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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Heslington Church

Contact: Sally Barker 

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Drop-in surgery 6.30 pm

The drop-in surgery gives you the opportunity to talk with your Ward Councillors, Street Environment Officer, Safer Neighbourhood Police team, Neighbourhood Management Officer, York Mind, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and visiting speakers in an informal setting.


Ten Residents arrived at the Drop In to speak to the Councillors, Street Environment Officer, Safer Neighbourhood Police Team, Neighbourhood Management Officer, York Link, and York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.


Welcome and Minutes 7.00 pm

Update on any action points


Keith Aspden welcomed everyone and announced that the next two meetings would be in Fulford to redress the balance after two meetings in Heslington.  He then introduced the new councillor, David Levene and asked the public to read the minutes of the last meeting, on the benches, so that they could be approved at the end of the meeting.


Safer Neighbourhood Police Team

The safer neighbourhood team will give an update on police operations in the area and answer any question you have.


PC Andrew Thompson gave an update on crime in Heslington, which was generally lower than this time last year; there were 26 fewer victims of crime, theft had dropped by 56% and burglary by 67%, but a couple of incidents had caused a rise in violence in the ward.  Inspector Alasdair Day confirmed that the crime rate was dropping in York as a whole.  Operation Wadi (against cycle theft) appeared to be working.


One member of the public noted that they were pleased to have seen police regularly in the ward.  Another raised a question about police areas, and Inspector Day reassured her that police work across boundaries and would follow up issues outside their area if necessary.


Street Environment Officer

Suzanne Prance will update us on the improvements she’s been making in the ward.


Sally Barker presented a powerpoint presentation for Suzanne Prance, (Street Environment).


York Libraries

Fiona Williams from York Libraries will talk about the Explore vision and how libraries work with their local communities.


Sarah Garbacz, Library Service Delivery Manager, (standing in for Fiona Williams) gave a talk about libraries in York, describing new services such as audiobooks for MP3 players, and campaigns such as the Six Book Challenge.  All libraries in York are UK Online centres, and staff are trained to help the public with using basic IT and also conduct more specialised training such as researching family history or financial management. She described the changing role of libraries, which are seen as safe, neutral places for people to meet and engage in activities such as crafts, and both Acomb and York Explore have café areas.  She suggested that Friends Groups might be created to support the libraries, and volunteers might take on some of the tasks;  finally she invited suggestions as to how the public would like to be involved.


Fulford in Bloom

Colin Campbell or Judy Nicholson will talk about the Fulford in Bloom scheme and what they’re doing for this year’s entries.


 Verna Campbell (replacing Colin Campbell) gave a talk on Fulford in Bloom.


Fulford has not entered the competition this year, instead it has entered another competition called Its Your Neighbourhood, which has an emphasis on community participation.  The other main factors taken into account by the horticultural and environmental experts acting as judges is the environmental responsibility and environmental issues.  The judges will offer a certificate on one of five levels. 


Fulford Community Orchard has entered the competition separately, due to free trees being offered.  They have planted 220 trees with an emphasis on encouraging wildlife.  Another 100 trees have been planted on Fordland Fields, chosen for their successive colours through the year.


Heslington Scouts, Fulford Cubs, St Oswalds School and Fordlands Care Home are all taking part.


Planters made by local people (Verna emphasised that this will gain marks) have been put under road signs.


Verna was delighted to report that Townends House have started planting shrubs.  In answer to a question, she stated that the group had received a grant from York Community Pride Foundation.  She also confirmed that she had been in touch with the maintenance man at Sir John Hunt Homes, who was very keen to develop the gardens.


A question was raised – could the group offer help to those unable to keep their hedges properly trimmed?  Verna thought this was an excellent idea but doubted that volunteers would have the time.  However volunteers had kept the new trees well watered.


Another point was raised about the sign for Millennium Way, which has been all but obscured by the hedge, and Keith Aspden agreed that this needed cutting.  Another job waiting to be done was repainting the streetlights.


Other members of the public asked if they could have the bulbs earlier to plant themselves, and pointed out that snowdrops should be planted “in the green”.  Keith suggested that better contact needed to made with Suzanne Prance to ensure bulbs arrived in good time.


Have Your Say

Your chance to ask question about local issues and concerns



A question was asked – as the University of York is against controls of Houses of Multiple Occupation, can the council put a cap on the number of students the university can take on?


David Levene answered he did not think the council had this power, but would investigate and respond to the resident.


  Keith Aspden pointed out that HMOs will be subject to new planning laws in 6 months time which will exert some control, but he was disappointed that the university had taken this decision.


A question was raised about hedge cutting in Elliott Court and Keith agreed to see the questioner after the meeting.


Some discussion followed about the new sign at the top of St Oswalds Road, which does not indicate all the streets to which it leads.  Keith agreed that the sign was incorrect but the cost of replacement would probably be too great.  Also discussion about the “Fulford” and “Welcome to Fulford” signs.  Keith suggested asking Suzanne Prance about the possibility of installing new signs.


A member of the public said that Fulford in Bloom deserved congratulation, the fruit trees were looking good – but the flyer making people aware of the red/gold colour scheme had come too late.  Keith said he was keen to improve the planter on Prospect Terrace.


The minutes from the last meeting were approved without any corrections.


The date of the next Ward Committee Meeting was announced as Monday, 10 October 2011.


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