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Agenda and minutes

Venue: St Mary's Church Hall, North Lane

Contact: Claire Taylor 

No. Item


7pm Drop in Surgery

The drop in surgery give you the opportunity to talk with your Ward Councillors, Street Environment Officer, Safer Neighbourhood Police Team, Neighbourhood Management Officer and representatives from York Rotters in an informal setting.  


1.1    Residents had the opportunity to speak to Councillors Firth, Cuthbertson and Richardson, Claire Taylor, Iain Dunn, Sarah Garbacz, PCSO Tom Laurie and representatives from Haxby Town Council and Wigginton Parish Council.


1.2    Residents also had the opportunity to speak to representatives from York Link, York Rotters and York & District Citizens Advice Bureau.



7.30pm Main Meeting

Welcome and Minutes


2.1 Councillor Paul Firth welcomed residents to the meeting and introduced the two new councillors for the ward.


2.2 The minutes of the last meeting held on 26th January 2011 were agreed and signed as a true record.


The following comment was noted:


a)    Five of the candidates in the election were not ward residents and one of the elected councillors does not live in the ward. 

Response was given that the councillor concerned had been a ward resident for about 14 out of the last 17 years and had only recently moved to live just outside the boundary.



Safer Neighbourhood Police Team

The Safer Neighbourhood Team will explain about the changes to your local police team and give an update on police operations in the area and answer any questions you have. 


PCSO 3545 Tom Laurie gave an update on crime and community safety issues in the ward.  The following points were noted:


3.1  PC Lailah Nijaila is now the dedicated PC for this ward.  Unfortunately she was unable to attend the meeting this evening.  She has a number of years experience of neighbourhood policing, having previously worked in another ward in the city.


3.2  Residents were referred to a letter on their chairs from Superintendent

Lisa Winward outlining some minor changes to the Rural York Safer Neighbourhood Team.  All Safer Neighbourhood Teams for Rural North,

including this one, will start their shifts from Clifton Moor police station.  From there they will go out into the ward and begin policing as normal.


3.3  Overall, crime in the ward has reduced by 4% over the last year. 


3.4  Recently there has been an increase in dwelling burglaries and violence against the person.  The team have put problem solving plans in place to tackle the increase in burglary.


3.5  A lot of the burglary is taking place at farms and in response to this a ‘Farm Watch’ scheme has been set up.  This is going well so far with over  50 farms signed up to the scheme.


3.6  Metal theft continues to be a problem in this ward and across the rest of the city.  North Yorkshire Police are working closely with scrap dealers to make them accountable as to who they are buying from.  Leaflets were available for residents to take away with information on how to protect property against this.


3.7  The team are getting a lot of calls from residents reporting anti-social behaviour on Mancroft play area, however when the team get there the kids are just playing.  The park is being locked at 7pm by Haxby Town

Council however young people are still getting in.  It is not the police’s job

to remove people from the park beyond the closing time. 


3.7  Residents can contact the team by ringing 0845 6060247 (always dial  999 in an emergency) or emailing SNAyorkrural@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk.


The following questions and comments were noted:


a)     How can we avoid lead theft?

Response was given that the best way to protect your property is to either replace the lead with a different product or coat it with a substance that makes it difficult to remove (anti-climb paint).



York Libraries

A representative from the York Library Service will talk about the explore vision and explain how libraries work with their local communities.


Sarah Garbacz from York Libraries gave an overview of the library service in York.  The following points were noted:


4.1 Libraries are a statutory requirement meaning that City of York Council is legally bound to provide this service.  The service promotes reading and aims to increase literacy through reading.


4.2  Haxby library has recently had a revamp which has helped to utilise the space more effectively.   The library now provides free wi-fi, computer access and self service machines.   


4.3  Cafes are being introduced into York Libraries as part of the ‘Explore’ vision and although there are no immediate plans, it is hoped there will be one in Haxby Library in the future.  This service is very successful in York Explore and Acomb Explore.


4.3  The library service organise a variety of events including:

·         Author events – if anyone has a particular author they would like to see, please contact the service.

·         Big City Read – a summer programme which encourages residents in York to read the same book and attend events based around the theme of the book.  This summer the book is Andrew Martin’s ‘The Lost Luggage Porter’ which residents can pick up for free from any City of York Library.

·         Children’s summer reading challenge – children are encouraged to read six books over the summer period and receive rewards for participating.


4.4  An ‘e-library’ service has recently been launched enabling residents to borrow e-books and audio books without charge.  Residents should visit the Libraries page on City of York Council website at www.york.gov.uk.  Demonstration sessions are being held in libraries, residents should contact their local library for more information.


4.5  The service is looking into setting up ‘Friends’ groups in the Autumn.


4.6  Over the coming months, the service will be looking at the scope for creating volunteer roles in the libraries.  The idea is not to have volunteers running the libraries but to work alongside the paid employees. 


