Local democracy during coronavirus

During coronavirus, we've made some changes to how we're running council meetings. See our coronavirus updates for more information on meetings and decisions.

Agenda item

Main meeting 7-8:30pm

·         Introductions

·         Selection of the Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward Planning Panel

·         Latest news about Local Area Coordination

·         Presentation from York Sea Cadets

·         Presentation on the Acorn Multi Use Games Area proposal

·         Ward budgets update

·         Have your say

 

WE ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO WEAR A FACE MASK WHILE AT THE MEETING.

 

CAN WE PLEASE SUGGEST THAT YOU TAKE A LATERAL FLOW TEST ON THE DAY OF THE MEETING AND ONLY ATTEND IF NEGATIVE.

 

IF YOU WERE PLANNING TO RAISE A MATTER WITH THE WARD COMMITTEE, BUT WERE NOT ABLE TO ATTEND PLEASE EMAIL michal.czekajlo@york.gov.uk AND WE WILL RESPOND TO YOU.

Minutes:

1.    WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS (19:00)

The meeting was chaired by Councillor Fenton who welcomed everyone before introducing the other councillors and representatives.  He then set out the agenda for the meeting (which, he pointed out, was to be non-political). 

 

2.    NORTH YORKSHIRE POLICE UPDATE (Inspector Lee Pointon)

Inspector Pointon discussed the rise of low level anti-social behaviour amongst young people since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.  He recognised the negative impact of such behaviour on residents which, he acknowledged, was unacceptable from a community perspective.

 

He encouraged residents to report all incidents by contacting North Yorkshire Police either by phone (101), online (https://www.northyorkshire.police.uk) or through their ward councillors.  There was a clear emphasis on the importance of reporting as it not only flagged up hotspots but also enabled the team to effectively plan their workload.

 

In response to a query about the definition of a dispersal order Inspector Pointon explained that dispersal orders (which were used quite regularly) enabled the police to disrupt anti-social behaviour by directing those responsible to vacate a particular area for up to 48 hours. 

 

Another resident asked whether the police were able to deal with noise late at night and whether they had any powers over parents of disruptive young people.  Inspector Pointon explained that whilst the police had no specific power over the parents, City of York Council Housing officers could intervene if the noise was emanating from council property.  He further stated that the police worked in close collaboration with a variety of other bodies in an effort to promote positive community ties.

When a resident enquired as to whether PCSO’s on bicycles had a set routine during their shift Inspector Pointon stated the effectiveness of targeted activity.  He explained that the team would initially go through all the recently reported incidents and plan their daily strategy accordingly.

 

As no further questions were raised, Councillor Fenton thanked Inspector Pointon and acknowledged the difficulties posed by constrained resources.  He reiterated the importance of reporting any concerns or incidents (although not via Facebook groups as the police did not have the time or resources to trawl through them).  Inspector Pointon also reminded residents that they could report incidents anonymously.

 

 

3.    SELECTION OF THE DRINGHOUSES AND WOODTHORPE WARD PLANNING PANEL (Margaret Silcock)

Next, the role of Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward Planning Panel was outlined by Margaret Silcock who informed residents that the panel met on a monthly basis (on a Monday evening) to go through and comment on a variety of planning applications which could range from tree preservation orders (TPO’s) to house extensions. Recently the Moor Lane development plan and an additional Care Home application had to be considered by the Panel.  With regard to applications involving trees, she made the point that any felled trees were replaced.

 

She encouraged anyone interested in joining the panel to put themselves forward as it was very rewarding to be part of the group.

The following residents have been confirmed as members of the Planning Panel for the forthcoming year: Julie Ainsworth, Ann Gray, Fiona Barclay, Philip Metcalfe, Margaret Silcock, Stephen Fenton.

The Planning Panel currently meets on Mondays.

 

 

4.    LATEST NEWS ABOUT LOCAL AREA CO-ORDINATION (Penny Hutchinson)

There followed a discussion about the role of the local area co-ordinators which was varied and fulfilling.  The team initially comprised three local area co-ordinators but had since increased to 11 covering 13 wards across York.

