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Agenda and minutes

Contact: Julie Hood 

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Drop-in surgery 6.30pm

The drop-in surgery gives you the opportunity to talk to your councillors, street environment officer, safer neighbourhood team, neighbourhood management officer and visiting speakers in an informal setting.


Residents had the opportunity to talk with Cllr Tracey Simpson-Laing; Cllr David Horton; Catherine Bamford, York Rotters; Judith Johnstone, Friends of Acomb Green; Dee Bush, Older Citizens’ Advocacy; Tracey Robbins, Joseph Rowntree Foundation; PCSO Ben Hutchinson; PC Andrew Chapman; Gill Cooper, Head of Arts and Culture; Paul Ramskill, Everybody Active – Targeted Programme Co-ordinator, CYC; Neil Bellerby, Assistant Development Officer, Integrated Strategy; Simon Haddock, Community Leisure Officer; Wendy Taylor, Major Projects and Development Initiatives Officer; Michelle Watling, Street Environment Officer; Mora Scaife, Neighbourhood Manager; Julie Hood, Neighbourhood Management Officer; Ted Schofield, Neighbourhood Management Support Officer, in an informal setting.






Welcome and Minutes 7.00pm

The minutes of the previous meeting will be signed and there will be an update on any action points.


Councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing welcomed everyone to the meeting. The minutes of the last meeting were agreed and signed.


Councillor Simpson-Laing asked the Safer Neighbourhood Team to inform the meeting of the recent changes to the team.


PC Andy Chapman is new to the Ward as is Inspector Neil Drummond and Sergeant Iain Sirrell.   There has been an increase in house burglaries recently, this is mostly due to unsecure houses so a reminder was given to keep doors and windows locked.


Acomb Police station is now a manned station for a two hour period each day so can be used.  The timings are promoted in the Ward notice boards.




Ward schemes

Groups which have applied for ward funding for next year will

come along and let us know why they need it.


The following representatives of groups/organisations gave further information in support of their ward funding applications.


Citizen’s Advice Bureau,

There is an increasing number of residents being seen with debt related issues.  For some residents accessing CAB in the City Centre is difficult being able to visit a session in the ward would make getting help much easier.


Friends of Acomb Green

Hold an annual summer fare which is a very popular family event.  The fare in 2011 was a rather wet one which did not deter the large amount of residents who attended.  The application is towards the fare and towards improvements to the Green.  These improvements include bulb planting which is taking place this weekend at 9.00am.


York Rotters,

Would like to deliver training sessions entitled ‘how to compost’ to encourage residents to compost appropriately.  Following these sessions they would like to deliver some sessions to show how to use the compost to grow vegetables in a small space.


Safe and Sound Homes,

Provides emergency accommodation for 16 to 24 year olds through host families.  There are currently four hosts in Acomb, who also provide a hot meal and breakfast for the young person.  49 young people have been helped since September, 5 of these in Acomb with the provision of 25 nights accommodation.


Street Sport,

Provide sport and active play for 5 to 18 year olds, this includes the mobile climbing wall, KMX Karting and a range of sports.  The sessions are two hour sessions and are delivered throughout the ward.

This year pupils at Carr School have asked for a scheme to cover the mobile skate park only.  They are working hard to try to secure a skate park in the ward and in the meantime have requested that 10 mobile skate park sessions are delivered.


Sovereign Park Residents’ Association,

The Residents Association organise several community events annually.  The really wild day was hald on Saturday and over 200 residents from the Acomb ward attended (not only Sovereign Park residents).  It was a fabulous event with everyone enjoying different aspects.  Funding is required to ensure this can be built on next year.


York Community Watch Association,

This Association needs to expand into areas it does not currently cover.  To do this a small amount of funding is required.


Carr Vikings Junior Football Club

The club is based at Old School Walk and supports over 60 young people to play football competitively.  The costs of maintaining the pitches and the changing rooms continues to increase as does keeping up to date with training for the coaches.  Although funding has been received in previous years further funding will ensure the club continues to provide a service for the Ward.


Cllr Tracey Simpson-Laing encouraged residents to express their preferences for schemes they wanted to support, using the Your Ward leaflet or by contacting the Neighbourhood Management Officer, Julie Hood.



Find out about the 50,000 trees to be planted over the next three



Information about the Treemendous programme was presented by Wendy Taylor, Major Projects and Development Initiatives Officer.


York has less tree coverage than the national average, the Treemendous programme is aiming to plant 50,000 trees to redress the balance. 


These trees can be in public places and in residents gardens.  Advice is readily available on which trees are suitable for particular habitats, and on their maintenance.


The following  questions were raised;


Q.      A lot of trees were cut down when Poppleton Gate House was built, and a promise to replant them has not yet been fulfilled.   

