Saturday, July 28, 2007

Access Denied to Newport Residents

Newport residents have been denied motor vehicle access to the road linking Thimble Hall Lane and Canal Side West by two large new gates installed by the Hull and District Angler’s Association, who claim to own the road. Conversely the residents of Newport who have used the road for over 20 years claim that the road is a public highway.

Clearly the gates have been installed against the wishes of many Newport residents, local horse riders, and certainly against the wishes of Newport Parish Council who are fighting to have the gates removed. I fully support the residents and the Parish Council, it is clearly not acceptable and the gates should be removed at once.

If the Hull and District Angler’s Association (who I’m led to believe do own the adjacent pond) had wanted to ingratiate themselves to local residents then this heavy handed approach is surely the last thing to embark upon.

The road was originally constructed as an access road during the construction of the M62 and runs alongside. If we were to see a repeat of last week’s accident with an HGV crashing off the motorway along this section, I would not like to think that the emergency services were prevented from reaching a victim because of these gates. Therefore it is essential the gates be removed even if the Angler’s Association are subsequently proven to own the road.
I've been asked to add the following press release to this post - Paul Robinson 30/July/2007
Anglers no longer welcome in Newport as angry residents are “Locked Out” of part of their own village.

The villagers of Newport are up in arms over the blocking of one of their village roads by Kevin Clifford, President of the Hull and District Anglers Association. Two large metal gates have been ‘unlawfully’ erected and locked across the road that runs between Thimblehall Lane and Canal Side West. The gates at both ends prevent anyone from using the road that has been in Public daily use for over 20 years. Signs on the gates declare it is a Private Road and that there is “No Unauthorised Access”. Local horse riders and even motorised scooters, used by some of Newport’s disabled residents, cannot get through the narrow gap that has been left.

A local resident commented, “Anglers seeking peace and tranquillity have been coming to Newport over many years for the excellent fishing in and around the village. They have always been welcome but that has now changed. By erecting these locked gates Mr Clifford (who lives nearby) has provoked a great deal of anger and hostility towards the Anglers and made them and the HDAA very unwelcome here.”

The boundary of the HDAA Motorway Pond can be clearly seen to the right of the road.

A spokesperson for Newport Parish Council said, “We have been negotiating with Mr Clifford for some time regarding the state of this road and this provocative action came out of the blue. This has incensed local residents who no longer have access to part of their village! Mr Clifford has made some speculative claims to own the road but has never been able to produce any evidence, despite several requests.”

An Extraordinary Meeting of Newport Parish Council was held last week in response to angry demands from villagers, to decide what action would be taken in regarding this unauthorised road closure. One of those actions was to refer the matter to East Riding Of Yorkshire Council’s Environment and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee”.

The road runs alongside the M62 and was originally built under an Act of Parliament during the construction of the M62 in the early 1970’s to allow access for residents and contractors but despite the fact that the road is listed by the Highways Agency and East Riding of Yorkshire Council (USRN 45911086) both deny any responsibility for maintaining it. It seems that this tactic of denying responsibility (“we can’t find the records”) is happening across the region as more authorities seek to cut costs on even the most basic maintenance of roads.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

After the horse has bolted?

On Tuesday (24th July) work began on one of the blocked dykes taking surface water from Gilberdyke to the river at Blacktoft as shown on previous post. Credit should be given to the Lower Ouse Internal Drainage Board for not procrastinating on this issue, but it should be acknowledged that this is somewhat after the 'horse has bolted' and there are still serious issues with the other dykes leading from Gilberdyke.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Flooding - Have your say!

The East Riding of Yorkshire Council and other agencies involved is to undertake reviews in order to learn as much as possible from the recent flooding events. This will guide the various statutory agencies, including the ERYC, on improvements both to the drainage infrastructure, as well as refining emergency plans and procedures for the future. These reviews will be focused in two ways; firstly on the way in which the various agencies dealt with the emergency and secondly a review of the broader aspects, including the infrastructure issues identified above.

Many of you as individuals and organisations within our community may have observations and suggestions that they wish to put forward to be considered as part of these reviews. I would welcome any contributions of this kind as part of the data gathering stage for the reviews. In discussions with local residents within a number of communities over the past 2 or 3 weeks there are a number of residents, farmers or others who may have a valuable contribution to make in this regard.

