Crime trends in York – Should we be concerned?

York stats (does not include the area within City walls) click to access national site

There are growing concerns in some parts of York about growing levels of anti social behaviour and vandalism

Crime stats for the City – issued by Police UK – confirm that there was a sharp increase in crime reports during March.

The national figures (which haven’t yet been updated for April) disguise neighbourhood spikes in crime levels.

The position in Foxwood has been a well publicised issue since last November. Vandalism now seems to be spreading with attacks on buildings, parked cars, bus shelters and other public service infrastructure more common. Arson in public areas has been reported.

Several thousands of pounds worth of damage has been caused

Those identified as responsible are mostly teenagers although a younger age group now seems to be imitating their older peers.

So what is the cause and what can be done about it?.

Not surprisingly, people got used to a quiet life during the recent lockdown periods. The authorities weren’t prepared for the reaction that increasing freedoms brought. The problem became apparent Initially in the run up to Christmas and subsequently in the Spring when COVID restrictions were removed altogether.

Unfortunately some youths used their new freedom to commit crimes. They appear to have forgotten that there are behavioral boundaries.

There is now a lot of work for schools, the police and parents to do.

In the meantime the Council has to react to the new threat. Leisure polices should be reviewed. Clearly they are not addressing the “we’ve got nothing to do” excuse. Detached youth workers – last seen on the streets of York 10 years ago -should be reintroduced.

CCTV surveillance systems are now much cheaper to install. They should be deployed to protect individual homes and “hot spot” public areas. Escape routes such as snickets – typically used by criminals – should be temporarily closed. The Council must get back to re-letting empty properties within three weeks. It ensure that public infrastructure is robust and maintained in good condition.

Those responsible for the ASB (if they are Council tenants) should be moved on. This will require the support of local magistrates who must recognised the impact that ASB has on local communities. The Council will need to revisit its letting policies as clearly some mistakes were made during the pandemic period.

All this will require that York Council – and the Safer York Partnership to take a proactive role.

They could make a start by getting the problem on the agenda for a Council Executive meeting.

“Everything’s fine – really!” Do York Council reports mask the true position?

Another batch of reports detailing the York Council’s progress with a large part of its investment programme has been published. It will be considered by a “scrutiny” committee which is scheduled to meet next Monday.

Two transport projects now face further delays, Click graphic for details

The meeting will only consider those projects which are the management responsibility of what the Council obliquely labels its “Place” directorate.

No mention in the report of the delays to major parts of the Lowfields development

This will limit debate on some important cross directorate projects in including the “Lowfield Green” development.

There the committee will be told of good progress being made on building houses including the “self build” section of the site where one home has already been occupied.

But this disguises the lack of progress on large parts of the scheme. As we have reported in the past, the large Extra Care home for the elderly, the “community” building and the Coop (Yorspace) housing have all stalled.

Building work on each should have been completed by now..

Whether any member of the scrutiny committee will have the courage to challenge this and other missing information remains to be seen.

The project could yet run into further problems with vandalism at the site reported over the weekend.

Derelict co-op housing site at Lowfields

NB. The same Council project report says that there are no outstanding financial risks on the, now completed, Guildhall refurbishment, confirming that a £21.7 million bill is now the expected final cost?

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward

Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Westfield ward.

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference

—–

18 Dijon Avenue York YO24 3DD

Two storey rear extension 

Ref. No: 22/00830/FUL 

—-

2 Bellhouse Way York YO24 3LL

Erection of two storey semi-detached end terrace dwelling and associated alterations to host dwelling 

Ref. No: 22/00809/FUL 

—–

13 York Road Acomb York YO24 4LW

Proposed change of use from commercial, business and service (Use Class E) to 1no. dwellinghouses (Use Class C3) under The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (as amended) – Schedule 2, Part 3, Class MA. 

Ref. No: 22/00812/ERC 

See below for location details

—–

Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning online web site.  http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

The Council does not routinely consult neighbours by letter when an application is received

“Beam me up Scotty” Monks Cross electric vehicle charging point “energized”

Nearly 12 months after they were supposed to be brought into use, York’s two “hyperhub” electric vehicle charging stations have reached another milestone

A report to a meeting next week says that the Long awaited hubs now require only “snagging” work and testing before they are brought into use.

The report fails to give an opening date.

It does say that the “energisation” of the sub station at Monks Cross took place on 28th April. The report says, . “All legal work is now complete and our IDNO are coordinating with NPG to schedule the final connection”

At Poppleton Bar the failure to open the site is putdown to “some minor snagging and the need to establish a back-office setup”

The report also provides more background information on the long delayed project.

Hyper Hubs are an innovative combination of solar energy harvesting and storage with electric vehicle charging points, reducing the reliance of electric vehicles on the UK electricity grid, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

By providing Hyper Hubs at Poppleton and Monks Cross Park and Ride sites, we aim to increase the use of electric vehicles for journeys in and to York, providing eight private vehicle charging points at each site.