A.      Some new trees have been planted although not many.  Wendy will discuss with the residents independent of the meeting.


Q.      Are you aware of the poor state of health of the horse chestnut trees by the old Manor School site, and are there any plans to replace them?


A.      Unfortunately horse chestnuts can suffer from poor health.  This site could be considered as sites for Treemendous to plant trees.


Q.      Have funds had been set aside to maintain the planted trees


A.      Aftercare is very important.  If trees are planted in individual gardens then the occupier will be responsible for the maintenance of the tree similarly if businesses/schools are involved.  For trees planted on Council land there is an amount of funding set aside for maintenance.


Q.      How many trees will be planted in Acomb and how big will the trees be?


A.      The number of trees has not yet been decided and the trees will be between 1 and 1.5m dependant upon the variety of tree.




Sally Hutchinson from Age UK

Sally Hutchinson will tell us what services Age UK provide and how to benefit from them.

Find out about Joseph Rowntree Foundation Loneliness Project.


Sally Hutchinson spoke about the work of Age UK (previously Age Concern and Help the Aged)


Age UK York, works in partnership with other organisations e.g. Active Sport and Leisure, CAB, OCAY amongst others.  This ensures older people can access the most up to date information regarding their finances.


Age UK currently focuses on several different areas including befriending, day clubs, outings, help with finances amongst many others.


The In Safe Hands service has now been running for thirty years – offering relief to carers to allow them to safely leave their dependants for a break.


The Home Services Directory maintained by Age UK is a list of reputable service providers, a great defence against unscrupulous traders.



Joseph Rowntree Foundation Loneliness project


This is a joint initiative between the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust. It involves local people, stakeholdes the Programme Manager and 3P’s Consultancy.


It is an action research programme using community development approaches.  The project works with people in their neighbourhood to explore important factors that contribute to feelings of overwhelming or problematic loneliness.  They will be exploring factors as health and well being, safety, independence and life transitions.  Moving on to developing and putting into practice ideas and activities to reduce the effects of loneliness.


It is a three year project and began in December 2010.  Engaging residents has been done through web pages, twitter, blogging, newspaper articles, posters and gong onto the streets to meet with them.


To date 9 volunteers have been recruited and trained in Participatory Learning appraisal.  These Community Researchers have spoken to 316 people to date and have gathered 1250 comments.  They have spoken to residents at bus stops, in the woods, on the street and at Acomb Fair.


The next stage will include more outreach and fieldwork, training for the volunteers on analysing data and two feedback sessions, on 2nd and 5th November.


Further into the project the group will be looking to recruit more volunteers to help initiate and establish some of the ideas/solutions developing out of the project.  Feedback to neighbourhoods and stakeholders will continue through the project. Towards the end of the project an agreed action plan will be put into place.


The following questions were raised:


Q.      Who is funding the project


A.      The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is funding it.





Planning Panel

Election of members for the Acomb panel.


Two planning panel members agreed to stand for the panel this year.  Mr Clark and Mr Parker.


Mr Clark informed the meeting that they meet once a month to discuss any planning applications in the ward which had been sent to them.  They then send their comments to the Planning Department.


Cllr Tracey Simpson-Laing pointed out that this would be increasingly important concerning the future development at the British Sugar plant.  If anyone is interested in finding more information please contact Julie Hood.


Have your say

Your chance to ask questions about local issues and concerns not covered by the agenda.


The following issues were raised:


Q.      There is a large amount of hard landscaping on Beckfield Lane, outside the shop, and a large amount given over to cycle-tracks with the footpath being shared.


A.      The Ward Councillors are working to address this.  The shared footpath is common practice, the issue here is that car drivers do not expect a cycle to be on the footpath. This may cause an issue. The crossing is very useful to enable people to cross the road when traffic is heavy.

          The funding for this scheme was identified from cycle city funding so had to be used for cycling initiatives



Q.      Could the hawthorn hedge on the corner of Low Poppleton Lane  be trimmed?


A.      Julie will report this


Q.      since the bus routes have been changed there is conjestion caused by the busses from Runswick  Avenue to Backfield Place, could the lay by be reinstated?


A.      Unfortunately this would be too costly.


Q.      There is now no service from Beckfield Lane to Blossom Street.


A.      The bus routes are determined by First York. If there are routes which are not cost effective First York will try to find an alternative.


Q.      The potholes just on the inside of the household waste site on Beckfield Lane are very big.


A.      Julie will report them.


Q. Is there an update on the British Sugar site?


A.      There has recently been a meeting where setting up a community forum was discussed.  There will also be a presentation at the next Ward Committee Meeting to ensure everyone is kept up to date.


It was noted that some properties did not receive a copy of Your Ward.  Julie will pass this information on.







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