I will be collating and passing on all those comments from people with whom I’ve already spoken, or received emails/letters, but I would welcome any further comments, observations or suggestions.

If you wish to send comments, observations and suggestions to me by post at the following address: Cllr Paul Robinson, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, County Hall, Beverley, HU17 9BA.
or by email to:

Alternatively if you wish to share your comments by submitting a post - please click on the comments icon below.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

ERYC Cabinet Backs Howden Weight Limit Deferment Option

With fellow Howdenshire Councillor Doreen Engall at the Bubwith Crossroads

The hard work by Howdenshire residents, Local Ward Councillors Doreen Engall, Paul Robinson, & Charlie Bayram paid off, recently the East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Cabinet agreed with our suggestion and decided to defer a decision on the issue of extending the Howden Weight Limit, and ask ERYC officers to look into a permanent solution by constructing a link road, to be funded by an off site contribution from the future development of the land north of Howden, possibly bringing forward the projected 2 to 3 years timescale.
Cllr Paul Robinson comments, "I feel a permanent solution to ALL HGVs travelling along Howden’s Flatgate must be found and the decision made by the ERYC Cabinet is a positive step in achieving this goal. To have approved the proposal to extend the weight limit to Howden's Flatgate would have re-routed HGVs through rural Howdenshire villages, not only HOSM, but Bubwith, Spaldington, and Foggathorpe, in effect passing the problem from one community onto others, but would have also had a detrimental effect on both the businesses who would have to have had to foot the extra fuel costs and increased travelling times, and the wider community with the increased emissions associated with lorries travelling the extra distances. This clearly did not fit with the ERYC policy of reducing emissions through reduced journeys.This decision also gives the added advantage of not only taking all HGVs out of the town of Howden but will allow a direct route to the Press Association car park ‘proposed’ for the North of the town, removing even more traffic from Howden’s Flatgate".

Cllr Paul Robinson (Howdenshire) 17th July 2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Gilberdyke's Flooding Problems - A Way Forward?

Regarding the flooding in Gilberdyke, not only over the recent weeks, but something evidence suggests has been ongoing and getting steadily worse over the last 30 years or so. “I feel it is now time to look at a positive approach to permanently alleviate Gilberdyke’s flooding problems, as the effect of global warming increases the frequency”.

A great quantity of the recent floodwater was pumped through the foul water drainage system, which is not designed for or capable of moving large amounts of water quickly. This is one of the reasons many residents suffered with floodwater, and blocked drains for many days after the initial rainfall. Gilberdyke Primary School remained closed not because of direct flooding or damage - but simply because the toilets could not be flushed as a result of the foul water drains being full, not withstanding the Yorkshire Water pumping station working constantly for a number of days.

“Although Gilberdyke has surface water drainage problems within the village boundary resulting from dykes being blocked, some having been filled in by developers and householders, and houses built lower than the roads. The evidence shows that it doesn’t really matter what work is done to the surface water drains within the confines of the village, the water will not drain from the village to the River”.

The area south of the railway, including the dykes in front of the farms on Bellasize Lane, into which the surface water from the west side of Gilberdyke discharges were also found to be flooded, with water across the road in places. “Ironically at the same time the 3 large dykes running down to the River Ouse had a normal level of water at the river end, this raises the question of whether these dykes were not blocked or badly maintained (the evidence of the photographs below would indicate this may be the case). It was also noticeable that a number of fields were flooded in the Bellasize and Bennetland areas and south towards the river; therefore it is clearly not just householders who are suffering but also farmers who were estimated to have had 3,500 acres under water”.

Mr Robin Sweeting in last week’s letters section of the Goole Times raised an interesting point, with which I totally agree. “It is unacceptable for Gilberdyke residents to be knee deep in flood water within their homes, because the section where a major dyke enters the river, cannot be cleaned of silt build up for the sake of protecting some reed beds. If these reed beds are so precious - dig them up and move them or let Natural England and/or the Environment Agency come and explain to Gilberdyke residents exactly why not”!

