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14 October, 2022

Community Fund improves quality of life for Skelton residents through innovative problem-solving technique

Commissioner Zoe with local police, councillors and members of teh community pose for a group photo in front of the new fence.
£13,271.23 from Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe’s Community Fund has been used to tackle antisocial behaviour and improve the quality of life for the community of Skelton through a new community-based problem-solving technique.

The money has been used to enable the community to work with the police, councils, and local partners to solve a long running community issue and to keep people safe and feeling safe.

The Skelton Layby ‘Citizens Involved Problem Solving’ project was the first of its kind and a pilot for North Yorkshire Police.

The project used a new problem-solving technique which not only brought together residents, stakeholders, businesses and everyone else who had an interest, but also mapped out different solutions to ensure that the most effective and accepted solution could be implemented.

The project has now concluded and the money has been used to erect a fence, reducing access from Skelton Layby to nearby woods which were plagued with fly tipping, people using the area as a public toilet, antisocial behaviour and sexual offences.

In support of this Community Fund project, Commissioner Zoe said:

“This investment is exactly what my Community Fund is for – supporting projects which will make a real difference to where people live, reduce illegal activity, and protect individuals and families.

“The Skelton Layby Citizens Involved Problem Solving Project Working Group have committed a huge amount of their own time and energy to highlighting the problems they are facing but also suggesting solutions, and this partnership working across organisations, groups and partners is one I hope we see more of across North Yorkshire and York.

“Our efforts to keep everyone as safe as possible, and feeling as safe as possible, are best achieved by working together and I encourage communities with ideas on how to protect people to look at the support available so they can make it happen.”

Community Fund project information:

Skelton Layby ‘Citizens Involved Problem’ solving Partnership project – York 

This is a pilot partnership project to test the ‘Citizens Involved Problem Solving Framework’, developed to facilitate multi-stakeholder problem solving to achieve an agreed consensus on solutions and the ‘Roadmap’ of implementation.

The project seeks to understand if there can be a change in public perception in regard to who is deemed responsible to for solving community issues, where historically it’s been seen to be the role of the Police.

The funding will enable the purchase and installation of a fence to reduce the impact of criminal behaviour and enhance community safety.

The ‘Friends of Skelton Layby Group’ will maintain the fence, which will include cutting back of vegetation and litter picking.

People involved in this project:


Local Businesses,

  • Local Residents,
  • Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner
  • North Yorkshire Police (NYP) PC Alex Dobson – Problem Solving Tactical Advisor
  • The Landowner as the woods are privately owned,
  • City of York Council (CYC) Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers,
  • CYC Highways,
  • CYC Public Realm,
  • CYC planning Dept,
  • CYC Streetworks Dept,
  • CYC Public Rights of Way,
  • NYP Local Safer Neighbourhood Team,
  • MEMAC – York sexual health services – helped get Gay Cruisers / Clients involved through social media consultation & feedback,
  • Tomlinson’s NYP Contractor – arranged fencing
  • Ground Control – fencing contactor,
  • Mercure Hotel – arranged cutting back vegetation and supported project,
  • Skelton Parish Council – Adrian & Linda Mansell,
  • CYC Ward – Cllr Anne Hook,
  • Skelton Community Primary School,
  • NYP Citizens in Policing Dept,
  • York Changing Lives drug & alcohol service,
  • NYP Hate Crime Coordinator.