Thursday, April 12, 2007

Out with the Local Police

Paul outside the Gilberdyke Youth Building

There have been a number of complaints from Gilberdyke and Howden regarding anti-social behaviour particularly on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Paul Robinson says, “As a member of the multi-agency team recently formed to deal with problems of teenagers and anti-social behaviour I was asked to spend a Friday evening with the local Police in the area.

From talking to young people over the past years I am aware that alcohol is very much part of the lives of many, and as a member of the Howden Neighbourhood Police Panel and the Neighbourhood Action Team, I am also very much aware of the connection between alcohol and much of the anti-social behaviour.

During the evening we talked to a large number of teenagers from not only Gilberdyke, but from Newport, Eastrington and Howden, from as far away as Brough and Hull, and a number from Goole. The young people explained that they came to Gilberdyke because they had friends from school living in the village and they felt comfortable here even though there were limited things to do, and those from Goole felt safe here as they were not bullied or intimidated as they were in Goole.

Needless to say an amount of alcohol was seized and confiscated, along with soft drinks suspected of having being laced with alcohol. We were told by youngsters that they are unable to buy alcohol from the Supermarket or the Garage in the village as the assistants are vigilant, but they get alcohol from home and some older friends do buy for them.

The relationship that the teenagers have with the Police appeared to be very good, especially with our local PCSO Alison Pearson, which is very positive and bodes well for the future. There was an isolated instance of foul and abusive language directed at the Police following the seizure of alcohol which led to the teenager being taken home to their parents and a fixed penalty fine being issued.

The young people had concerns about some ‘thugs’ from out of the village (mostly from Goole) who periodically come over to Gilberdyke in cars or by train with the intent of causing trouble. This had led to some violence and anti-social behaviour.

Many Gilberdyke residents have told me they feel uncomfortable seeing a large group of some 30 teenagers congregating around the shops, at the railway station or walking down the street, with the size of the group being intimidating. This is understandable. PCSO Alison Pearson and I have agreed to have a meeting with the Gilberdyke teenagers in the next couple of weeks, to explain people’s concerns and see what the young people can do to reduce these. We will also look at ways of engaging the young people on Friday and Saturday evenings”.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The unacceptable stink over Howdenshire Villages

Having spoken to many people over the last six months or so in HOSM, Spaldington, Eastrington, Bubwith and Wressle – one of the issues that has been constantly brought to our attention is the horrible smells drifting over local communities when the wind is in a certain direction, and when spreading (of what is assumed to be composted material) has been carried out on surrounding fields.

Although numerous people sought to add that they are not adverse to country smells, but the smells experienced are more than what is to be expected.It is widely acknowledged that composting is a positive step in reducing landfill - and if done correctly there is an acceptable smell associated with the process and the spreading of the composted material, but if not the smells can be severe.

We have a situation in Howdenshire where many composters have set up in a localised area, (some of which cause the obnoxious odours) with the cumulative impact on those communities being unacceptable, it is ruining people’s quality of life... and something must be done.

Your concerns appear to be in a number of areas; not only the smell associated with the composting process and the spreading of the composted materials on farmland. Damage is caused to narrow country lanes by the transportation of the composted material to the fields, and also the issue of HGV traffic through villages delivering the raw materials to the composting facilities.

"I feel that it is essential that all composting sites be regulated, with the responsibility for this regulation being with Environment Agency, which issue permits for each facility. Composting sites must then be inspected regularly to make sure there is compliance with the strict conditions imposed.

We must work with the composters, the Environment Agency and ERYC Public Protection to improve the present situation. It is not acceptable for composting to have such a negative impact of people’s quality of life, where they cannot open their windows or go outside, and clothes have to be re-washed to take away the smell".

In the short term the most important thing when you notice the smell is for as many people as possible to report this directly to the Environment Agency Emergency Hotline on: 0800 807060 (insisting that your call is logged), and it would be helpful to also inform ERYC Public Protection on 01482 396209