York council tenants hit out at messy communal areas

York council tenants hit out at messy communal areas

York council tenants hit out at messy communal areas

First published in News
Last updated

COUNCIL house tenants say the communal areas around their homes are getting dirtier, according to an annual survey in the city.

The results of the City of York Council's tenant satisfaction survey for 2013, which collected the opinions of almost 800 council tenants from across the city, show that while tenants are happier with their ability to influence their landlord's decisions they are less pleased with the state of their neighbourhoods.

The number of tenants happy with the environment around their homes has dropped by five points to 81 percent since the previous year's results.

A report on the results which went to cabinet member for homes Cllr Tracy Simpson-Laing said: "Customers have delivered a clear message that their estate services require attention.

"As well as a decrease in those very satisfied or fairly satisfied, there has a five percent increase in those very dissatisfied or fairly dissatisfied."

But the council's head of housing Tom Brittain has welcomed the results, saying they show improvements in 14 areas while the remaining four areas - which relate to neighbourhoods - are already being tackled by pilot schemes in the estates teams.

However the survey has led to criticism from the council's Liberal Democrat group. Housing spokesman Cllr Ann Reid said they have been contacted by several residents concerned neglected communal areas, dog mess and litter.

She added: "This survey confirms that these problems are citywide and urgent action is needed. The Liberal Democrat Group has consistently called for Labour to end their neglect and under-investment in the city’s estates. We hope that this report will now force a u-turn before these results get worse.”

Cllr Simpson-Laing has rebutted the criticism, pointing out the improved satisfaction levels in the vast majority of the results.

She added: "The cleanliness of our neighbourhoods is important to the council and for those few indicators where satisfaction has dropped slightly, we will do our utmost to turn this around so we are performing equally well across all indicators. Our investment through solar panel, window replacement and insulation programmes shows our strong commitment to council housing and to council tenants.”

Comments (14)

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8:44am Fri 25 Jul 14

sniper 9964 says...

Seems to me its their own mess.
Seems to me its their own mess. sniper 9964
  • Score: -2

9:06am Fri 25 Jul 14

meme says...

so why don't the tenants do something about it and collect the rubbish that they will mostly have created
stop bleating and do something to improve your lives!
so why don't the tenants do something about it and collect the rubbish that they will mostly have created stop bleating and do something to improve your lives! meme
  • Score: 26

9:42am Fri 25 Jul 14

courier46 says...

Is that a councillor not listening? TSL
Is that a councillor not listening? TSL courier46
  • Score: 12

9:48am Fri 25 Jul 14

Oaklands Resident says...

Tenants pay their rent and expect the Council to honour their side of the tenancy contract. At the moment the Council is showing a £12 million surplus on the rent account and part of this is a result of cuts to maintenance regimes.

It is not about litter although since recycling centres were closed and green bin charges were introduced, there has been an increase in fly tipping in many estates.

It is more about cutting grass, maintaining garage areas (e.g. resurfacing forecourts), repairing fences, improving verges, decorating communal areas in flats, and recommencing the car parking provision programme to reflect increased vehicle use.

This is not an issue for taxpayers as the rent account has to be self sufficient - there is no cross subsidy.

It just comes down to poor prioritisation by this particular "Cabinet" member who was - I understand - recently sacked from her social services responsibilities.

What Council tenants have done to deserve her attentions, heavens knows.
Tenants pay their rent and expect the Council to honour their side of the tenancy contract. At the moment the Council is showing a £12 million surplus on the rent account and part of this is a result of cuts to maintenance regimes. It is not about litter although since recycling centres were closed and green bin charges were introduced, there has been an increase in fly tipping in many estates. It is more about cutting grass, maintaining garage areas (e.g. resurfacing forecourts), repairing fences, improving verges, decorating communal areas in flats, and recommencing the car parking provision programme to reflect increased vehicle use. This is not an issue for taxpayers as the rent account has to be self sufficient - there is no cross subsidy. It just comes down to poor prioritisation by this particular "Cabinet" member who was - I understand - recently sacked from her social services responsibilities. What Council tenants have done to deserve her attentions, heavens knows. Oaklands Resident
  • Score: 19

10:02am Fri 25 Jul 14

Dr Brian says...

