Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: The Gateway Centre, Front Street, YO24 3BZ
Contact: Michal Czekajlo Community Officer
Note: Please use the Front Street entrance to the building. The meeting will be held in the Oak Room.
Talk to your Ward Councillors and local Police Team.
Give us your views on what is important to you in your community.
· Q& A with your local Police Team
· Activities for young people – updates from groups and organisations
· UK Shared Prosperity Fund and its potential for the Front Street shopping area and Westfield Ward
· Update on the proposed Multi-Use Games Area at York Acorn ARL Sports & Social Club
· Have your say
Welcome Chaired by Cllr Waller who opened the meeting and welcomed everyone.
Q & A with your local Police Team
Insp Pointon shared an update on the multiagency problem solving approach to the ASB and crime issues around Foxwood. The approach was adopted based on learning from the Little Knavesmire hot spot and with the view to enabled dialogue between the Police, the community and other partner agencies such as City of York Council (CYC) and Youth Justice Service (YJS). Problem solving was initiated in October 2021 and is an ongoing work including visits to schools, liaison with YJS, Police drop-in events in the community. As a result, an increase in ASB and crime reporting was observed, which is a good thing providing Police with valuable intelligence. Insp Pointon invited the meeting to keep reporting anything that feels not right. He then described his role with emphasis on resilience, engagement and ensuring visibility of his team within the community.
Insp Pointon invited questions:
Q – How do you work with (YJS)?
A – Our approach is to start with engagement and early intervention before enforcement is taken. Regular meetings with YJS are held in which individual cases are being discussed and appropriate actions agreed.
Q – How many officers are in the Team covering this area?
A – York Outer Team consists of myself, three Sergeants, six Police Constables and 33 PCSO’s. Yok Inner has a separate Team.
At this point Cllr Waller introduced Superintendent Fran Naughton who spoke about her role emphasizing the need for the Team to be visible and actively engaging with the community.
Q – What are York crime figures comparing to other areas?
A – Stats for York are better comparing to bigger metropolitan areas but differ from rural areas due to different type of crime committed. Fraud is currently the biggest issue in North Yorkshire.
Q - A concern was raised about increase in instances of ASB and vandalism to bus shelters, signs, street furniture and private property over the past few years.
A – In response Supt Naughton reassured that a lot of work is being undertaken to tackle the ASB issues. Capable Guardian was mentioned by Cllr Waller and the need for reinstating the approach with positive role models, school visits, and the recent Police drop-in sessions at the Library being a positive step forward.
Apologies were given for Paula Stainton form York City Football Club Foundation. The Foundation provides regular kickabout sessions for young people at Energise Leisure Centre and are commissioned by the ward to provide Easter and Summer sports activities on Chesney’s Field and Acomb Green.
Kashi from The Island spoke about the charity and its children mentoring programme before moving to describe their new youth club venture. The youth club opened at the Foxwood Community Centre at the end of the summer 2022, however due to disruption from some local young people had to be paused on health and safety grounds. In place of that detached youth work in the community was implemented with the aim to build relationships and gather feedback from young people before moving back to the community centre. Regular outreach sessions take place on Tuesdays between 7pm and 8pm around Chesney’s Field. Local resident volunteers are welcome to take part in delivery of the sessions once the youth club is back to the community centre.
Becky, Scout Leader at 2nd Acomb Scouts gave an overview the Group. 2nd Acomb Scouts currently have 139 young people between the ages of 4 and 18yrs old with approx. 47 adult volunteers. Although this number sounds large, they still require more help with few of their sections. There is several young people on the waiting list that can’t be offered a place, because the requirement for additional volunteers to run sessions.
2nd Acomb Scouts are one of 13 groups within York Ebor District which covers this half of the city. Over the last few years all young people who are part of the young leader scheme (14-18yrs) have stayed with the group and become adult volunteers. Scouts are a youth led organisation and the young people have a large say in the activities and program that is organised for them.
The attached video was played as part of the presentation.
Sarah, Youth Worker with the Gateway Church was invited to present on their hangout project. Chapelfields hangout is a term time Thursday afternoon youth group that runs from Sanderson House in Chapelfields. It’s been going for some time now, however recent issues with behaviour displayed by some young people started to have a negative impact on the Club sessions and a decision was made to utilize the space outside the community house and undertake some detached work to see if that improves the situation. The Team is committed to continue to work with young people in the area, and similarly as with projects mentioned earlier local volunteers are welcome to join with delivery.
The meeting thanked all of the speakers for their positive and important work in the community.
It was observed that ward funding played an important part enabling groups to achieve their objectives and a reference was made to ward grants awarded to groups in the recent past to help out with costs of materials, training, equipment and postage while emerging from the pandemic.
Simon Brereton, Head of Economic Development at the City of York Council introduced himself to the meeting and gave a talk with the use of a PowerPoint presentation.
