Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Another incident of fly tipping at Redcar

I have today reported, for investigation and removal as soon as possible, yet another incident of fly tipping at the rear of Easson Road and Westfield Avenue.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council Publication Local Plan Consultation

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has begun to undertake consultation on its Publication Local Plan. The consultation period began on Tuesday 6th December 2016 and will finish at 5pm on Tuesday 31st January 2017.

The Local Plan includes a vision for how the Borough should be in 2032 and sets out a strategy for growth, identifying appropriate areas and sites for development, as well as the necessary infrastructure to support this growth. The Local Plan will also be used to make decisions on future planning applications and, once adopted, will replace the Council’s existing planning framework set out in the Local Development Framework Core Strategy Development Plan Document (DPD) and Development Policies DPD, 2007, as well as a number of ‘saved’ Local Plan Policies, originally adopted in 1999.

The Publication Local Plan is the version of the Plan which the Council wishes to adopt. The Council has previously consulted on the Draft Local Plan (from 27 June to 8 August 2016) and representations received on that consultation have been taken into account, alongside other considerations, during the preparation of the Publication Local Plan.

Following this consultation, the Publication Version Local Plan will be submitted, together with the representations received in this publication consultation, to the Secretary of State for Examination in Public.

Alongside the Publication Local Plan, the Council is also publishing the proposed Policies Map for consultation. This sets out, on an Ordnance Survey base map, where the site and locationally specific planning policies will apply.

The Council is also publishing the Publication Local Plan 2016 Sustainability Appraisal and Appropriate Assessment reports for consultation.

The Publication Local Plan, and all of the associated documents, can be viewed online.

Copies of the Publication Local Plan can also be found at all of the borough’s libraries, and at the Council’s offices at: Redcar and Cleveland House, Kirkleatham Street, Redcar; and Belmont House, Rectory Lane, Guisborough.  The Sustainability Appraisal and Appropriate Assessment reports can also be viewed for comment online and at Redcar and Cleveland House and Belmont House. 

Have your say on Redcar and Cleveland Council's budget plans

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has launched its budget consultation exercise, following a cabinet meeting on Tuesday 6 December.
As part of setting its financial plans for the next three to five years, the council would like to gather the views of the borough’s residents on various capital investment proposals, plus their thoughts on council tax levels, adult social care precept and changes to its council tax support discount scheme. 
Residents can get involved by downloading the questionnaire or by completing it online on the council’s consultation webpage.
The council will also be hosting four face to face consultation events in Guisborough, Eston and Redcar. More information on these can be found below:
·              Guisborough – Thursday 5 January, Sunnyfield House, at 5.30pm;
·              Eston – Tuesday 10 January, Inspire2Learn @ Eston Civic and Learning Centre, at 5.30pm;
·              Redcar – Tuesday 10 January, Redcar & Cleveland Leisure and Community Heart, at 12pm;
·              Redcar – Wednesday 11 January, Redcar & Cleveland Leisure and Community Heart, at 5.30pm.

Residents interested in attending the consultation events can register their interest on the council’s webpage.
The council will also be consulting with partners and seeking the views of local businesses.

The consultation will end on Wednesday 11 January, and the results will be fed in to the cabinet meeting on Tuesday 24 January 2017. 

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Christmas Tree Switch on Roseberry Shopping Centre, Redcar

Christmas Tree
Switch on
Roseberry Shopping Centre, Redcar
Thursday 8th December 2016
at 5pm .
Supported by Scrumptious,
Sainsbury’s, Cleveland Police and Redcar and
Cleveland Borough Council
Christmas Carols
Free hot chocolate and mince pies
Come along and join in the fun

Monday, 5 December 2016


I have just been out to find a copy of Issue 75 of Coastal View as I have started to advertise for electrical work in it again. It is not distributed where I live but is available from a few reasonably local outlets.

I could not believe my eyes when I looked through it. 17 of its editorial pages had items about the two Labour MPs and various Labour Councillors and that included FIVE full pages and THREE that were at least half pages full of Labour propaganda.

The Lib Dems had ONE item about the possible closure of Laburnum Library sent in by Josh Mason. I accept my item about the proposal to move the books out of Roseberry Library may have been after the deadline for this issue but I understand we sent out a few items that didn't get in.