The following questions and comments were noted:


a)    The Explore concept obviously works as York and Acomb Explore libraries are very successful.

Response was given that those libraries are doing very well.  Since York Explore re-opened last year there has been a 25% increase in people accessing the library.


b)    Like everyone else you are not immune to pressures to save money and you may need to use volunteers to run the libraries in the future.

Response was given that there is currently no indication of that.


c)    There are plans in the pipeline to extend Haxby Memorial Hall and I understand this may provide an opportunity for Haxby Library to move to a bigger location.

Confirmation was given that the library service are interested in looking     in to this further.


York Rotters


Catherine Bamford from York Rotters gave a talk on the work of the organisation.  The following points were noted:


5.1  York Rotters is a partnership project between Friend of St Nicholas Fields and City of York Council.  It is a growing network of volunteers who provide support and advice to people who already compost or want to begin. 


5.2  Residents were encouraged to compost, the benefits of doing so being a reduction in rubbish going to landfill and good quality compost to help enhance the garden or planters.


5.3  York Rotters work with many organisations including local schools to help them reduce their landfill waste through composting. 


5.4  A one day sale of reduced compost bins is taking place on Saturday 1st October and bins are available at a price of £9 to be collected from Haxby Memorial Hall between 9.30am and 12.20pm. Residents should pre-order to guarantee availability by ring York Rotters on (01904) 412861 or emailing rotters@stnicksfields.org.uk.



York & District Citizens Advice Bureau


Cheryl Fisher from York & District Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) gave a brief talk on the outreach service running in the ward funded by the ward committee.  The following points were noted:


6.1  Thank you to the ward committee for the grant which has enabled CAB to start running outreach sessions on alternate Wednesday’s, 9.30am – 12.30pm at Oaken Grove Community Centre.  The sessions work on a drop-in basis but due to the popularity they may be changed to an appointment basis.


6.2  Since the sessions started in May,18 residents of the ward have accessed this service with a range of issues including immigration, consumer and debt.


6.3  So far, this service has helped to identify £10,000 of unclaimed benefit which is a significant amount of money.


6.4  CAB have advertised these sessions through a range of publications but  residents were also encouraged to spread the word in the community.


The following questions and comments were noted:


a)     Is there is debt problem in this ward?

Response was given that a number of people in this ward are struggling with debt.  Debt is a growing problem amongst people on middle range incomes, a product of the credit crunch.


b)     Could you alternate the sessions between Haxby and Wigginton.

Response was given that there is no reason why sessions could not be held in Wigginton if a suitable venue could be found.  A private room is required to enable CAB to speak to the clients in privacy.




Have Your Say

Your chance to ask questions about local issues and concerns.



This meeting will be chaired by Cllr Paul Firth


7.1  Councillor Paul Firth announced that the Community Ranger service funded by the ward committee was being cancelled with immediate effect.  Group Response, the company originally contracted to carry out this service went into liquidation earlier in the financial year and the company who took over are not providing the same level of service. This  will be reviewed at the beginning of the next financial year.


7.2   Councillor Paul Firth announced that at the beginning of the financial year the ward committees were subject to a 10% reduction in their budgets.  This was accommodated by reducing the amount of some grants and cancelling a number of schemes.  The 10% has now been restored to the budget so the ward team will be reviewing the spend. 


7.3  Residents were invited to raise any issues in the ward.  The following points were noted: 


a)    I am very pleased that the Community Ranger contract has been

cancelled.  The HM Government Tackling Anti-social behaviour leaflet is very useful for giving advice to residents on how to handle Anti social behaviour.

Response was given that the team will look at including some of this information in the next Your Ward. 


b)    What is the current situation with the Union Terrace Car Park?

Response was given that a special council meeting has been called for 4th August where this proposal will be discussed further.


c)    What has happened to the proposals for Haxby Station?

Response was given that the plans are currently on hold as funding could not be secured.  It is not clear what is going to happen but it is unlikely there will be any developments in the near future.  Councillor Cuthbertson added that the possibility of going ahead with the rail halt had come up several times over recent years, not always at election time, but that the different bodies which could authorise the project or approve funding had eventually turned down the idea each time for a variety of reasons. 


d)     Residents were encouraged to support ‘Haxby in Bloom’ run by Haxby

Town Council.  Volunteers to help out are always welcomed, anyone interested should contact the Town Council.


e)    Are Haxby Town Council planning a week long festival for Haxby next


Response was given that this idea had been discussed but it would not be going ahead.


f)     Is eight salt bins for this ward enough?

Response was given that the ward committee can fund additional salt bins and residents are encouraged to suggest locations using the scheme suggestion form.  The ward team have also identified locations for emergency salt bags to be placed in extreme weather. 


g)     Is it true that land at Mill Crux is to be transferred to City of York

Council and, if so, for what purpose?

Response was given that this is not known but will be looked into and a reply given to the resident and the ward committee as soon as the information is available.







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