Funding for improvements to York’s shopping areas is expected from the Central Government, with £250k dedicated towards Front Street physical asset improvements, such as upgrade to paving, drainage, bollards, benches, cycle racks, removal of grates around trees and implementation of porous resin, repainting of streetlight columns and replacement of wooden barriers. Aside from that funds will be used towards energy costs advice for households and support for new and existing businesses. Further £145k investment towards support for local groups and projects, volunteering, energy costs advice for households, support for businesses, skills training, digital inclusion, getting into work, getting better work is expected in years 2023 to 2025.
Funding allocation for the whole York and more details in respect of priorities and the investment plan is outlined on the attached PowerPoint presentation.
Q – Have the shops been approached yet in relation to modernising parts of the paving that belongs to them?
A – A letter will be sent to each business outlining the opportunity. Acomb Alive and Ward Councillors are in the process of approaching landlords and businesses in regards to that matter.
Q - Could the work on adopted and private parts of the pavement be undertaken at the same time to avoid disruption and to enhance the entire area, as oppose to repairing just parts of it?
A – The longer-term aim is to improve the whole area, however some landlords are not based in York and it can take some time to obtain a response from them.
Q – Can paving slabs that are being replaced, but still in good condition be donated to 2nd Acomb Scout Group?
A – We will investigate this with highways.
Q – Why has the money not been transferred to the Local Authority yet?
A – It is a national issue and the Local Government Association is looking into it.
At this point Cllr Walled invited Fiona Reilly, Acomb Explore Manager to give her perspective on the proposed improvements. Fiona gave an overview of recently hosted events such as the York University inflatable cosmodome planetarium, crafts, plays and other STEM sessions, as well as children’s activities planned for the run up to Christmas.
The Summer Reading Challenge attracted great participation with Acomb Primary winning the cup and Our Lady Queen of Martyrs finishing in the second place. The Ward Committee was thanked for the grant towards starting up of a stay and play sessions for u5 year olds providing important activities for children who were born just before, or during the pandemic.
Fiona then explained about ongoing user surveys that are used to gather opinions on what is expected from York Explore and which will be used to inform expected investment in Acomb Explore.
Recent instance of vandalism to the library garden, where garden furniture and raised beds were damaged ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
Update on the proposed Multi-Use Games Area at York Acorn ARL Sports and Social Club
Paul Ramskill, Community Sports Development Manager at City of York Council presented on the topic at the last year’s meeting and came back with an update.
Following local consultations, a vision for an enhanced multi-use games area (MUGA) featuring floodlights, artificial grass and goal posts was established. Funding dedicated towards the project at inception was £200k. Results of underground utility searches show that the preferred location at York Acorn Rugby League Club has large electric cables present and the site also serves as a soakaway for the main rugby pitch. It is estimated that diversion of such utilities and implementation of the above mentioned enhanced MUGA would cost circa £675k which is significantly beyond the available budget. Additional locations at the club site are also being explored. Paul and his team are exploring options in terms of other sources of funding that could be obtained to meet the costs of the project, however at this moment in time the project is beyond the available budget.
Have your say
Cllr Waller opened the floor for questions.
Q – Will the bus on Huntsman Walk be reinstated?
A – Yes, as far as we are aware it is on the list for reinstatement. The bus stop is managed by an external company JC Decaux. Cllr Daubeney is pressing for this work to be undertaken at the earliest opportunity.
Q - It was raised on behalf of a group of parents from Acomb Primary School about the issue with road safety on Hamilton Drive.
A - Ward Committee will raise it with Holgate Ward colleagues.
Q – The streetlights along the path cutting diagonally across Chesneys Field are not working.
A – It will be reported by Ward Councillors for repair.
At this point Cllr Daubeney sought approval from the Ward Committee to ask the Highways section to explore possibility of closing of the snicket at the back of 82 – 86 Foxwood Lane on the basis that it is no longer necessary, or needed for public use. Cllr Daubeney outlined issues occurring at the location including drug taking, damage to properties and trespassing onto back gardens, and use as an escape route from the Police. Following on advice from the City of York Council Director of Governance closure of the above-mentioned snicket can be pursued under the Highways Act s118.
Q - A question was asked about a number of snickets in the area.
A - It is estimated that there are between 30 and 35 snickets with some of them having been gated in the past. If the estate was being built presently the design plans as they are wouldn’t be approved as the maze of snicketways is not fit for purpose anymore.
Cllr Daubeney proposal would include keypad locks at each end of the snicket.
In the longe term any defunct snicket that is on housing land could be partitioned between adjoining properties to enlarge their gardens. This will however have large legal fees implication.
The meeting supported Cllr Daubeney request for the above closure of the snicket to be pursued.
Cllr Waller closed the meeting at 20:40