Main meeting from 19:00
· Update on the Tadcaster Road highway / drainage / active travel scheme
· Group discussion about wild flower planting in the ward
· Ward budget – an update on recently awarded grants
· Have your say
1. Welcome and introductions
The meeting was chaired by Councillor Fenton who welcomed everyone and set out the general housekeeping rules as well as the agenda for the meeting.
2. Update from the local Police Team
PCSO Ellis Grimbley gave an overview of recent crime figures stating that the area is one of the safest in York, however recent spate in theft of car keys was emphasised and everyone was advised to keep their car keys in a safe and ideally lockable place.
Operation Lancelot was outlined as one taking place during horse racing events with the focus on racegoers.
Operation Immobilise aims to enable registration of property for free and improving chances of getting it back if it is lost or stolen.
New online reporting tool was suggested as a good way to report instances of ASB.
York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership speed concern form was introduced as a preferred method for receiving reports of cars driving at speed.
PCSO Grimbley encouraged the meeting to sign up to the Community Messaging, a platform used by North Yorkshire Police to get in touch with the community.
The talk was followed by a Q & A during which the following matters were raised:
high number of visitors to the city centre and perception of relatively low Police Officer presence, costs associated with policing of horse racing events, reporting portal functionality to upload images, dangerous cycling, educational school talks and electric scooter incidents.
Staffing level issues, nature of establishments located within the city centre, York Racecourse contribution to the costs associated with racing events, Operation Shimmer aimed at tackling dangerous cycling and cycling without lights, dealing with and the need for the Police Officer to witness the act have been offered as a response to particular matters raised.
3. Update on Tadcaster Road highway / drainage / active travel scheme
Councillor Fenton introduced Melanie Farnham, Senior Project Manager - Major Transport Projects who gave a presentation with the use of a Power Point slideshow on the Tadcaster Road scheme.
£5m from the Department for Transport and £1.4m from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority creates a fund to carry out maintenance of Tadcaster Road between the Askham Bar roundabout and junction with Holgate Road (A59). A dedicated webpage on the City of York Council website https://www.york.gov.uk/TadcasterRoad provides information about the scheme background, its impact on traffic and pedestrians, works plan, map of the area, envisaged timescale and consultation outcomes.
Melanie expanded on the Slingsby Grove junction area of the project outlining extension of the buildout, introduction of a new pedestrian crossing, tidying up of the parking bay and introduction of a separate stepped cycle lane.
It is envisaged that the scheme will create a safer and attractive environment for all road users but particularly for people using active or sustainable means to travel. Further benefits include lesser congestion, reduced localised surface water flooding, improved air quality and associated positive impact on health and wellbeing and a maintenance-free road for the next 10 years.
Following the presentation, the following matters were raised and discussed.
· Independent safety audit of the proposal was carried out and will be made publicly available in due course.
· Careful positioning of bollards segregating the cycle path from the road near junctions to avoid collision risks to cyclists turning right.
· Street work coordination and dialogue with utility companies to avoid new road surface being dug up shortly after the scheme completion.
· Drainage redesign with consideration to leaf fall in autumn.
· Deterioration of the existing road surface, especially near to the pavements making it difficult for cyclists to navigate.
· Project timeline with the view to commence the work in autumn 2022 and finish by spring 2023.
· Creation of appropriate pedestrian crossings in response to local need.
· Relatively short lifespan of current road markings and options for different methods to apply and products that can be used .
· New drainage infrastructure where required and remedy to existing issues including bottom of St Georges Place.
· Installation of pedestrian crossing with lights as opposed to zebra crossings due to enhanced safety for pedestrians and smart traffic management feature.
· Installation of attenuation tank and surface water drainage.
· Encouraging the use of public transport.
· Air quality.
4. Group discussion about wildflower planting in the ward
Beki Johnson, Environment and Community Officer for the ward introduced the topic by giving an outline of the wildflower habitat in Haxby where, thanks to joint work between the local community, Parish Council and Environment and Community Officer a balance was achieved. As well as a leisure space for the community the area also provides habitat for pollinators.
All of York’s parks and nature reserves will now have wildflower paths within them.
