Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Funding for over 55's housing on former garage site in Roseberry Road stalls

The former Lakes Service Station site on Roseberry Road (pictured above) has become a real eyesore. We had been expecting work to start any time on the provision of elderly persons accommodation. That was the position when the Lib Dem led Coalition left office in May last year.

With the new financial year underway and no sign of work commencing on the site we raised the issue at the last Wednesday's meeting of the Redcar Area Committee and were promised an update. This we have now received as follows:

The Council owns the land and has granted BP a long lease of the land. Lakes Service Station closed and the Council began negotiations for a surrender of the lease.

In anticipation of the site becoming available, it was originally considered as part of a range of sites offered for extra care development. However, the extra care providers were not too keen due to the size of this site and it was later looked at by the Tees Valley Housing Group for housing for the over 55's. This scheme successfully attracted Housing Corporation Funding.

Some remediation works were carried out by the tenant, but eventually the negotiations broke down. The Council could not compel the tenant to proceed with the surrender of the lease and therefore the site was not available for re-development as the lease remains in place.

This prompted Tees Valley Housing Group to approach the Housing Corporation requesting that the funding be switched to a site at Church Lane, Eston which will deliver general needs housing linked to the Housing Market Renewal activity in Greater Eston. The Housing Corporation confirmed funding for the Church Lane scheme in March this year.

BP has since offered the lease for sale at Auction. The lease did not sell. Redcar & Cleveland Council are still in discussions with the tenant and are trying to establish whether a surrender can be achieved.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Freedman books Leeds United's place in the play-offs

Leeds United's made their first visit to Huise Park in search of the three points that will ensure a place in the League 1 play-offs. There is no place in the starting line-up for last Saturday's goal scorers David Prutton and Andy Hughes. Both sit on the bench, whilst injured striker Jermaine Beckford has failed to recover in time.

Yeovil's biggest ever crowd at Huise Park watched United make the best possible start when a goalmouth scramble in the 3rd minute ended with Dougie Freedman left-footed into the top-right of the goal from six yards, 1-0.

The Glovers, low in confidence, allowed United to dominate possession but still managed four or five chances to score. Freedman had two more chances to add to his goal for Leeds, Anthony Elding also had two chances on target, whilst Frazer Richardson and Jonathan Douglas had a chance apiece but the Whites failed to add to their score before the half-time whistle went.

The second half started with Yeovil showing more purpose and a shot from Antony Barry, in the 50th minute, from 25 yards, went wide.

Three minute later Bradley Johnson fired one in from 35 yards and the ball whistled only just over the bar.

Alan Sheehan was sent off in the 64th minute for a two-footed tackle on Yeovil's Lee Peltier. Frontman Elding was taken off in response and replaced by Hughes.

A trio of Yeovil corners were well defended by Leeds with 15 minutes to go. Johnson was replaced by Prutton in the 77th minute as the Glovers attempted to make their one-man advantage count.

With six minutes remaining Rui Marques came on for Neil Kilkenny.

A shot by Yeovil's Aiden Downes in the 87th minute brought a superb save by Casper Ankergran and Casper was there again one-minute later to catch a cross from Nathan Smith.

Four minutes of extra time seemed to last forever but United hung on to become the first club ever to reach the play-offs after starting with a points deduction. What a remarkable achievement!

Attendance 9527

Yeovil 0 Leeds United 1

Monday, 21 April 2008

Principal road maintenance

Redcar and Cleveland Council has programmed its annual four-week period of principal road maintenance across the Borough, with work involving gully and sign cleaning, grass cutting plus repairs to street lights and carriageways.

The work, which will be timed from 9am-3pm to avoid early morning and homeward bound traffic, starts on Monday, April 28, with a six-day schedule on the A171 from Swans Corner to Middlesbrough Road, South Bank, finishing on Tuesday, May 6.

The second phase, from Wednesday, May 7 to Tuesday, May 13, will tackle the A1053 Trunk Road and the A66 from the Wilton International site's West Gate roundabout to Cargo Fleet Lane roundabout.

The third phase, from Wednesday, May 14 to Friday, May 16, covers the A1085 Trunk Road, from the West Coatham Lane roundabout to Corus Lackenby. At the same time, Thursday, May 15 and Friday, May 16, work will be carried out on the A171 Birk Brow.

The final work schedule is on the A174 from Greystones roundabout to the Redcar Lane roundabout from Monday, May 19 to Thursday, May 22.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Rampant Lions slayed by Super Leeds

Striker Anthony Elding was named in the starting line-up, alongside Dougie Freedman, for Leeds United's penultimate away match against Millwall at the New Den. The injured Jermaine Beckford was not included in the 16.