"Cllr Simpson-Laing has rebutted the criticism"

Usual respone from The Alexander clone - don't listen to what the public say just attack with your own unverified figures!
"Cllr Simpson-Laing has rebutted the criticism" Usual respone from The Alexander clone - don't listen to what the public say just attack with your own unverified figures! Dr Brian
  • Score: 22

10:15am Fri 25 Jul 14

Dave Ruddock says...

although i am nor a council tenant, being of the "SINGLE MALE SPECIES, I do find that council estates, tend to be unkept etc etc. Further to the "Press or Councils" use of a few words in the press release, Tenets or Customers, customer in this release has the cogitations of something lower than tenants. and this spouting figures that are manipulated to suit what ever answer (the vast majority, gives no answer to the minority. Cut the wage packet of the over inflated temporary "Elected" members of whatever party, then you might get some groundsmen/Maintenan
ce persons.
although i am nor a council tenant, being of the "SINGLE MALE SPECIES, I do find that council estates, tend to be unkept etc etc. Further to the "Press or Councils" use of a few words in the press release, Tenets or Customers, customer in this release has the cogitations of something lower than tenants. and this spouting figures that are manipulated to suit what ever answer (the vast majority, gives no answer to the minority. Cut the wage packet of the over inflated temporary "Elected" members of whatever party, then you might get some groundsmen/Maintenan ce persons. Dave Ruddock
  • Score: 9

11:24am Fri 25 Jul 14

TheTruthHurts says...

TSL obviously isn't very good at anything within the council.

Though when you see the council meeting webcasts she is very good at posturing and looks like she enjoys the status of being a councillor. Its just she is not very good at being one.
TSL obviously isn't very good at anything within the council. Though when you see the council meeting webcasts she is very good at posturing and looks like she enjoys the status of being a councillor. Its just she is not very good at being one. TheTruthHurts
  • Score: 18

3:42pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Alf Garnett says...

Who litters the green at New Earswick, I wonder. Is it visitors, or residents ? Whichever, it's never tidy.
Who litters the green at New Earswick, I wonder. Is it visitors, or residents ? Whichever, it's never tidy. Alf Garnett
  • Score: 3

3:47pm Fri 25 Jul 14

pbrowne2009@live.co.uk says...

Pay half the rent (than those who live in private rent) - Then complain when things don't look so nice. Grass verges, dog mess, litter, broken fences - these ALL sound like they have come right from the people who live on the estate.

If the grass outside your house is too long, cut it. If its not your domain to cut it, do a deed of good for the community and cut it. Dog mess - says it all really, who walks onto a council estate just so the dog can take a poo? Its probably the dog 10 doors down busting for a poo and the owner can't be bothered. Fences falling down, last time I looked on my 'Private' agreement was my responsibility to maintain my garden in the same manner it was presented. If a fence is rotten, its because the tennant let it get that way. If its been vandalised, then this is once again a problem on the estate.

I hate the council leaders, I hate private rent, I hate complaining and complainers yet at some point in the week, 15 minutes of graft and a little bit of community work does no one any harm. Its a good deed to make your community look nice.
Pay half the rent (than those who live in private rent) - Then complain when things don't look so nice. Grass verges, dog mess, litter, broken fences - these ALL sound like they have come right from the people who live on the estate. If the grass outside your house is too long, cut it. If its not your domain to cut it, do a deed of good for the community and cut it. Dog mess - says it all really, who walks onto a council estate just so the dog can take a poo? Its probably the dog 10 doors down busting for a poo and the owner can't be bothered. Fences falling down, last time I looked on my 'Private' agreement was my responsibility to maintain my garden in the same manner it was presented. If a fence is rotten, its because the tennant let it get that way. If its been vandalised, then this is once again a problem on the estate. I hate the council leaders, I hate private rent, I hate complaining and complainers yet at some point in the week, 15 minutes of graft and a little bit of community work does no one any harm. Its a good deed to make your community look nice. pbrowne2009@live.co.uk
  • Score: 15

4:26pm Fri 25 Jul 14

wildthing666 says...

