited stops and there is inconsistency between drivers about what the stops are. There is also inconsistency in ticket prices.

A.        (Cllr. Simpson-Laing) It is the national policy of First not to take up cross-ticketing schemes, but they have done it elsewhere so they could do it in York.

A.        (Terry Walker) The council supplements moving between bus companies, so the other company should offer a First York customer a maximum £1 supplementary fare.


Q.        Some companies don’t offer this at all, TransDev for example.


Q.        (Cllr Simpson-Laing) Lots of children going to Millthorpe and All Saints schools use the No. 10 bus in the morning. On the 7.46 bus there are often up to 20 people standing and children sitting three to a seat. The next bus is at 8.15, but it doesn’t arrive at Blossom St. until 9am, so the 7.46 is the only bus the children can take. This is potentially dangerous. Because we only have a half-hourly service, we need a double decker bus on the route.


Q.             Because we have to change buses, it takes 1 ½ hours to get to Bishopthorpe.


A.        18 months ago First wanted to increase the frequency of the No. 10 bus to 15  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Proposed Ward Schemes


6.1             The budget is divided according to the key objectives of the ward.

6.2       Under increased community facilities, the ward will fund the following projects:

  • Improved facilities at the Viking Park
  • Youth workers from Young People’s Service
  • Improving facilities, leadership and qualifications at the Boys Brigade
  • Street Sports, which has been very successful
  • Older Citizens Advocacy York
  • Fund for the Gifted, who are very happy with the small amount they receive, which helps young people taking part in sports to get to venues, etc. One young man in this area was helped.
  • Play space

6.3       Under increased road safety, the ward will continue to fund salt bins. The salt bins have been very useful this year – if your salt bin is empty they can be refilled.

6.4       Under a better environment and safer community the ward will fund the Community Rangers, which has been very successful, and create a fund to provide trees and daffodils in areas in the ward. There are parts of the ward which have no trees, so if there is an area for trees or daffodils, get in touch with Cindy Benton or the councillors. There will also be some money left over for emergencies. If there are ideas for schemes for next year, they will be collected in July.


Q.        Does the money have to be spent?

A.        The money for the coming year must be spent by March 2010. Sometimes there is money left over from schemes and sometimes schemes cost more than the allocated amount.


Q.             Schemes come up which can be brought forward.

A.        Yes, trees could be planted sooner, etc.


Have Your Say


Q.        What’s happened about the British Sugar site?

A.             Someone from the British Sugar site was invited to the meeting, but no one could attend. The councillor has been assured by Bill Wooley, the director of City Strategy, that someone will come to the next meeting. Demolition is not subject to planning, so the council can only take action on certain issues. There is a campaign underway to have the area designated an eco-site, which would speed up funding for redevelopment. More information will be available at the next meeting.


Q.        There are traffic problems at the junction of Beckfield Lane and Boroughbridge Road. On Sunday there is hardly any traffic, but the temporary traffic lights are causing traffic problems.

A.             Temporary traffic lights are not run off a computer like main traffic lights. Residents often voice concern about light sequences, and if there’s anything wrong with permanent lights we’ll follow it up.


Q.        Could they do testing on the traffic lights at the new school?

A.        The school cannot open until proper facilities are in place and working. Testing would delay the school.


Q.        What will happen to the old Manor School site?  

A.        The young people have been consulted and would like to keep the green space available for use. The suggestions were passes to the council and need to wait for a report. The school would have to be made secure. We believe we won’t lose any of the green area. In an open space study conducted across the city, taking into account population and open spaces, Acomb came out badly. When it comes to the planning application for the site, this will be evidence to support the green area. In addition all the trees have tree protection as they are a particular variety of Sweet Chestnut.


Q.        Given that the school will be open at Easter, when will there be a decision about the site?

A.        It will come before the council and there will be an opportunity for people to speak in support.


Q.        Is it true that the council are looking at letting?

A.        The councillors are not aware of this. Councillors have asked for the tennis courts to be made available. The main issue is security – how might it be possible to use part of the site.


Q.        Can I write to somebody about it?

A.        The Chief Executive of the Council, Bill McCarthy.


Q.        What will happen to the building?

A.        It will be the legal duty of the authority to secure the building. It has to be secure on grounds of liability.


Q.        Is there CCTV on the building?

A.        The councillors can find that out.


Q.        We live opposite the school and during the holidays we had to call the police as we caught people taking lead off the roof.

A.        This is the best way to tackle these issues. Once they identify that something is happening, they hotspot an area and target their patrols there.


Q.        When they  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


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