 

The aim of the local area co-ordinators was to keep residents safe, strong, resilient, independent and connected to their community (thereby living happier lives and reducing pressure on social, medical and emergency services).  This could be achieved by working closely with individuals who were keen to move forward with their lives in a more fulfilling and proactive way.  Support was tailored to the needs of each individual and could include a variety of initiatives such as welfare advice, physical exercise, emotional support and assistance with decluttering.

 

Drop-in venues included:

·         Foxwood Community Hub (Friday lunchtime)

·         Chapelfields Community Hub (Thursday morning)

·         West Bank Park Dog Cafe (Second Wednesday every month).

 

It was confirmed that interviews for the Local Area Coordinator for Dringhouses and Woodthorpe have been held recently and the appointment of the successful candidate is being finalised. The new person is expected to be in post in the near future.

 

One resident wanted to know how the role of the local area coordinators was publicised as there was a general acknowledgement that advertising could be improved in order to reach (and therefore benefit) more residents.  Penny Hutchinson confirmed that new leaflets were being printed and would be distributed in accessible areas such as libraries, churches, cafes and also on notice boards.

 

When another resident asked about the referral system Penny Hutchinson confirmed that an individual could self-refer or be referred either by someone else or a statutory body (such as a GP, housing management officer or mental health worker) on condition that the individual gave their consent.  Initial contact could be made over the phone or face to face.

 

In light of the positive impact made by the local area co-ordinators, Councillor Fenton further emphasised the need to ensure that more residents were made aware of the support available.

 

5.    PRESENTATION FROM YORK SEA CADETS (Lead Cadet Laura Gatus)

As well as the positive work being done within the community by local area co-ordinators, Councillor Fenton was also pleased to focus on the positive contribution made by York Sea Cadets.

 

Laura Gatus confirmed that the sea cadets had originally begun as a charity in the 1850’s to help orphans of the Crimean War acquire skills to assist them in later life.  She further stated that York Sea Cadets (of which there were 30 members with 15 on the waiting list) were based in Skeldergate and met on a weekly basis.

 

A range of activities was on offer including sailing, windsurfing, power boating, rock climbing and camping.  In addition, it was possible to acquire a variety of skills and qualifications such as engineering, seamanship, BTEC’s and navigation.

 

Motivation, hard work and focus were key qualities required from young people who wished to join and not only did they have great experiences in a friendly environment they also grew in confidence and were able to give something back to their community.  Some cadets also went on to pursue careers in the armed forces. 

 

At this point, one of the residents talked about the positive impact the sea cadets had had on her own children and how much it had benefited not only them but also their local community.  She further commented that although it was not very expensive to join, young people should not be excluded if they could not afford the subscription.

 

1.    PRESENTATION ON YORK ACORN RUGBY CLUB MULTI USE GAMES AREA PROPOSAL (Paul Ramskill)

Paul Ramskill was then given the opportunity to outline the current situation regarding the York Acorn Rugby Club MUGA proposal.

 

He began by referring to his 26 years experience of working within the local community, as a result of which he had become familiar with many of the local community groups.  He went on to say that there was a lack of artificial grass pitches which disadvantaged young people, particularly those in deprived areas.  Unfortunately, a previous scheme had been problematic due to vandalism.  Since the development of Lincoln Court the facility had been removed so there remained a need for the reinstatement and funding of the MUGA scheme within Westfield Ward.

 

The current proposal was to create an artificial grass pitch on the York Acorn Rugby Club site which would have free to access sessions for young people (but would also include paid for sessions that generate revenue if other established community groups also used the pitch).  The additional revenue could then be used to finance resurfacing and maintenance work.

 

An artificial grass pitch was considered preferable as it was softer and more versatile.  It was also suggested that the scheme should be available outside school hours to maximise use.

 

A resident enquired about the availability of additional parking spaces and was assured that there should be enough parking spaces at the York Acorn Rugby Club to accommodate additional vehicles.

 

Another resident wanted to know whether the toilet facilities would be shared.  It was suggested that toilet facilities situated away from the bar area would be appropriate.

 

The issue of flood lights was raised by another resident.  This was considered to be a possibility if the site was going to be in use all year round.  It was suggested that the newer type of floodlights would be preferable due to reduced glare.

