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People Living In York Asked To Keep The City Tidy


8:24am 6th March 2013

People in York are being asked to volunteer to pick up litter, remove weeds or paint over graffiti.

As budgets are cut the city council wants more communities to take responsibility for their neighbourhoods.

City of York Council is set to adopt a ‘charter’, which will for the first time provide a list of aims and priorities that the council, residents and businesses can sign up to, say City of York Council.

Smarter York was launched last year and encourages residents across the city to join forces with the council and local communities to volunteer and help make York a beautiful place to live and work.

The community scheme aims to unite everyone in the city to help keep York clean and pleasant to live in at a time of increasing funding pressures, say City of York Council.

Two versions of the Smarter Charter will be produced for different audiences. The first will ‘encourage residents what to do’ and the second will ‘encourage businesses what to do’.

By signing up to the Smarter Charter, the council says it is making a commitment to deliver on the following core aims:

  •         Make sure that council teams are working together to deliver excellent services
  •         Make it easy for residents to get involved in looking after their own areas
  •        Work in partnership with the community to find ‘smarter’ ways of working
  •         Use technological innovation to make cost savings for the Council Tax payer

The council is already supporting dozens of community groups including over 100 snow wardens, street buddies and resident recycling champions, say City of York Council.

York also has numerous ‘friends of’ groups made up of volunteers who help to maintain areas such as Hob Moor, Rowntree Park  Chapman's Pond,  Acomb Wood and the Bachelor Hill.

The charter will then pave the way for an inaugural city ‘spring clean’ in May. The four week event will focus on a different area each week, including Westfield, Tang Hall and Bell Farm with the fourth week to be in various parishes, say City of York Council. 

Using existing volunteer groups and the Community Payback to facilitate the event, the council says it is also encouraging residents to suggest or request works to be undertaken.

Cllr Levene, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “Smarter York sums up how we want to engage and empower residents and businesses to help keep York a beautiful place to live and work. Smarter York is about the council recognising the huge financial challenges we face by being honest about what we can do, encouraging residents to help out, and working more effectively to help keep York looking like a world-class city.

“The aim of the Smarter Charter is to enable community groups, businesses and residents to sign up to the Smarter Charter for easy ways to deliver benefits to their local neighbourhoods"

Gillian Cruddas MBE, Chief Executive of Visit York said: "Initiatives to keep York beautiful are helpful and we all have a part to play in ensuring the city is clean and tidy. We hope this idea will help York to win more awards including our recent Britain's Most Beautiful City accolade."

Leeds, York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said: "The Chamber welcomes the Smarter York initiative, it is another excellent campaign to help keep our city beautiful and encourage inward investment."

Sir Ron Cooke, Independent Chair of Reinvigorate York said: "The Smarter York initiative admirably complements the work of Reinvigorate York. Smarter York encourages us all in the community voluntarily to support efforts to  improve the quality of our neighbourhoods through helping with recycling, clearing snow and planting flowers etc.

“Reinvigorate York is a city-funded programme designed to improve the physical quality of the public realm and infrastructure in York's  historic core. Together, the two initiatives can make York an even more beautiful place for both residents and visitors."

For more information about the scheme visit www.york.gov.uk/smarteryork email smarter.york@york.gov.uk, call 01904 551551, follow @CityofYork #SmarterYork or download the Smarter York app now for free from the app store.

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