Jonny Howson, the young player who has made an enormous impact over the past few weeks, was named as captain and David Prutton was in for the suspended Jonathan Douglas.

United had slightly more possession in a windy first-half but Millwall had more chances on goal plus four corners to United's one. A shot from Elding in the seventh minute was tipped around the post. A 24th minute shot, from 20 yards, by Frazer Richardson sailed over the bar.

In a flurry of action just before half time, United tried to make a breakthrough. Elding tried a shot from 18 yards, in the 44th minute, that whipped over the bar and a header from Howson, in the first minute of injury time, was saved.

It was Millwall who came out for the second half full of fire with three chances on goal in the first five minutes. United's first chance in the second half came in the 57th minute when Freedam shot wide from 20 yards out. Freedman tried a 30 yard shot in the 63rd minute which was saved.

Then on 69 minutes David Prutton volleyed a curving 30 yard shot from the right to put United in front against the run of play, 0-1.

Elding was replaced by Andy Hughes in the 72nd minute and in the 79th minute Hughes was there to side-foot a cross from Bradley Johnson into the net, 0-2.

Peter Sweeney came on for Johnson and Freedman was replaced by Tresor Kandol in the 88th minute.

United came to the New Den and withstood fierce pressure from the Lions, who had far more chances on goal but failed to make them count.

Brighton's win against the Pools means Leeds are still not guaranteed a play-off spot but a win at Yeovil on Friday can book our place.

Attendance 13,395 (1892 Leeds)

Millwall 0 Leeds United 2

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Terriers snatch win as Leeds lack fire at the Galpharm

Leeds United's first ever league game at the Galpharm Stadium started at rapid pace on a damp pitch.

The only change in the starting line-up from Saturday was Tresor Kandol replacing the injured Jermaine Beckford.

Huddersfield matched Leeds for possession and there were few chances for the Whites in the first half.

United were put on the back foot when Jonathan Douglas received his marching orders for a second yellow card in the 38th minute.

This woke the Terriers fans up and Town pressed their advantage in the hope of a goal before the break. Then a goal mouth incident on the stroke of half-time led to a second yellow card for Huddersfield's Jon Worthington which evened up the teams again.

David Prutton came on for Bradley Johnson in the 70th minute and Jonny Howson was replaced by Andy Hughes three minutes later.

A cross by Joe Skarz was headed into the net by Andy Holdsworth and Town were in front, 1-0.

Seb Carole replaced Kilkenny in the 83rd minute but even with five minutes of extra time United failed to make a breakthrough. Poor crosses and badly taken free-kicks did not help Leeds and the Terriers probably deserved it on the night.

The only good thing was that Walsall lost at home to Bristol Rovers so United retain their play-off position with the four point advantage intact but their game in hand used up.

United have not won at Huddersfield since 1963, although we have not been in the same league for much of the time.

Attendance 16,413

Huddersfield Town 1 Leeds United 0

Monday, 14 April 2008

Brand new boundary sign erected at Yedingham

33 years ago a group of Yorkshire Ridings Society members, which included Colin and Hilary Holt and John Dargan, erected an East Riding boundary sign on a building adjacent to the old road bridge at Yedingham, on the boundary of the North Riding and East Riding.

On Saturday 12th April 2008 Hilary Holt returned with a happy band of YRS members and friends to unveil a replacement sign as the original one was showing signs of age.

The sign, in the garden of Mr Robert Neil, can be seen from the new road bridge and was provided by the Society out of funds and donations.

Mr Neil, who was presented with a white rose bush by Roger Sewell, told members that the original owner of the property was Mr Alf Jackson, lived to the ripe old age of 103. He is reputed to have never spent a night outside the village and was the local pig killer, a reserved occupation.

David and Lynda Russell (pictured far right above), of the Friends of Real Lancashire, travelled over from Rawthenstall for the unveiling on the banks of the River Derwent,.

After the ceremony members enjoyed lunch at the Providence pub, across the road.

Yedingham is on the Malton Road 9 miles north east of Malton.

Pictures by Roger & Chris Sewell.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Freedman brace sinks the Blues

Is Dougie Freedman the new Bobby Collins?

The veteran Crystal Palace striker has certainly made a huge impact since he was brought in on loan at a time when Leeds United's season seemed to be falling apart. His influence on the team has been dramatic and reminds us of the great Bobby Collins who inspired Don Revie's young team in the early 1960's.

Dougie's deft touches and unselfish play have made a huge difference. His second-half brace of goals that sunk Carlisle could help ensure that United at least make the play-offs. Gary McAllister should consider making him skipper for the remaining games and seek to sign him for at least another season.

