Friday, 8 January 2016

Redcar Lib Dems oppose greenfield development

Liberal Democrats today helped to persuade Redcar and Cleveland Council to adopt a policy of putting new housing on “brownfield” sites rather than on green fields.
At today’s meeting of the council, Lib Dem Councillor Chris Abbott seconded an opposition motion committing the Labour-led authority to prioritising future residential development on previously developed brownfield land.
The motion, proposed by Cllr Philip Thomson (Con, Saltburn), was passed with support from all sides of the council.
Councillor Abbott, who represents Newcomen Ward in Redcar, said:
“If additional housing is needed in the borough, then the council’s policy should be to build on brownfield sites, which have previously been built on, before considering destroying green land.

“Of course there are national policies that have to be adhered to. But I am pleased that the council has seen that it can still give a lead and firmly set out its belief in protecting the environment and maintaining the green boundaries between our towns and villages.”

Wednesday, 18 November 2015


Stockton Borough Council have issued the following press release:


STOCKTON-ON-TEES Borough Council is asking for residents’ views on ceremonial boundary signage.

The Council’s Place Select Committee began a review in July and as part of this has been gathering information on the boundary signage across the Borough.

Now that this information has been gathered, the Committee is seeking views from the public before reporting its findings to the Council’s Cabinet for consideration early next year.

Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: “The Select Committee has already carried out some excellent work over the last few months and I would like to thank them for that.

“We know that many of our residents are proud of our Borough’s history and heritage and that’s why we would now like to hear from anyone who has any suggestions about how best to mark the ceremonial boundaries of Yorkshire and Durham.”

Anyone who would like to take part in the consultation should email their suggestions to  or write to PO Box 229, Kingsway House, Billingham, TS23 2YL by 31 December 2015.  To find out more visit 

Chris Abbott adds: It needs to be pointed out that the Yorkshire/Durham boundary is the centre of the River Tees, and it is the real boundary not just the ceremonial one.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Don't let the media men spin any more area confusion

I refer to the recent poll in the local press where the usual media suspects are attempting yet again to impose Teesside upon us.

Last time they split Yorkshire into three versions so it would split the vote to get the Teesside result they wanted and Yorkshire still came out on top. So now they included just two options Teesside or Tees Valley and are claiming overwhelming support for Teesside.

This same bunch of unelected media men have been getting it wrong for decades. The same people have flitted from Teesside to Cleveland to Tees Valley and now they want to impose Teesside upon us again. It is in the vested interests of certain businesses and local media to lump us together as it suits them. It is inappropriate as much of the area is away from the River Tees. It is a rubbish marketing tool that projects the wrong image.

Our major towns are missed off road signs and don't get the publicity they need because of the media obsession with lumping us together. Their only reason is to catch readers/listeners by putting Teesside. For example if you put Saltburn no one in Stockton is interested.

We have a perfect set of names already for our villages, towns and counties we don't need to keep inventing new names.

There is not overwhelming support for Teesside rebranding. People were given only a choice between inappropriate Teesside and the totally inappropriate Tees Valley.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Yorkshire is three Ridings and the city of York

Yorkshire is three Ridings and the city of York.

It is our county and our heritage.

Changes to local and regional government have never resulted in the abolition of the Ridings and there is no evidence that Yorkshire the county as a whole has ever had a local or regional government purpose.

Yorkshire's existence does not depend on artificial local or regional government boundaries. Local and regional government boundaries can be changed at any time at the whim of bureaucrats and government. And so they should as the demographic and economic situation demands. Local and regional government boundaries are for the purpose of delivering services and their boundaries should not determine who we are.

“The identity of our counties is marred by a confusion of geographical and administrative boundaries created in the middle of the last century and perpetuated to this day."                                                                                                                       Association of British Counties

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Yorkshire Day in Redcar

Excellent coverage of Yorkshire Day in Redcar by @zetlandfm. Thanks also to @CoastalView for attending the event.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Yorkshire Day at York Saturday 1st August 2015

Members of the Yorkshire Ridings Society (YRS) will meet at Micklegate Bar at 11.15 am to lead the 39th annual walk around the ‘Bar Walls’ of York carrying the Yorkshire flag.

The Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity will be read at the 4 Bars (Gates) starting at Micklegate Bar (West Riding) 11.40 followed by Bootham Bar (North Riding) Monk Bar (City) and Walmgate Bar (East Riding).

The time 11.40 am for the first reading coincides with the number of years since the first written reference to the Ridings of York in the Anglo Saxon Chronicles. Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity will be read in the four languages used in the area since that time. Latin, Old Norse, Old English, and Modern English.

The ceremonial party then moves on to St Helen’s Square for an afternoon of entertainment in cooperation with York City Council. The Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity in Modern English will be read at 1pm and there will be a reading of Doreen Brigham’s popular poem A Song for Yorkshire by Mrs Judith Preston Anderson, President of YRS and YRS York member Mr Peter Hindle (pictured above at Walmgate Bar).

The Yorkshire Flag presented to the City of York by the Yorkshire Ridings Society after it was
registered by them in 2008 will be flown from the Mansion House on Yorkshire Day.

Fun for all on Yorkshire Day in Redcar

Yorkshire Day (1st August) this year falls on a Saturday and organisers are hoping for a bumper turnout on the day for the celebrations, which take place at the Redcar town clock on the High Street from 10 am.

Leading the proceedings as usual will be actor Chris Foote-Wood who will read the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity (a statement of allegiance to Yorkshire) at 11.40 am. This equates to 1140 years since the first written reference to Yorkshire appeared in the Anglo Saxon Chronicles of 876.

Chris, who turns up as a different character each year, is pictured as this year’s character, Samuel Plimsoll "The Sailors' Friend" who is said to have been inspired to invent the Plimsoll Line, a safety mark for loading ships, in 1876, while staying in a house on Redcar High Street and now marked by a blue plaque. There will be stalls and other attractions for all the family.

Latex white roses are sold, price £1, for people to wear on Yorkshire Day and all proceeds will be shared between Redcar Lifeboat and Zetland Lifeboat Museum.

Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity 2015

"I, Chris Foote-Wood standing here in the North Riding of Yorkshire declare:

That Yorkshire is three Ridings and the City of York, with these Boundaries of 1140 years standing; 

That the address of all places in these Ridings is Yorkshire; 

That all persons born therein or resident therein and loyal to the Ridings are Yorkshiremen and women; 
That any person or corporate body which deliberately ignores or denies the aforementioned shall forfeit all claim to Yorkshire status. 

These declarations made this Yorkshire Day 2015.

Yorkshire forever,

 God Save the Queen!”

Monday, 8 June 2015

Strong opposition means no easy ride for Labour on Redcar and Cleveland Council

When the election result for Redcar and Cleveland Council was so close, the minor Groups were prepared to work in a rainbow alliance that reflected the way residents had voted.

Under this system cabinet positions would be proportionate to the number of seats won.

Labour rejected this proposal and were handed power for the next four years by the Eston Independent.

A rainbow alliance would have mitigated the Ed Miliband left wing leanings of many in the Labour Group.

To counteract this, the Liberal Democrats, Conservatives and Independents have formed a Coalition opposition group and will work to ensure that policies fair to all of our residents are implemented and that extreme policies planned by Labour are strongly opposed.

We plan to be a strong opposition, which holds Labour to account and gives high importance to matters which will improve the quality of life for all residents and supports business in order to bring jobs and prosperity to our Borough.

The Shadow Cabinet portfolios will not exactly mirror Labour’s, as the Coalition believes that these should reflect the priorities of the Council: improving health, particularly of the disadvantaged; giving choice and control over their care to disabled and older people; increasing education and skills opportunities; and providing high quality environment services, as demanded by residents.

The Shadow Cabinet is:

Area of Responsibility


Shadow Leader of the Council

Valerie Halton

Corporate Resources

Glyn Nightingale

Public Health and Housing

Mary Ovens

Social Care and Wellbeing and
Shadow Deputy Leader

Josh Mason

Lifelong Learning

Steve Kay

Rural Affairs and Tourism

Graham Jeffery

Economic Development, Culture and Leisure

Philip Thomson


Chris Abbott

Community Safety

Stuart Smith

Highways, Planning and

Mary Lanigan