Looking at the locality, further work will be undertaken on Little Hob Moor this autumn to enrich the bramble and woodland wildflower habitats.
All the above work is linked with the city wide plan to create green corridors interlinking all part of the city enabling wildlife to migrate. St Nicks Nature Reserve and Environment Centre is leading on the project and the community is invited to identify areas for further wildflower planting. This is with the proviso that support from local residents and willingness to be involved with upkeep of particular site is expressed. Beki concluded her talk bringing up Fulford Ings and Orchard as an example of a successful project where tansy plant was propagated providing a habitat for the endangered beetle.
Open discussion that followed provided an opportunity for residents to express their views on wild flower planting. The discussion concluded that some areas in the ward should remain as dedicated for children play and family leisure, whereas some other parts such as grass verges could be transformed into wildflower patches, providing there is local involvement in the upkeep of them. Beki suggested that any further comments and suggestions could be emailed to her via the Team address firstname.lastname@example.org .
5. Ward budget update
Councillor Fenton confirmed this year’s ward budget allocation of £31,106, outlined plans in relation to commissioning services for the ward and gave an overview of recently awarded grants. The attached Main Meeting presentation contains details.
6. HAVE YOUR SAY
Councillor Fenton invited residents to raise any other queries or suggestions.
Q: One resident asked what is meant by verge reinforcement.
A: It was explained that strengthening can be achieved by use of plastic mesh embedded in the verge.
A concern was raised about recent trend of creating earth mounds for mountain biking within Knavesmire Wood, resulting in trip hazards and exposure of tree roots.
Councillor Fenton responded that he is aware of this and engaged with a group of local young people with a view to seek a balanced solution.
A comment was made that accessibility of the inner tarmac path within the racecourse could be improved. Currently parents with young children and prams must walk alongside Tadcaster Road and squeeze through narrow metal gates to access there.
In response Councillor Fenton referred to the barriers review that is currently being undertaken by the City of York Council. Once the review is concluded it is hoped that an appropriate solution will be offered for each location. However a recent enquiry for creation of a hard path across the meadow between Bracken Road and the Racecourse inner tarmac was turned down by the Council’s Ecology Team. The Ward will continue to seek a solution for this location.
Q: One resident asked about provision of cycle hoops outside Dringhouses Post Office.
A: In response Councillor Fenton confirmed that this scheme is already being progressed by the ward.
A concern was raised about the increase in cases of private hedge, or tree overhanging onto a public footpath causing obstruction.
A: Highway Regulation can action by writing to the owner of the tree/hedge. Councillors encouraged everyone to report any such issues either directly to them, or via the Councils online portal www.york.gov.uk/ReportTrees , or email email@example.com
Q: One resident asked about the Council’s use of weed killer around tree bases on a private road.
A: Ward Councillors offered to look into that specific case and confirmed that the current weed killer spraying regime is twice a year on adopted roads and paths around street furniture. The weed killed mixture is the lowest possible concentration and trials are being held where certain areas are not being sprayed at all. Outcome of the trials will be known this autumn, however it is recognised that some hardy weeds, such as the thistle can damage the infrastructure and must be eradicated.
Q: A question was asked about the absence of grazing cattle from Hob Moor.
A: Cllr Fenton explained what happened over the past several months. Firstly to improve site access metal base plates were removed from entrance gates/ Extension of the the cattle grid that was going to take place simultaneously hasn’t happened resulting in cattle escaping Hob Moor and the farmer taking it back earlier this season. At a recent site visit the farmer expressed an interest in returning the cattle to graze on the site and Ward Councillors were advised by Council officers that work to extend cattle grid will commence towards the end of June.
A concern was raised by a member of Friends of Hob Moor about the increase of dog fouling on site.
A: Councillor Fenton and Community Officer offered a response that due to the status of Hob Moor dog owners are not legally required to pick up after their pets. Introduction of a Public Space Protection Order could potentially alleviate the issue, however evidence would be required in order to initiate the process by Neighbourhood Enforcement. Instances of dog fouling should be reported via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Fenton then thanked everyone for attending the meeting which ended at 21:20.