I’m led to believe there is a Lower Ouse Internal Drainage Board proposal for improving the flow of surface water from Gilberdyke and the land south to the river that was generated over 10 years ago. This includes plans for a new cross dyke to bring the main dykes together, deepening and regrading of existing dykes, and the installation of a pumping station, similar to the one exiting at Yokefleet, to pump the water up and over into the river. The effect of this would be to ensure surface water drains quickly from Gilberdyke and the surrounding communities.

I would like to offer my total support for moving forward on this proposal, or a variation, as soon as possible. I have mentioned this to my ERYC colleagues who are supportive. There would appear to be two main issues in moving this forward, obtaining the landowners permission for the project and seeking funding. I am led to believe that the landowners would be receptive to the project; therefore the big issue would be the funding, which may not be so difficult, especially with the support of farmers and the community as a whole. An amount of say £1 million could be obtained if there is the will, and at this time there is no doubt a considerable amount of will.

To become reality this project must first have the support of the Lower Ouse Internal Drainage Board without which there would be no possibility of moving forward. The Drainage Board must then take a lead on this, working together with Environment Agency, the communities affected, and the local councillors, and MEPs to make this reality.

I have spoken to Local MP David Davis, who also supports this proposal saying, “This is a very interesting idea that I would be willing to support as part of a wider reaching strategy to address the issue of flooding in Howdenshire and across the East Riding of Yorkshire”

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

One of Gilberdyke's Main Drainage Dykes (now and in 1970)

Could this be one of the reasons the flood water was slow to drain from Gilberdyke recently?

Little Clough between Blacktoft and Yokefleet, looking from the River Ouse towards Gilberdyke pictured now and also c1970...........

....and looking towards the River Ouse....

....and this is how it was done then

For Lower Ouse Internal Drainage Board click

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Flooded Yorkshire Needs Government Money Not Excuses

The lack of Government money forthcoming for the victims of flooding comes as no surprise, after all Yorkshire has suffered some of the lowest investment in roads over recent years, and or course our East Riding schools have suffered with the fourth and fifth worst education funding in the country during past two years.

It is no thanks to the Government (with its majority of urban MPs) that our East Riding of Yorkshire Council manages to cope in the circumstances like which we’ve seen over the last two weeks - it is credit to the Council itself.

In the aftermath of this flooding I’m sure lessons will be learnt. I will be urging the ERYC to look at ways Parish Councils can be brought into flood prevention and damage limitation. E.g. it may be that Parish Councils can keep stocks of empty sandbags in the future, and make sure that those people who are old, infirm or less able are known and can be helped by teams of more able volunteers from within the community.

It is possible that there still remain some residents who need further help and if any member of the public is aware of someone requiring assistance then they are asked to contact the East Riding of Yorkshire Council via the Floodline, (01482)393399, or by visiting one of the ERYC customer service centres.

Monday, July 02, 2007

20 tonne Sand Mountain Donated to Gilberdyke

Gilberdyke Residents filling makeshift sandbags

Local Quarry Humberside Aggregates of North Cave came to the rescue of Gilberdyke, North Cave and Howden by donating and delivering 20 tonnes of sand to each community. Residents were then able to fill makeshift sand bags to protect their homes against the further rains of the weekend. Cllr Charlie Bayram and I managed to locate a small quantity of empty sandbags which we delivered to the most vulnerable properties in North Cave and Gilberdyke. In Gilberdyke no more than a wheelbarrow full of sand remained after 6 hours of the sand being delivered.

On a personal note "It was humbling to see the tremendous spirit of the Gilberdyke residents working together during the crisis, the able helping the not so able, all hands to the few pumps that the housholders had bought, borrowed or hired, and most especially with all the makeshift sandbags"

Council Tax Rebate For Flood Victims

As a result of the recent flooding, many Howdenshire residents have had to leave their homes. In these circumstances, residents can apply for a council tax exemption, which means they will not have to pay council tax on the affected property for an initial period of up to six months.

Where properties have been structurally damaged and in need of major repairs, and residents are unable to live in their homes after six months, then a further exemption can be claimed for an additional six months.

In order to claim an exemption, properties must be unoccupied due to flood damage.

Anyone wishing to claim an exemption can telephone Billing and Collection on (01482) 394747 or call into their local customer service centre.