Dougie's goals and another from young Jonny Howson, who has also made a huge impact on the team since McAllister took charge, sent the Blues home pointless and knowing that their lofty automatic promotion position of second in the league is courtesy of the unfair 15-point penalty imposed on the Mighty Whites at the start of this season. The independent tribunal, which begins its deliberations on Wednesday, may change that but for now United must be content that having given their promotion rivals a 15-point start they are still there with a chance to get out of the doldrums at the first attempt.

A crowd of 28,530 watched a first-half that saw United gain more than 60% of the possession but fail to match the 16th minute goal by Carlisle's Scott Dobie and the Blues went in for the 0-1 up.

In a pulsating second-half Freedman evened up the score just four minutes in and Howson put United in front in the 58th minute only for Carlisle's Danny Graham to equalise two minutes later, 2-2.

Dougie Freedman fired Leeds back into the lead in the 69th minute with a volley from a re-bounded Neil Kilkenny fee-kick and United make in three wins on the trot, 3-2.

They can now look forward to the re-arranged derby match against the Terriers at Huddersfield on Tuesday night before another trip to face Millwall in the Lion's Den.

Leeds United 3 Carlisle 2

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Super Leeds put two past Orient and move back into a play-off position

Leeds United's trip to Leyton Orient was another sell out

The O's were one of the clubs that voted to unfairly penalise United at the start of the season and their manager Martin Ling got in a strop when it was announced that the 15 points decision was going to arbitration.

The match started 15 minutes late, at a fast pace with Orient dominant. Leeds soon got their act together and began to match the O's for effort.

Neil Kilkenny fired in the first chance, in the seventh minute, which went wide. In the 12 minute Dougie Freedman had the ball in the net from a Bradley Johnson cross but was ruled offside.

On 16 minutes United won a free-kick, taken by Johnson, which was guided into the net by Paul Huntington, 0-1.

Orient keeper, Glenn Morris, did well to stop chances by Jonny Howson and Freedman in the 30th minute. United were on top with some fast flowing play and a good effort by Jermaine Beckford was fired wide. Then Morris was the Orient saviour again when Beckford latched on to a pass from Howson.

Five minutes into the second half Beckford got his 20th goal of the season when he whacked in a pass from Freedman, 0-2.

At this point interest was taken away by the Grand National. We had £5 on the winner Comply or Die (so did our lad Steven and our daughter Kelly) and we cheered it home all the way.

Beckford went off injured in the 64th minute and was replaced by Tresor Kandol. David Prutton came on for Johnson in the 73rd minute. Kilkenny made way for Andy Hughes in the 78th minute.

The Whites held out and move back into a play-off position in sixth place with a confident team performance.

Attendance 7602 (2735 Leeds).

Leyton Orient 0 Leeds United 2

Friday, 4 April 2008

Tree team's big challenge

Redcar and Cleveland Council's Tree Team is ready for a mercy mission - to end the misery of a 75-foot sycamore in Kirkleatham Village, suffering from a serious fungal disease which is threatening its stability.

The Council's four-man team begin the two day operation on felling the tree, which is probably 100 years old, at 8.30am on Monday, 7th April.

The tree is situated next to Kirkleatham Museum, and staff at both the Museum and its neighbour, The Owl Centre, have been alerted to the work programme.

The felled tree will still have a use after-life, with its timber recycled for firewood and wood chip mulch.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Lib Dems question financial transparency

Posted by Chris:

At Redcar & Cleveland Council today I asked why Council Tax payers now have to pay over £25 million for “Other Services” this year.

In a letter sent out with Council Tax bills to explain where the money goes, “Other Services” now accounts for £25 million, up from £13 million last year. This makes it the second highest category of expenditure, with only Social Services higher (£36 million).

We need to know why the cost of these mysterious other services have rocketed so much. The whole thing looks to be out of control.

Even if Labour can explain it, there is still a problem. £25 million is much too high a figure to be represented in this way. It needs to be broken down more.

Labour promised to be open and transparent in their running of the Council. But this doesn’t look very transparent at all.

Local people have a right to know where their money is going.

The Labour Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources, Cllr Peter Scott, conceded that £25 million was a “large figure."

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Leeds get their revenge on Donny with a superb Sheehan free-kick

Leeds United made three changes for tonight's re-arranged game against Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium, watched by a record crowd. Paul Huntington, Jonathan Douglas and Frazer Richardson started in place of Rui Marques, David Prutton and Darren Kenton.

Donny started strongly and United worked hard to fend off two or three good chances. But on 20 minutes Douglas won a free-kick just outside the penalty box and Alan Sheehan sent in a superb curler to score his first goal for the Whites, 1-0.

Neil Kilkenny headed off the line from Rovers midfielder Jason Price in the 36th minute, as they looked for an equaliser but the fast flowing first half ended with United's lead intact.