There are a handful of items concerning Independent Councillors in the popular local paper and a couple of letters from UKIP. Nothing from the Conservatives.

We don't all have the staff paid out of the public purse that MP's have to spend all day writing articles for them but we are involved in quite a lot of things that are just as newsworthy but are ignored by the local media.

Our answer is as always we do the hard work of keeping in touch with our electors ourselves. There are quite a few newsworthy items which go out regularly in my ward newsletter Focus, on this Facebook page, and my blog. They are about local campaigning, holding the Labour Council to account and making proposals for actions that seek to make a difference for local people.

Surely it should not be down to who can afford to pay staff to feed newspapers but it clearly is you know. We no longer have an MP so we expect to have less coverage but what is happening with Labour coverage is not fair at all. Nobody else, as far as I know, is asked to comment on the claims in these Labour biased items.

We do send out press statements as well but very little gets in these days. It seems to me that newspapers no longer even try to provide balanced coverage.

The Gazette, which is Trinity Mirror owned, gave up on balance years ago. They only balance articles critical of Labour but they no longer ask opposition members to quote on items put out by the local Labour Councils.

I am sure it will turn out to be our fault as it always is but I ask myself what would Labour say if one of the other political groups got 17 pages of coverage in one local newspaper? They would raise the roof and never stop going on about it.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

What the Liberal Democrats believe

Thank you to Mark Pack for this useful document. Click on it for an expanded view

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Redcar Lib Dems fight for Roseberry Library

Labour-run Redcar and Cleveland Council appears to want to split Roseberry Library up with the books going into the 25K Community Centre, the IT section staying where it is and Adult Education taking over the purpose built Library building, as part of the Council’s cost cutting Shaping Our Future 3 programme.

But the possible partial closure of the library is unacceptable. My Newcomen Ward  Lib Dem Community Campaigners Laura Benson (pictured centre) and my daughter Kelly Seaman (left) have joined the campaign and hope to encourage more people to sign our online petition.

The Council should leave Roseberry Library intact as it currently is. More should be made of its potential as a meeting place. Roseberry Library is in the best possible position for the area it has served for around 50 years.

It had been the hub of the former Roseberry Square Shopping Centre and is now an important feature of the modern Roseberry Shopping Centre.

Losing the Library will also have a negative effect on the businesses that operate in the Shopping Centre.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Please sign my petition to keep Roseberry Library in Roseberry Shopping Centre

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's 'Shaping our Future 3' strategy proposes moving the books out of Roseberry Library in Roseberry Shopping Centre, Roseberry Road, Redcar. 

It proposes moving them into the 25K Centre, whilst leaving the IT equipment in Roseberry Library and moving Adult Education into the building. 

The Council should leave Roseberry Library intact as it currently is. More should be made of its potential as a meeting place. Roseberry Library is in the best possible position for the area it has served for around 50 years. 

It had been the hub of the former Roseberry Square Shopping Centre and is now an important feature of the modern Roseberry Shopping Centre. Losing the Library will also have a negative effect on the businesses that operate in the Shopping Centre.

Please sign the petition by clicking here:

Friday, 18 November 2016

Newcomen Ward Neighbourhood Action Partnership meetings

Monday 21st November 2016 at 6pm
Roseberry Square Library, Roseberry Road
  1. Welcome.
  2. Introductions
  3. Apologies for absence
  4. Minutes of last meeting
  5. Matters arising
  6. Coast and Country Housing
  7. Update on community clean up
  8. AOB.
Future meeting dates:
9th January
20th February
3rd April
1st May
26th June

Emma McLoughlin (Community Development officer)
Mobile: 07584480408

Email: emma.mcloughlin@redcar-cleveland.gov.uk

Redcar Lib Dems demand rights for renters

Liberal Democrat Councillors in Redcar are demanding greater rights for private sector tenants.

Councillor Lisa Harding, who represents West Dyke ward, has put forward a motion to Redcar and Cleveland Council requesting support for the Renters’ Rights Bill.

The bill is currently in the House of Lords. The bill is the work of Lib Dem Baroness Olly Grender. If passed, it would:

1. Ban letting fees for renters, a practice already outlawed in Scotland which is allowing letting agents to charge both the landlord and the tenant for services.