 

Questions were also raised with regard to bookings, cost and advertising.  In response, Paul Ramskill believed that York Acorn Rugby Club could possibly organise bookings.  He reiterated that the MUGA would be freely accessible for young people at appropriate times and that if local schools were made aware of the scheme more young people may be encouraged to participate.

 

One resident asked whether outdoor gym equipment would be included and was advised by Councillor Daubeney that this would depend on financial resources.

 

A query was raised about the adequacy of the proposed pitch size (30m x 45m).  This, however, was deemed to be the maximum size for the available space and that it was sufficient for five-a-side football.

 

Another resident regretted the demise of Leeside Park and Moor Lane Youth Club as leisure facilities, particularly as local residents had previously invested time and money in both of them.  Councillor Fenton said that Leeside playground remained in use and believed that there could be scope for further discussion around community access to Moor Lane Youth Centre.

 

2.    WARD BUDGETS UPDATE (Councillor Fenton and Councillor Waller)

Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward

Councillor Fenton reported that the current year’s budget had already been spent (although details of next year’s budget were not yet available).  He then encouraged residents to contribute their ideas and views as to how best to spend any future funding. 

 

He confirmed that information relating to grant applications was available on the City of York Council website.  In the meantime, however, he provided an outline of some of the approved applications (with an emphasis on supporting volunteering groups which did so much good work within the community) including:

:

·         Environmental projects (with the focus being on trees planting and maintenance)

·         Leeside Playground

·         Foxwood Community Hub

·         Security patrols

·         Mayfield Community Trust

·         West Thorpe Scout Group

·         York City Football Club Foundation/York City Knights Foundations youth activities

·         Community Groups

 

Westfield Ward

Councillor Waller felt that it was important for residents to take pride in their communities.  He also suggested that it was easier to keep existing groups going (rather than starting new ones) to maintain the quality of provision. There was a focus on funding for environmental improvements as well as projects of benefit to the local community including:

 

·         York City Football Club Foundation/York City Knights Foundations

·         Foxwood Playgroup

 

3.    HAVE YOUR SAY (All Councillors)

Councillor Fenton then invited residents to raise any other queries or suggestions.

 

A couple of residents asked for clarification with regard to Cheltenham Court and Hob Moor.  Councillor Waller confirmed that Cheltenham Court was in Westfield Ward and acknowledged that there had been some confusion following the building of the new bungalow development.  Councillor Fenton confirmed that Hob Moor was in Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward.

 

With regard to Hob Moor, another resident wanted to know whether there were any plans to install lighting and security cameras in view of the fact that it was well used by cyclists and walkers.  Councillor Fenton acknowledged that opinion was divided on the issue due to the potential impact on the natural environment (and referred to the work done by Friends of Hob Moor).  He also mentioned the installation of cats eyes on Walmgate Stray as a possible option.

 

Another resident enquired as to why there were cycle barriers on Hob Moor.  Councillor Fenton commented that cycle barriers were designed to deter motorcycles. He went on to add that adapted bicycles may be restricted by the barriers and that a city wide barrier review was in progress.

 

Another resident flagged up issues relating to security patrols which didn’t appear to be very effective in combating crime or anti-social behaviour.  Councillor Fenton stated that there was no longer any funding available within the Dringhouses and Woodthorpe ward budget to continue funding the patrols around Woodthorpe. The patrols across Foxwood continue to take place and are being funded from the Westfield Ward budget. Gough and Kelly had been contracted to provide a visible presence with the aim of acting as a deterrent.

 

Referring back to the local area co-ordinators, a resident wanted to know whether they crossed over ward boundaries.  Councillor Fenton confirmed that this was the case and stressed the importance of working jointly with other wards which promoted a better understanding of different issues and encouraged more creative ways of tackling problems.

 

Another resident then thanked everyone present for a very interesting and engaging meeting, particularly the initiatives relating to young people and the role of the local area co-ordinators.

 

At this point, Councillor Fenton thanked everyone for attending and contributing to the meeting.

 

[The meeting started at 18:30 and finished at 20:40]

 

 

Supporting documents:

 

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