By providing Hyper Hubs at Poppleton and Monks Cross Park and Ride sites, a solar canopy would be erected over approximately 100 parking spaces, providing space for 1,400 m2 of solar panels. This canopy is an elevated structure – essentially a roof below which cars can still park – with solar panels on the top. Adjacent to the canopy, but not on land currently used for parking, there would be an energy storage facility – a battery.

At each site there would also be eight charging points for electric vehicles. Electricity generated by the solar panels would be used to hyper charge vehicles plugged in to the charging points. Electricity not used immediately would be stored in the battery. When the battery is full, this electricity could be fed into the national grid.

The solar canopies would use the free space immediately above the vehicles to harvest solar energy to the site. Batteries would then store the electricity, providing it either to hyper charge electric vehicles when plugged in, or feeding it into the UK electricity grid.

The electric vehicle infrastructure element of the project is to purchase and install the DC ‘hyper’ charging points (faster than current ‘rapid’ charge speed points at 50kW) which will supply the energy to the vehicles. These will be installed in a Hub of eight car bays which can supply up to 150kW power output per car, with a typical charging session taking 10-20 minutes. By way of comparison, a typical home charging point takes around eight hours to charge an electric car

Coronavirus York updates: 13th May 2022

Hospitals and deaths

There have been three more deaths announced by the York Hospital Trust. One occurred on Tuesday and two on Wednesday. They bring the cumulative toll up to 936

Test results

The number of cases in the City has risen by 8 to 230.

The infection rate has risen to 108.99. The rate is expected to fall slowly over the next few days

The rate in the City is currently above the regional and national averages. Those averages are now fairy stable and remain above the levels seen this time last year

Vaccinations

117 third dose booster jabs were completed yesterday

Tests

  • 765 PCR tests were completed during the week ending 7th May 2022
  • Of these, 5.6% were positive. This compares to a positivity rate of 6.0% found during the previous week
  • In addition, 590 “lateral flow” tests were completed yesterday

NB. Due to a retrospective data cleanse, some of the PCR historical test figure numbers have changed

Neighbourhoods

There will be no updates over the weekend

Foster Care Fortnight: York highlights ‘life changing’ impact of its foster carers

As part of the national Foster Care Fortnight celebrations, City of York Council is highlighting the ‘life changing’ impact that its foster carers have on the children and young people for whom they provide loving homes.’

The authority works with over 120 foster carers – individuals and couples – to support children and young people who aren’t able to live with their birth families. Many have faced significant challenges in their young lives.

With 180 children and young people in York living with foster carers at any time, the authority is always looking for new foster carers to join its team.

Having foster carers available in York enables local children and young people to be cared for in their own communities, without having to move school or leave the support of friendship groups or family networks.

Coronavirus York updates: 12th May 2022

Hospitals and deaths

No more hospital deaths. Death rate down to levels last seen 6 months ago

COVID+ hospital patient numbers also reducing

Test results

The number of cases in the City has increased by 3 to 222

The infection rate has increased to 105.20. It is expected to remain stable, at about this level, over the weekend. and beyond

Vaccinations

The vaccination figures have not been updated today

Tests

  • 596 “lateral flow” tests were completed yesterday

Neighbourhoods

The are now no neighbourhood with an infection rate above 200.

There are no neighbourhoods with fewer than 3 cases

This won’t please many residents

Which roads will be resurfaced this year?

click to view

The York Council has published a list of roads and paths which will be resurfaced this year. The £6.997 million budget includes £1.2 million for the replacement of aging traffic signals

There are separate programme lists covering drainage/gulley renewal (£900k) the City Walls (£376k) and street lighting (£644k)

However it is the resurfacing programmes that will cause most controversy.

It has been obvious for some years that the Council was not making sufficient provision in its budget to keep the highway network in a safe condition

The publication of the list of streets has already prompted Councillors to call for the publication of the grading given to each street in the City by highways inspectors (as was done until fairly recently).

Many parts of the City will see no resurfacing work at all over the next 12 months.

In Westfield the plans only include surface dressing part of the carriageway on Askham Lane and some street light replacements. The section of the B1224 between Beckfield Lane and Oak Rise, which mainly falls within the Acomb Ward) will be resurfaced. It is unclear how this work will complement the Councils recent decision to improve cycling facilities on this route.

click to view

It is unclear how the Council has managed to under budget for this particular public service. Critics will point to the vast amounts of money borrowed to finance prestige schemes over the last few years. The interest charges on the borrowing is now restricting the amount available for repairs and maintenance budgets.

The detailed papers can be viewed by clicking this link.

The decisions on funding allocations were taking by officials at a behind closed doors meeting

NB. The Council has decided to renew the pedestrian crossing signals at the junction of Front Street and Green Lane. A report says, “

Director of Transport, Environment and Planning in consultation with Executive Member for Transport agreed to approve the works at the junction of Front Street and Green Lane, Acomb that:

  • Replace life expired traffic signal equipment and infrastructure
  • Refurbish the civil construction elements of the junction
  • Make minor alterations to the layout of the junction The reason for these works being to ensure that the junction can continue to be operated and to implement minor improvements that are not more significant than the core refurbishment works

No details of the “minor improvements” have been published.

Signals will be renewed on Fronts Street