2. Give renters access to an open register of rogue landlords and letting agents.

3. Bring in compulsory electrical safety checks in rented homes.

4. Prevent rogue landlords from obtaining an HMO licence.

Councillor Lisa Harding said:

“The private rented sector has an important role in helping to address housing need in our area.

“Whilst the majority of private landlords act fairly and take their responsibilities seriously, there is a persistent problem of rogue landlords who have little concern for the welfare of tenants and often fail to meet their legal obligations. This not only affects tenants, but has impacts on the wider community as a whole, as poorly maintained properties blight residential areas, leading in some cases to vermin and other anti-social issues. “It is therefore vital that proper protections are put in place for tenants, ensuring that they have a home which is safe, clean and warm.”

Assurance given that Redcar and Cleveland Council will not charge for emptying green waste bins

As regards the proposal to charge for emptying green waste bins the question was asked at this afternoon’s Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council meeting by my Lib Dem colleague Councillor Glyn Nightingale.

Cabinet Member Councillor Alex Brown accepted that a number of local authorities have started to do this but he gave an assurance that the current administration would not be introducing a charge. This reply will be on the record in the Council minutes and also recorded in the video of the meeting which will appear on the Council’s website very soon.

Monday, 14 November 2016




With the Wilton Male Voice Choir

At Tuned In Centre, Majuba Road, Redcar
Friday 2nd December 2016 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Prize Draw, Refreshments, 

                       Tickets: £3                                    
From: Steering group members or available at the door

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Remembrance Day Parade at Redcar

Councillor Josh Mason Leader of the Lib Dem Group on Redcar and Cleveland Council lays a reef at the Remembrance Day Service at Redcar. Councillor Karen King also lays a reef on behalf of the Humanists.
Add caption

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Saturday, 29 October 2016

British Legion Poppy Appeal launch at Redcar

This morning as Deputy Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland I launched the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal in Redcar.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Daniel in action on Litter Picking Day in The Meadows

Pictured is my Grandson Daniel Abbott part of the litter picking team in The Meadows area the other day and pictured on a previous litter picking day when he was very young.

The Meadows area, Redcar Week of Action highlights

Day 1 of the Week of Action in The Meadows area of Redcar (formally known as the Closes) was bin audit day. An attempt to find out who requires bins after many have been stolen.

Day 2 was skip day. Fellow Ward Councillor Billy Wells and I provided three skips out of the Councillors Neighbourhood Action Partnership funding for residents to dispose of unwanted items. residents were asked to contribute £3 if they wanted to use the skips and around 25 took up the offer.

It is hoped that a residents' group will shortly be formed to help deal with the problems on the estate and help people work together to keep the area clean and tidy.

The skips were available between 10 am and 1.30 pm. The day was organised by Redcar and Cleveland Council's local Community Development Officer, Emma McLoughlan with Billy Wells and myself on hand to assist.

Day 3 was healthy living day. Community Development Officer Emma McLoughlan, supported by myself and Councillor Billy Wells, provided a 'smoothie bike' and the ingredients for local youngsters to make their own by pedalling the bike. A health information boards were also on display.

Day 4 was litter pick day. I was joined by granddaughters Charlotte and Jessica Seaman and Grandson Daniel Abbott, and we formed one team working in The Meadows, Devon Close and Brathay Walk. Two local residents, Neil Johnson of Coast and Country Housing plus Community Development Officer Emma McLoughlan, supported by myself and Councillor Billy Wells were also involved.

Day 5 was patch walk day. Cleveland Fire Service, Coast and Country Housing, Redcar and Cleveland Council's Community Development Officer, Councillor Billy Wells, my daughter Kelly Seaman and myself, looked at problem alley way areas, where youths have been hanging about and setting fires. We also noted a considerable amount of dumped rubbish at 9 Field Head (pictured) which has been reported as a fire hazard.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Week of Action targets Redcar estate

The area around The Meadows (formally the Closes) area
Redcar will get the opportunity to learn new skills and get their voices heard as a week of activities take place as part of the ‘Redcar and Cleveland Love It’ campaign.

Coming as the result of work done in Neighbourhood Action Partnership meetings chaired by ward councillors Chris Abbott and Billy Wells, residents on The Meadows estate will lead on tackling issues affecting the estate including anti-social behaviour and general cleanliness. They will also be forming their own residents’ group to continue this week of action in the future.

