City council cabinet: a Smarter Charter for York

25 Feb 2013 @ 4.42 pm
| News

Issued by City of York Council

City of York Council is set to adopt a unique “charter”, which will for the first time provide a list of aims and priorities that the council, residents and businesses can sign up to – if approved by Members at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 5 March.

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.

If approved, 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 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 appetite for volunteering in the city is growing and the council is already supporting dozens of community groups including over 100 snow wardens, street buddies and resident recycling champions.

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.

Following Cabinet, 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.

Using existing volunteer groups and the Community Payback to facilitate the event, the council also encourages 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.”

If approved at Cabinet, the Smarter Charter will be immediately put in to action across the city.

For more information about the scheme visit email [email protected], call 01904 551551, follow @CityofYork on Twitter, hashtag #SmarterYork, or download the Smarter York app now for free from the app store.

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