The services offered by the council over the last 30 years as regards repairs has declined, and many council homes are now in private hands some bought and then rented out as buy-to-let, even though they may own a flat they still pay every year for cleaning of commumal areas.
The services offered by the council over the last 30 years as regards repairs has declined, and many council homes are now in private hands some bought and then rented out as buy-to-let, even though they may own a flat they still pay every year for cleaning of commumal areas. wildthing666
  • Score: 5

8:37pm Fri 25 Jul 14

york_chap says...

Like others have said, litter in communal hallways/gardens and dog muck is not being deposited by day-trippers visiting the estates, is it?

As for unkempt gardens, most private rental contracts require the tenant to maintain outdoor areas, rather than moaning to the landlord about it. No-one is forcing them to live in council houses anyway; if they want smarter surrounds they could always pay market rent and go live in a private let.
Like others have said, litter in communal hallways/gardens and dog muck is not being deposited by day-trippers visiting the estates, is it? As for unkempt gardens, most private rental contracts require the tenant to maintain outdoor areas, rather than moaning to the landlord about it. No-one is forcing them to live in council houses anyway; if they want smarter surrounds they could always pay market rent and go live in a private let. york_chap
  • Score: 2

9:32pm Fri 25 Jul 14

JoeR says...

york_chap wrote:
Like others have said, litter in communal hallways/gardens and dog muck is not being deposited by day-trippers visiting the estates, is it?

As for unkempt gardens, most private rental contracts require the tenant to maintain outdoor areas, rather than moaning to the landlord about it. No-one is forcing them to live in council houses anyway; if they want smarter surrounds they could always pay market rent and go live in a private let.
I have to disagree, if you rent (or buy) a flat privately a management company will be responsible for the gardens, communal areas, etc.

This reads to me like more CoYC incompetence...
[quote][p][bold]york_chap[/bold] wrote: Like others have said, litter in communal hallways/gardens and dog muck is not being deposited by day-trippers visiting the estates, is it? As for unkempt gardens, most private rental contracts require the tenant to maintain outdoor areas, rather than moaning to the landlord about it. No-one is forcing them to live in council houses anyway; if they want smarter surrounds they could always pay market rent and go live in a private let.[/p][/quote]I have to disagree, if you rent (or buy) a flat privately a management company will be responsible for the gardens, communal areas, etc. This reads to me like more CoYC incompetence... JoeR
  • Score: 4

9:44am Sat 26 Jul 14

dannyemmess says...

Couple of ideas: -
1. Stop making so much mess.
2. Dispose of it properly - not just drop / put it anywhere.
3. Buy a house somewhere cleaner.

I'm all about solutions.
Couple of ideas: - 1. Stop making so much mess. 2. Dispose of it properly - not just drop / put it anywhere. 3. Buy a house somewhere cleaner. I'm all about solutions. dannyemmess
  • Score: 0

7:58pm Sat 26 Jul 14

andyjon12 says...

Typical bogoted, uninformed and even jealous snobs who are mortgaged up to the hilt - commenting on people and neighborhoods they know absolutely nothing about.

By the way one only has to drive on to one of the so called private housing estates in York or the surrounding area - to be met with the exact same problems as can be found on York's council estates. People should stop pretending they are superior - this is borderline RACISM in my opinion.
Typical bogoted, uninformed and even jealous snobs who are mortgaged up to the hilt - commenting on people and neighborhoods they know absolutely nothing about. By the way one only has to drive on to one of the so called private housing estates in York or the surrounding area - to be met with the exact same problems as can be found on York's council estates. People should stop pretending they are superior - this is borderline RACISM in my opinion. andyjon12
  • Score: 1

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