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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Osbaldwick Primary School, The Leyes

Contact: Ginnie Shaw 

No. Item



The surgery will feature:

  • Information on the Sustainable Communities Act. We need your ideas on how York could benefit from the exciting opportunities presented by this Act


Plus a chance to speak with:

  • Your councillors – Nigel Ayre, Jenny Brooks and Jonathan Morley
  • Ginnie Shaw, Neighbourhood Management Officer

And representatives from:

  • Safer Neighbourhoods Policing Team
  • Street Environment Team
  • The Council’s Children and Young People’s Services


1.1       Local residents had an opportunity to speak with Cllr Jonathan Morley, Cllr Jenny Brooks, Cllr Nigel Ayre, Angus Young (Street Environment), Rachel Smith (Children and Young People’s Services), the Safer Neighbourhoods Team, Graham Titchener (Cycling City), Russ Broadbent (Parking Services) and Zoe Burns, Ginnie Shaw & Toby Knight from the Neighbourhood Management Unit.

1.2            Residents were able to learn more about the Sustainable Communities Act 2007, and to submit their ideas.


Welcome and minutes


2.1             Cllr Jonathan Morley was in the Chair and welcomed residents to the meeting.

2.2             The minutes of the last meeting were agreed and signed.


Cycling City

Graham Titchener, Cycling City Programme Manager, will give an update on the city’s plans to improve and develop facilities for cyclists and get more people cycling.


Graham Titchener, Cycling City Programme Manager, spoke about the Department for Transport’s Cycling City initiative and what this means for the city of York.


The following points were noted:


3.1             The programme provides funding of around £8 million to improve cycling conditions in the city and to encourage more people to take it up. The programme ends in March 2011.

3.2             Graham Titchener’s contact details: e-mail cycling.city@york.gov.uk phone York 551495.

3.3       Some of the major plans include improvements to Clifton Bridge, Blossom Street and Fulford Village.

3.4       This is a York programme, not a council programme; though the council is involved.

3.5            Information on how the money will be spent will be circulated to all households for the end of May.


Residents made the following comments:


a)     Some older people have never learned to ride a bike. Lots of money has been spent on cycling, but there has been insufficient research into where cycling lanes are placed. There should be an emphasis on reducing the number of cars.

a.     We are running training sessions specifically for the over 50s, disabled people and families. It is hoped that the number of cars on the road will be reduced as a result of this initiative.

b)     The road conditions are a serious deterrent to cycling.

a.     We will be improving the road margins as part of the programme.

c)      CYC is anti-car. Route 66 (Sustrans track) is very dangerous; muggings have occurred along it.

a.     Infrastructure needs to be improved along the route. Lighting is due to be installed at some point. Not sure about the CYC being anti-car; only heard in press. Council only wants to encourage people to cycle or walk when possible.

d)     There have been problems with continuing maintenance  following capital  spending in the past.  White markings have faded in some areas. What happens in 2 years time when money runs out?

a.     Improvements will be made to cycle markings. Not sure what will happen in 2 years time.

e)     Cycling conditions in York have improved dramatically from 20 years ago. Pot holes and poor lighting are still problems though. Cycle lanes on roads sometimes disappear.

a.     Lines are being put down at Walmgate for cycle lanes. We need cyclists’ opinions on where the danger spots are.

f)        Is there sufficient money in the pot to be able to do all that is necessary?

a.     Could spend hundreds of millions and still not have everything perfect. However, there is money for 3 infrastructure projects and also for soft measures.

g)     Clarence St is dangerous where the bus stops. Also, can we get cycle racks at City Screen?

a.     Suggest waiting for bus to make its stop on Clarence St. City Screen area is church property, and they haven’t allowed cycle racks in the past. However, they are prepared to discuss it again, so hopefully there will be progress.

h)      Can councillors commit to funding beyond two years?

a.     Cycling City is match funded by CYC. Are hopeful that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Sustainable Communities Act

Zoe Burns, Head of Neighbourhoods and Business Support, will provide a presentation about the Act and what it means to the area.


Zoe Burns, Head of Neighbourhoods and Business Support, gave a presentation on the Sustainable Communities Act, and the City of York Council’s plan for implementing it.