Starting on Monday 24 October, members of the ‘Love It’ team will show residents on The Meadows estate how to use their recycling, green waste and general waste bins as well as implementing some anti-theft measures including spray painting house numbers and street names on bins and offering tips on how to secure bins.

There will be a skip day, dates to be confirmed, so people can get rid of bulkier rubbish for £3 each and the money raised will go towards funding new activities and initiatives around the area.

One of those activities is a community litterpick on Thursday 27 October at 10.00am where council staff, residents and volunteers will come together to clean the estate.

It isn’t just waste and recycling that will be part of the week of action as a healthy lifestyles workshop takes place at Rye Hills School from 9.00am – 11.00am on Tuesday 25 October with a healthy eating workshop on the afternoon.

There will also be a microwave cooking taster session at Roseberry Library on Thursday between 1.30pm and 3.30pm.

Also passing on their knowledge is Cleveland Police who will be running a session on crime prevention and Cleveland Fire Brigade will be doing patch walks, both on Thursday.

Cllr Billy Wells, Independent ward councillor for Newcomen, said: “Hopefully if this week of action is a success it will encourage residents in other parts of Newcomen ward to create their own group and have their own week of action and as ward councillors I will work with Cllr Abbott to continue to support this.”

Cllr Chris Abbott, Deputy Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland and Lib Dem councillor for Newcomen, said: “The area needed a new management plan and it is great to see that residents are prepared to work alongside the two ward councillors the community development team and all the other local agencies to help deal with the anti-social behaviour problems, rubbish dumping and get to work on improving the appearance of the area.”

To find out more about ‘Love It’ go to: www.redcar-clevelandloveit.co.uk

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Nice lunch in Redcar Library cafe.

Having had a full day of meetings at the Redcar Community Heart today I found myself in the Redcar Library cafe with twenty minutes to spare before my next meeting but with only £3.00 cash on me after I paid out £4.50 to park.

However, they were serving homemade chicken casserole for only £2.50 and it was delicious. What a change it made from my usual unhealthy diet. I miss proper home cooked meals. I do them myself occasionally but no where near as often as I would like. I will be visiting the Library cafe again very soon.

Newcomen Ward Neighbourhood Action Partnership

The next Newcomen Ward Neighbourhood Action Partnership is Monday 3rd October 6pm at Roseberry Square Library, Roseberry Road, Redcar.

Barry Coppinger The Police and Crime Commissioner will be attending the next meeting.

Barry will give an overview of what is happening in the Police and will answer any your queries about Anti-Social Behaviour and Crime.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Lay-by for bungalows in Westmorland Road, Redcar

Success at last with our campaign for a lay-by in front of bungalows 60 to 70 Westmorland Road which I submitted as a contender for funding out of the Council's Public Realm around 18 moths ago. Today I received the following confirmation that the work will start of 3rd October.

"On Monday 3rd October construction works will commence to install a new lay-by on Westmorland Road. This project was one of the 72 Phase 2 Projects of the Boroughwide Public Realm Programme and will consist of the construction of a new vehicular lay-by and a relocated footpath between numbers 60 to 70 Westmorland Road.

"The works will be carried out by the Council’s Highway Services section and weather permitting, should be complete by Friday 16th October 2016. Residents have been informed of the works via letter and Coast and Country Housing (owner of part of the land) has also been kept informed throughout the whole process."

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Redcar's Yorkshire Coble pub no longer allowing parents of Lakes Primary pupils to park during School run

I am being contacted by parents and residents concerning the recent decision of the Yorkshire Coble to no longer allow parents to park in the pub car park whilst dropping off or picking up children at Lakes Primary School.

This arrangement seemed to have been working well ever since the current travel to school plans were introduced and I have always thought it was very helpful of the landlord and staff at the Coble to allow this to happen. I am unsure as to why the decision has been taken to block access though I understand it has do do with pub regulars not being able to find parking spaces at times.

I have asked the Council's Highways team to advise on what the Council and the School can do to assist in order to prevent the parking chaos that may result from this decision.

I would welcome the views of residents about this as the Coble is really the only place for parents to legally park when doing the School run. It has been suggested that some parents have been staying too long, arriving early and staying to chat with friends and thereby preventing a swift turnover of parking spaces.