Another chance by Price straight after the re-start went wide. A free kick by Gareth Roberts, soon afterwards, was deflected away from goal as Donny piled on the pressure.

United were looking to capitalise on the break as Rovers were the stronger going forward. Jonathan Howson came close twice and Jermaine Beckford once, in between frenetic Donny pressure.

Andy Hughes replaced Bradley Johnson in the 74th minute.

Frustrated Donny resorted to long balls in the last ten minutes but Leeds could cope. Douglas cleared the ball off the line in the last minute but that was the last chance Rovers had to save a point.

United got their revenge in a fiercely competed Yorkshire derby. They move back up to seventh in the League, one point from a play-off position and the points arbitration still to come.

Attendance 15,001 (3094 Leeds)

£90m school challenge

Redcar and Cleveland Council has a £90million challenge to shape the future of the Borough's young people - and is urging pupils, teachers, governors and parents to help the Authority make the right decisions.

The investment, to be spread across the Borough's 11 secondary schools and special schools, comes from the Government's Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, with £10million earmarked for investment in ICT to underpin the development of 'personalised learning' for all students.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Education Councillor Ian Jeffrey said: "BSF is different from other school building initiatives - in terms of its ambition, scale and complexity. It is not simply a building programme - the key focus is on education transformation.

"The focus will be on schools providing a wide range of other services to local communities but we may need to reduce the size of schools to reflect future student numbers and there may be amalgamations or federations where schools may not be viable individually.

"Some schools may become academies or trusts and but all our plans will be geared towards providing excellent facilities and increasing attainment."

The Borough has already benefitted from a multi-million pound investment in education, dating back to November 23, 2001 when former Prime Minister Tony Blair officially opened the £7.7million Rye Hills School at Redcar.

New buildings have since been developed for Bydales Specialist Technology College at Marske, Sacred Heart RC Specialist Science College at Redcar, Gillbrook College at Normanby, Freebrough Specialist Engineering College at Brotton, while a new Huntcliff School at Saltburn is set to open in September.

Councillor Jeffrey said: "BSF will complete our plans for transformation by rebuilding or remodelling the remaining secondary and special schools that have not had investment so far.

"To shape our plans for BSF we must tackle the core issue of having fewer pupils: our secondary school population will drop from 9,700 to 8,000 over the next ten years. How do we change our school provision to match?"

The Borough is divided into three separate educational areas, each with option appraisals. The areas and the options are:

*Redcar and Marske, covering Bydales School, Redcar Community College, Rye Hills and Kirkleatham Hall Special School.

Option 1: Redevelop Redcar Community College for 750 pupils and relocate Kirkleatham Special School onto the same site.
Option 2: Extend Rye Hills and relocate Kirkleatham Special School on the Rye Hills site. Close Redcar Community College. Bydales remain unchanged.

*Eston and Nunthorpe, covering Eston Park, Gillbrook and Nunthorpe.

Option 1: Redevelop Nunthorpe for 1,300 pupils, redevelop Eston Park for 800 pupils, continue to assess the success of the collaborative sixth form. Have a trust to underpin the soft federation of schools in this collaborative.
Option 2: Rebuild Nunthorpe for 1,300 pupils, close Eston Park, close Gillbrook, re-open a 1,200 place school based on the Gillbrook building, possibly as an Academy.

*East Cleveland, covering Laurence Jackson, Freebrough, Huntcliff and Kilton Thorpe.

Option 1: Rebuild Laurence Jackson for a more appropriate size to ensure the number of surplus places is kept to a minimum - to rebuild for 1,000 places would be 200 places less than currently projected. Freebrough could be considered for an Academy or as a trust with the other schools on the same site. Freebrough is located on a single site with Kilton Thorpe Special School and St Peter's C of E Primary. Surplus accommodation may be used to the benefit of all the schools. Option of post 16-satellite provision at Freebrough could be examined.

The Council has also been working with the Diocese of Middlesbrough to look at the Catholic secondary schools - Sacred Heart at Redcar and St Peter's at South Bank, and is investigating three options - 1: Expand Sacred Heart to 900 places to accommodate all the baptised catholic learners in Redcar and Cleveland, 2: To have a Catholic academy on the St Peter's site, 3: To federate Sacred Heart and St Peter's.

The Council's Cabinet will debate the options at its meeting on Tuesday, April 15, activating a month-long period of consultation before any final decisions are taken. The consultation includes three drop-in sessions, all from 3pm-6pm. Dates and venues are:

Tuesday, April 22 at Redcar Community College
Wednesday, April 23 at Eston City Learning Centre
Thursday, April 24 at Laurence Jackson School, Guisborough.

There will be a variety of ways to give your views as well as more consultation sessions. A leaflet is being distributed to all parents via pupil mail which will contain a tear off response and people can respond by email.