The following points were noted:


4.1       The Act is aiming to devolve powers from central government to local councils in situations where it is felt that local people will have a better understanding of how to deal with an issue. This is a grassroots initiative, looking to get ideas from local residents.

4.2       The scope of the Act is very broad, covering social, economic and environmental issues; anything that can promote the sustainability of local communities.

4.3       The council is looking for ideas from community groups, parish councils and other groups as well as individuals. These will be examined by a citizens’ panel and agreed upon before forwarding onto the Local Government Association, which will in turn filter it up to the Secretary of State.

4.4       The deadline for suggestions is the 8th of May. The criteria for  suggestions are that it is only something that central government can currently do, and that the granting of the power to local government could be shown to increase the sustainability of the community.


Residents made the following comments:


a)     Isn’t this what the normal democratic process should be? Ideas from bottom should trickle up.

a.     This Act means that the government cannot ignore the suggestions made; they will have to act on them.

b)     Why does it go through so many filters?

a.     It goes through the Council Executive because they are required by the Act to reach agreement.

c)      Not clear what is being asked for. Could the council provide proposals for people to vote on?

a.     This is against the spirit of the act. It is supposed to be a bottom-up approach.

d)     How much money can you ask for?

a.     Not about money, although it may follow once a power is granted.

e)     Why is the consultation period so short? How long has the council known about it?

a.     A council motion was adopted at the end of November 2008. We have a deadline of 31st July set to submit final proposals, so suggestions need to be received well before then.

f)        Vast majority of residents have had very little time.

a.     This is the first opportunity we have had to take it to ward committees.

g)     It seems to suggest a spending element; not just revenue generation.

a.     Yes. It’s about power transfer – for example, to stop people parking on grass verges.

h)      Once the submissions have been agreed upon, will you get back to people?

a.     If you would like us to do so then let us know and we can make sure that happens.

i)        If the information was made more generally available, then more people could be involved in the discussion.

a.     Unfortunately, the timescale does not allow this.

j)        Why weren’t leaflets sent to all households?

a.     It was featured in every edition of Your  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Parking issues

Russ Broadbent, Parking Services Manager, will speak about problems with parking in the villages and answer questions.


Russ Broadbent, Parking Services Manager, spoke about the council’s Parking Services, the kind of work they do and some of the things that they can enforce.


The following points were noted:


5.1             Parking Services are responsible for enforcing: loading and waiting restrictions, cycle lanes, bus stops, traffic routes, designated parking spaces and emergency access.

5.2             There are no targets for the number of fines that have to be issued, and it is not an objective of Parking Services. The objective is solely to get 100% compliance with the parking regulations.

5.3             There are currently 22 parking attendants employed, with around 8 on duty at any one time.

5.4             Only the police are able to enforce parking that causes an obstruction (e.g. parking on pavements) and dangerous parking.

5.5             For any parking violations which the council can deal with, residents should call the hotline on 0800 138 1119. The target is to deal with the situation within 45 minutes.


The residents made the following comments:


a)                 What happens if someone is moving home and have a car/van parked in a restricted area?

a.     Exceptions are made. It is helpful if we are made aware beforehand.

b)                 Could parish councils enforce parking restrictions?

a.     Might be an idea for the Sustainable Communities Act. It is not a pleasant job to have, however.

c)                  How often are the parking attendants in the villages like Murton.

a.     3 times per week. New motorbikes help with ability of parking attendants to patrol villages.

d)                 Can a ticket be issued for parking on a bus stop?

a.     Yes, so long as the stop is marked in yellow, not white.


Have Your Say

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


a)                 Two and a half years ago reported state of stream, beck & hedge down Link Road. Some parts appear to be council property, and some are not. People heading down the cycle path have to dodge the hedge.

a.     Cleaning efforts have occurred from time to time. Will look into the issue further.

b)                 Who is responsible for the life buoys on Swales?

a.     Believe they are privately owned. Will check.

c)                  Disappointed that 3 important meeting items were crammed onto one agenda.

d)                 Have complained about vandalism of plastic along Metcalfe Lane. It should either be removed or completely replaced.

a.     Noted.


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