UPDATE 15/09/16 - 11 am:

I have been in touch with Highways and it seems the decision has been made by the head office of the brewery not to permit parents from parking in the pub car park. A number of customers of the pub have complained to Samuel Smith Head Office regarding the parking behaviour of parents parking up. The manager of the Coble has stated they were informed by head office not to allow parents to park up. I have asked an Highways officer to assist in taking the issue up with head office.

UPDATE 15/09/16 - 7.27 pm

One of the Council's Highways Engineers has been in touch with the estates department at Samuel Smith Head office and they have stated that they are standing behind the decision not to allow parents to park in the Yorkshire Coble Car park.

They have stated that the behaviour of the parents from both an attitude and a parking and safety perspective leaves a lot to be desired and that they are not willing to run the risk of an incident occurring on their premises.

I will keep pursuing this but please let me know if you have any suggestions.

Monday, 5 September 2016

New toilets in Locke Park

I learned from a resident today that a young child visiting the park wanted the toilet but was surprised to find they had vanished. Previously in the Locke Road entrance car park, they are now situated, as pictured below, next to the Cafe, which is close to the main Corporation Road entrance and parking area.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Landslide victory for Lib Dems in Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's Ormesby Ward

Redcar Liberal Democrats are delighted to have held on to the Ormesby Ward with a landslide result in a by-election held yesterday. 

Nunthorpe resident Carole Morgan, a former teacher at Nunthorpe School, was comfortably elected as the new councillor in Ormesby, which includes part of Nunthorpe.

The result was: 
Carole Morgan (Lib Dem) 980 
UKIP 138 
Labour 126 
Con 41 
North East Party 15 

The by-election was caused by the resignation of popular Liberal Democrat Councillor Ann Wilson, who sadly died during the campaign. New Lib Dem Councillor Carole Morgan said:

“Naturally I regret the circumstances that led to this by-election. Ann Wilson was a superb representative for the area and was liked by all who knew her.

“I am delighted that the people of Ormesby and Nunthorpe have put their trust in me. I am looking forward to working with fellow Councillors Glyn and Irene Nightingale to serve the local community and protect the area from unsuitable development.

“I will try to be a councillor for all residents, regardless of how they voted.”

Lib Dem council group leader Josh Mason added: “I am delighted with the result and am sure that Carole will be an excellent representative for Ormesby and Nunthorpe.

“The Lib Dem Group on the council will continue to hold the Labour administration to account and fight for the best possible deal for residents across the borough.”

Friday, 12 August 2016

Councillors rushing to criticise colleagues often get it wrong but the damage is done!

Redcar and Cleveland Councillors are at their best when they work together

I was disappointed yesterday to read a post on the Facebook page of a fellow Councillor, a Labour member for Coatham Ward, sniping at me in a very patronising way. It claimed I should have contacted the Council before complaining in the press about the lack of action to repair Redcar Town Clock (see previous item below).

The comment attracted some rather nasty comments in support including one from the other Labour Councillor for Coatham Ward also suggesting I should do like him and contact the Council.

Had they bothered to check they would have found that I DID contact the Council first and I got a very helpful response. However, the number of people who contacted me to complain about the clock not working was the reason why I felt it a necessary and newsworthy action to press release my comments and publish them in my blog.

In addition to that I also complained about the fact that the Council appears to be the only local authority in the country that plants green shrubs in flower beds and boxes.

Two entirely different issues but linked because the Labour leadership of Redcar and Cleveland likes to cut maintenance budgets when faced with having to reduce spending so that people notice and they can then blame the Government.

Both these Councillors post numerous stuff on Facebook daily and send out press statements. It is a bit rich to criticise me in such a patronising way when they do exactly the same themselves.

This reminds me of a similar incident in May, shortly after I received the honour, after 31 years on the Council, of being elected Deputy Mayor. The Council's only UKIP member posted a rant on Facebook about him not getting elected as the Vice-Chairman of something because some of my Lib Dem colleagues had refused to vote for him in spite of a deal agreed between opposition members. 

He singled me out for criticism because, he said, he had voted for me to become Deputy Mayor and I had not voted for him. This vote took place before the vote for committee chairs and vice chairs. This posting prompted a comment from an Independent Councillor claiming that he did not want to vote for me but did so because the UKIP Councillor said he should. Another person claimed I was a "low life."

