Thursday, 13 April 2006

Surveys start at Coatham

Consultants working towards a planning application for the multi million pounds Coatham Links development in Redcar are starting a series of studies to support the application, the outcomes of which will also address concerns raised by residents during consultation.

Persimmon Homes has commissioned a variety of different surveys to be carried out in the coming weeks. They include detailed geophysical studies and ecological surveys which address any plant or wildlife on the site and archaeological trenching which checks for any relics.

Persimmon's Regional Projects Director, Peter Jordan, said: "We are very excited about the appointment of our specialist team who will assist Persimmon in preparing a robust and thorough planning application with supporting environmental statement.

"With the approval of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, we have appointed a wide range of consultants who are experts in their relative fields and will be looking at Coatham very closely. This will entail a number of site visits over the coming months to assess the impact the proposed development will have on the area.”

Wednesday, 5 April 2006

Another award for Coalition Council

More good news for Redcar and Cleveland Council today. We celebrate Investor In People status, which has praised the Authority's good business planning, its equal opportunity culture and joint development working with other organisations.

A cross-directorate group is already implementing a number of recommendations in areas for future development, centring on consistency and effective implementing of corporate policies and procedures, which will be closely monitored.

The Investors in People Standard is awarded indefinitely, subject to regular reviews no more than three years apart to make sure standards are met and to assess progress made since the last visit.

Council to probe fish oil benefits

Posted by Chris

The dreaded part of our regular Saturday visits to my Grandma, for my brother and I, when we were kids, were the doses of cod liver oil she gave us before we set off for the bus home. Yuc!!! I can still taste it now. As soon as we got out of the door we were into the bag of sweets, she always gave us to share with our other brothers and sisters, to take the taste away.

The practice seemed to have gone out of fashion, though Glynis used to give our kids a cod liver oil and malt mixture. It seems to be now back in fashion and the Council has issued the following statement today:

The possibility of using fish oil supplements to improve pupil performances in more schools across Redcar and Cleveland is set to be investigated.

Two projects have already been carried out at Loftus Junior School and Eston Park Comprehensive with 'potentially significant benefits', councillors have been told.

Now the Council's Children's Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee wants more wide-ranging consultation on the options for the promotion of fish-oil supplements and is urging more schools to take part in trials.

Our Lib Dem colleague and Committee chair Councillor Mary Ovens said: "We're not saying this is some sort of magic formula, but there's no doubt that the results have been very encouraging in some cases and the scrutiny committee felt everyone would benefit from more consultation.

"We would also like more schools to consider taking part in these trials because of the possible benefits and so we can look and compare more data."

In a report to councillors, the Council's principal educational psychologist Alastair Robertson said: "On the basis of the evidence available, the use of fish oil supplements appears to hold some significant potential benefits for some pupils with little evidence of disadvantage. Should any pupil not respond positively, cessation of the supplements would be a simple solution.

"We would advise schools and parents wishing to try supplements that they should do so, but to monitor the effects for their individual children. Such monitoring need not be elaborate but should include learning and behaviour."

The benefits of taking fish oils is thought to relate to the high Omega 3 and Omega 6 content. These fatty acids are essential to the functioning of the brain, but cannot be made by the body and have to be ingested.

Tuesday, 4 April 2006

Helping Redcar to shine at night

REDCAR's night-time economy, already boosted by the arrival of three new bars in the town centre, can now benefit from a new Government initiative that is linking the seaside town with Newcastle.

Redcar and Newcastle are among 20 towns and cities nationwide who will be getting the help of experts to accelerate the economic revival of town centres across England.

Officers from Redcar and Cleveland Council and Newcastle City Council meet for the first time along with North East Lincolnshire, representing Grimsby, under the new concept in Redcar on Friday, April 7, with nightlife high on the agenda.

Redcar Town Centre Manager John Partridge, who successfully applied to join the project, said: "It gives us the opportunity to learn from other towns and cities in the country so we can more effectively manage our night-time economy.

"Since Christmas, three new wine and food bars have opened in the East end of the town - Martha's Vineyard, Barracuda and Blue Lounge - and all of them are offering food and drink during the day as well as high quality service at night.

"We are now enjoying a better mix of premises and we need to try and market this as effectively as possible."

Local business partnerships in the 20 selected areas will receive free management, technical, and communications support from town centre experts, to establish sustainable partnerships between businesses, the public sector and the local community. Lessons learnt will be shared across all town centres to promote best practice.

Existing BIDs have already succeeded in creating safer cleaner greener town centre environments for example by; removing gum from pavements; setting up a graffiti removal hotlines; providing new street furniture; appointing a crime reduction manager; and promoting the town as a visitor destination.

The 20 town centres involved are Grimsby, Lancaster, Lowestoft, Peckham, Redcar, Stockport, Tottenham, Trafford, Wood Green, Worksop, Broxtowe, Blackpool, Newcastle, Bristol, Melton, Taunton, Havant, Colchester, Derby and Birmingham.

Monday, 3 April 2006

Sunny Redcar to become Dunkirk in big screen blockbuster

REDCAR and Cleveland Council is delighted with the progress of talks to turn Redcar seafront into Dunkirk 1940 for a multi-million pound blockbuster this summer.

The film's director, Joe Wright, who directed the Oscar-nominated Pride and Prejudice, has made his own trip to the town, which could be home to the 'film village' for several weeks in preparation for filming to start.

Now the production company, Working Title Films, is to draw up its detailed proposals, which would involve the closure of the Esplanade from the Regent Cinema to the boating lake and the creation of a wartime scene.

The film is titled Atonement, based on the novel by Ian McEwan. It will star Keira Knightley, with an as yet undisclosed male lead starring alongside her in a story billed as a mix of love, war and emotional truth.

Northern Film and Media, the regional screen agency created to develop the media sector in the North East, co-ordinated the talks.

NFM's Location Service Manager Gayle Mason said: "Securing this type of project takes a lot of negotiation and the talks so far have been very positive.

"There is still a lot to do to ensure that the experience of hosting filming activity in Redcar is as positive as possible for everyone involved, including local people.

"The fantastic work people have done to date will go a long way to ensuring this happens, everybody involved is so keen, so willing to help.

"Productions like this one can have a massive impact on the region in terms of economic benefit, tourism and work for local people and companies."

The Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said: "The Council is delighted to be able to assist in this major film project, which will bring business and tourism into the Borough."

The public's main excitement is being generated by the thought of being involved - with the prospect of 1,000 extras needed for the film. But no firm details have yet been finalised.

Asbestos fear following vandalism of bungalows

Stuart Marshall a Council Emergency Planning Officer has issued the following warning:

"Bungalows due for demolition on the Lakes Estate were broken into and vandalised over the weekend. The buildings contain asbestos which was exposed during the incident, it is believed that those present in the building during the vandalism would have been exposed to asbestos fibres.

"The health impact is believed to be limited, however following advice from health organisations, Coast and Country Housing intend to publish a press statement asking for those responsible to come forward.

"This will allow Coast and Country to:

- Dispose of clothing containing asbestos in a safe manner
- Give guidance to those exposed to the asbestos

"Coast and Country may make the offer of air monitoring in those residents houses who are directly affected as a means of providing reassurance. There are believed to be no health issues to third parties such as relatives.

"Given that the estate contains a number of houses of similar construction, Coast and Country intend issuing information on asbestos to all residents, this may give rise to some concerns. All queries should be directed towards the Coast and Country 01642 471300."

National award for Saltburn lighting scheme

THE new lighting scheme that is illuminating Saltburn's Victorian Pier and Cliff Lift from dusk to midnight has won a national award.

Redcar and Cleveland Council's scheme, part of its Lighting Our Culture initiative, won the annual Lighting Design Awards' category for Transport Lighting.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said: "I'm absolutely delighted the scheme has won. This scheme has been at virtually no cost to the Council taxpayer and has been very, very popular. Dozens of people have told me what an attractive job's been done."

“Really effective lighting using simple fittings,” said the judges of a scheme which uses a blue light to illuminate the track as a visual reference to the water that drives the cliff lift power mechanism. The pier buildings and beach huts are lit to emphasise their heritage.

The Council's Mayor Councillor Peter Spencer collected the award - a metal certificate - along with lighting design consultant Michael Phillips at London's Royal Lancaster Hotel in a ceremony organised by Lighting Equipment News and the Institution of Lighting Engineers.

Mr Phillips' company, Lighting Design & Consultancy, was brought in by Middlesbrough Council Design Services, appointed the scheme's lead consultant, with Bartram Walker as electrical contractors.

The scheme's £380,000 funding package included contributions from the Government's regional development agency, One North East, Tees Valley Coastal Arc, the Tees Valley Partnership, the Council, Saltburn Pier Entertainments and Friends of Saltburn Pier.

More lighting has also been installed on the lower promenade and Cat Nab car parks. Design work on a potential Phase 2 including the town's community theatre and railway station portico, is also complete, with funding and planning applications to come.