The truth is I DID vote for the UKIP Councillor and not only that I later strongly criticised my fellow Lib Dem Councillors for not supporting him as well. The Lib Dem Group does not have a whip so members are free to choose but I felt they were wrong on that occasion.

The UKIP Councillor later apologised but the damage was already done, my daughter and granddaughter had already read the comments, which had upset them and no doubt many others would have believed them.

There is a code of conduct for members but some members think that allowing others to make nasty comments on their postings is a way of subjecting opponents to abuse without them being responsible. I beg to differ and would delete any such comments

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Get the basics right, repair Redcar town clock and plant flowers not green shrubs.

Redcar Town Clock is not working and has been out of action for some time. 

Redcar and Cleveland must be the only Borough in the country that fills its flower beds and planters with horrible green shrubs.

We had this problem prior to 2003 following a similar period of stringent cuts. We were told the clock was unserviceable but it was only seized up through lack of maintenance and the grass was not cut causing public outrage. 

The Council is failing to get the basics right. These type of cuts are more about making a political statement than a genuine money saving effort. People blame the Council not the Government when these things are done and it harms the Council’s reputation as a caring authority.

Redcar Town clock is relied upon and people hate it when it is not accurate. The Rev Alan Powers, said, when he attended Yorkshire Day in the High Street yesterday as John Vaughan to Chris Foote Wood’s Henry Bolckow, "Redcar town clock was known as the four faced liar," when he was the Methodist minister in Redcar.

Our approach roads to town centres are looking shabby with horrible green shrubs in planters and beds instead of flowers.

I realise the Council is running a ‘Love It’ scheme to get volunteers to plant flowers but every other Borough in the land appears to be able to provide decent flower displays without having to do this why can’t we?

Friday, 29 July 2016

Yorkshire Day in York Monday 1st August 2016

Yorkshire Day in York begins this year at Micklegate Bar, at 11.41am, with a landmark 40th annual reading of the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity.

The readings are in Old English, old Norse, Latin and modern English, the four languages used in Yorkshire since the earliest known written reference to the Ridings, appeared in the Anglo Saxon Chronicles of 876.

Micklegate Bar is where the West Riding meets the City of York. The readers will then walk the walls to Bootham Bar for the North Riding, then
inside Monk Bar for the City and finally to Walmgate Bar for the East Riding.

A further reading at 1 pm kicks off a fun afternoon of events in St Helen’s Square.

The Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity 2016


I (your name) being resident in the (East/North/West) Riding of Yorkshire declare:

that Yorkshire is three Ridings and the City of York with these boundaries of 1141 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 Yorkshire men and women;

that any person or corporate body which deliberately ignores or denies the afore-mentioned shall forfeit all claim to Yorkshire status.

These declarations made this Yorkshire Day 2016.

Yorkshire for ever!

God save the Queen!

Yorkshire Day in Redcar Monday 1st August 2016

Yorkshire Day at Redcar in the North Riding of Yorkshire, takes place at the town clock on the High Street from 10 am to 4pm on Yorkshire Day, Monday 1st August 2016.

Actor Chris Foote-Wood (brother of the late much loved comedienne Victoria Wood), will once again be leading the proceedings.

Chris, who comes as a different character each year, will read the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity at 11.41 am  as Henry Bolckow a Victorian industrialist and Member of Parliament, acknowledged as being one of the founders of modern Middlesbrough.

The Declaration will be read in the presence of the Mayor and Mayoress of Redcar and Cleveland, Councillor Barry Hunt and Mrs Olwyn Peters.

There will be stalls and other attractions, including a local dance group. Latex white roses are sold, price £1, for people to wear on Yorkshire Day and all proceeds are to be shared between Redcar Lifeboat and Zetland Lifeboat Museum.

Yorkshire Ridings Society’s North Riding Group, who organise the event, will have a stall selling YRS Products and a Tombola to raise funds to send pupils of local schools on the Yorkshire border for cricket coaching at Headingley.

PICTURE - Chris Foote-Wood pictured on Yorkshire Day 2015 as Samuel Plimsoll.

The Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity 2016


I (your name) being resident in the (East/North/West) Riding of Yorkshire declare:

that Yorkshire is three Ridings and the City of York with these boundaries of 1141 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 Yorkshire men and women;

that any person or corporate body which deliberately ignores or denies the afore-mentioned shall forfeit all claim to Yorkshire status.

These declarations made this Yorkshire Day 2016.

Yorkshire for ever!

God save the Queen!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Rose Gardens makeover by young people of the National Citizens Service

Last week I appealed in Focus 321 for volunteers to help maintain the rose gardens and the planters in Corporation Road and West Dyke Road. I was pleased to learn that young people from the National Citizens Service (NCS) have agreed at, very short notice, to carry out a makeover of the central bay of the rose gardens.

The rose gardens are situated in Lakes Avenue at the West Dyke Road entrance to Redcar Racecourse. Cars attending race meetings and car boot sales park alongside the rose gardens and in the adjacent seats. It was not a pleasant site for visitors as the picture shows. In spite of persistent requests for the gardens to be tidied up Redcar and Council is currently only attending to planted areas like this once per year.

This is unacceptable, hence my appeal for volunteers to adopt the rose gardens and the planters which I got installed on the approach roads in my ward that lead into Redcar town centre, This was done using funding from the £2000 per annum allocated to Councillors for environment improvements. The planters, in West Dyke Road and Corporation Road, now have horrible green shrubs plonked in them by the Council's neighbourhood team because they need no maintenance work. 

This totally defeats the object to brighten up the approach to the town centre, particularly the ones outside the Winning Post pub and alongside West Dyke Road car park. I should add the ones on the grass verges in Corporation Road and similar in Westfield Avenue were positioned to prevent cars parking and churning up the verges. But nonetheless they need flowers not drab green shrubbery in them. Over the past two or three years I have requested "proper" flowers - bright coloured bedding plants - to be paid for out of the Councillors fund, but there is a noticeable dragging of feet each time that always ensures the planting does not actually happen.

After having made my appeal in Focus, I decided to send in a complaint about the fact that these requests were being ignored. I also pointed out that I was receiving serious complaints from residents about the state of the rose gardens. I included the following comment I had seen on Facebook from a neighbour:

“This is (allegedly) the rose gardens. The council hasn't been near it for months. Bloody disgrace. Makes you wonder what they're wasting our council tax on. Rant over!”

 And an email I received from a resident of West Dyke Road:

"Now that the council appear to have abandoned the rose gardens which they devastated could they at least spray the best display of weeds in Redcar. This could result in killing the 2 or 3 remaining rose bushes but would be better than it is now. This presents a terrible view of Redcar to visitors to the racecourse."

Within less than 24 hours of my complaint and I am prepared to accept it was purely a coincidence I was informed that NCS had agreed to take on the rose gardens as a project for their young volunteers and carry out a  makeover of the central bay, starting this Monday 26th July.

Having then been consulted, I learned the Council was insisting that NCS planted low maintenance shrubbery in the central bed, albeit a slightly brighter version than the dreadful stuff in the planters down Corporation Road. I pressed very strongly to have a bed of roses included to respect the fact they have been known as the rose gardens for probably more than 70 years. In the end this was agreed. Gosh, the relief was enormous after the stress of having to keep arguing by email and insisting on being listened to.

I also recognise and appreciate the input in getting the NCS from fellow Ward Councillor Billy Wells.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Was the arson attack on one of Redcar's seafront shelters an overreaction to England's failure to beat Russia?

For the second time in less than 12 months one of Redcar's new seaside shelters has been wrecked by an arsonist last night.

The incident happened at around 10.30pm following England's first match in the European Championships in Marseille. Violence occurred before and after the match in which England failed to beat Russia. Was the arson attack on one of Redcar's seafront shelters an overreaction to events in Marseille?

The damage, much worse than the previous arson attack on a neighbouring shelter in July last year, will cost thousands of pounds to repair.

As Deputy Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland and a Redcar Councillor I am calling on the police to do their best to bring the culprits to justice as soon as possible.

The shelters are an important part of the sea front experience. They have only been in place just over two years and are well used. The previous wooden shelters stood for decades and were much loved.

Hopefully there may be some CCTV footage of the incident but I note the fire was clearly started on the seaward side which may have been out of sight.

I post below some pictures I have taken: