Sunday, July 26, 2009

Minimising Anti-Social Behaviour tops list of Howdenshire residents priorities

The Goole and Howdenshire Local Action Team (LAT) had stands at recent local events including, Howden Show, Gilberdyke Strawberry Fayre and the Holme On Spalding Moor Gala.

Many thanks to all those who placed coloured stickers on the large white board enabling us to gather your views on the 30 priorities identified by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC), the Police, Fire and Health services, and others. The top priority identified by residents at each event was ‘Anti-Social Behaviour in the East Riding is minimised’. This is high on my list of priorities and also the agenda of all partners represented on the team.

Anti-social behaviour can mean different things to different people. Anti-social behaviour can mean different things to different people and is not just the province of young people, as older people can also be anti-social in their actions. The ERYC has adopted the Home Office definition as, “any behaviour, which causes, or is capable of causing nuisance, harassment, alarm or distress to persons from a different household.” In other words, behaviour that undermines any person's right to enjoy their home, their neighbourhood and their daily life in peace and safety. This can include, persistent verbal abuse or threats, threatening and intimidating behaviour and damage to private property.

During 2008 the crime rate in Howden and Howdenshire was 2.4 crimes per 1,000 people, which is well below the average for the East Riding and makes the area a safe place in which to live. Conversely in terms of the biggest anti-social behaviour issues facing the Goole and Howdenshire area, 49.3% of respondents to the 2008 Household survey believed that teenagers hanging around the streets were a very big or fairly big problem.

I am shortly to be part of an ERYC Review Panel to embark on an in-depth investigation of anti-social behaviour, which should report back within a year.

The local Police working in partnership with the Council’s Safer Communities team and the Neighbourhood Action Team are doing many things to combat Anti-Social behaviour in Howden and Howdenshire villages, including a specific project aimed at underage drinking being delivered in a number of communities. This project includes face-to-face interaction with young people as seen at the LAT stand, where members of the ERYC Youth Service, Police, and Fire Services talked to young people about drinking and the effects of alcohol, including using ‘beer goggles’ to replicate the effects of drinking to excess.

(pictured with ERYC detached youth workers Richard Innes, Jonathan Morris & Helena Holmes)

But the Police and the Council need your help in cracking down on underage drinking, and anti-social behaviour committed by adults as well as young people - and I urge residents who experience any of this behaviour to report it by telephone to the Police on 0845 60 60 222 or the ERYC Safer Communities Team on 01482 391012.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gas exploration work in Howdenshire

Scottish energy company Composite Energy has commenced drilling exploratory 900m deep boreholes near Howdenshire villages, in the hope of discovering untapped underground gas fields of Coal Bed Methane (CMB). The fist site south of Newport received planning consent from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, drilling commenced and has been completed. Two subsequent applications for sites at Oxmardyke Grange in Blacktoft, and Marr Grange Farm Gilberdyke have struggled through the planning process, with the latter being refused due to unresolved access issues.

The company use a pioneering method of drilling, it is hoped they are successful and that a large and reliable gas field is found, as this would bring a tremendous boost to the local economy. It would also help to reduce the imports of gas from foreign lands, some of which are controlled by unstable and unpredictable governments.

I asked for the planning consent for the site at Oxmardyke Grange Blacktoft to be deferred until the company agreed to a survey of Tongue Lane, (Faxfleet Lane) and Oxmardyke Lane before work started, and a similar survey on cessation of the drilling and site restoration, and for them to make good any damage caused. The company agreed to this and planning consent has now been granted.

The Planning Committee also supported my proposal that the Marr Grange, Gilberdyke site be refused on the grounds of the access along Marr Lane, a very narrow road with a history of subsiding into the dyke alongside, and repeated damage to the water main in the roadside verge. It was determined that the road was unable to cater for several hundred 32 or 34 tonne lorry movements. The Market Weighton Internal Drainage Board and Gilberdyke Parish Council had highlighted this, and the committee agreed the risk was unacceptable.

It is hoped that the company will now go back to the landowner and negotiate a more direct and shorter route from Tongue Lane to the proposed site. Ironically this would mean any temporary road from a highway to the drilling site would likely be much shorter than originally proposed from Marr Lane.

For more information on Composite Energy please click:

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Top Award for Partnership and Strategic Working in Howdenshire

Pictured with Rita Lawson (Economic Development Manager North Yorks Council)
and Leigh Johnson (Howdenshire Forward's renaissance co-ordinator)

At the Yorkshire and Humber Market Town Awards held in Thirsk this week, Howdenshire Forward’s Wallingfen Way (B1230) Working Group won the top award in the ‘Partnership and Strategic Working’ category.

This is a visionary project aimed at removing a scar on the landscape the road represents and replacing it with a distinct rural community corridor. The aim is to create community/village boundary delineation and focal points (possibly iconic, gateways), and to improve the visual appearance of the environs of the road by creating a ‘soft’ pathway for movement between villages; e.g. continuous footpaths, cycleways and bridleways by narrowing the road between Newport and Gilberdyke, and through to North Cave.

To also include de-cluttering of both signage and paint and encouraging residents and landowners to participate in the visual enhancement of their properties and boundaries in an environmentally friendly way e.g. by tree planting to help create a ‘sense’ of village community and identity by enabling ‘Shared Spaces’

The local parishes of Gilberdyke, North Cave and Newport worked together, along with many other individuals and groups, including the Goole and Howdenshire Local Action Team, which played a leading role, and students from both Hull and Leeds Metropolitan universities, to support Howdenshire Forward.

Funding was obtained from Yorkshire Forward to carry out a feasibility study and produce a 25-year plan for the B1230.

The judges commented: “A project that is trying to solve a 'real' community issue. Involving three separate communities the project shows that people can work together with one ultimate aim. Innovative and transferable, the next challenge will be to raise sufficient funds to make the vision a reality”

I am proud to be a member of working group as well as Chair of Goole and Howdenshire Local Action Team, and I feel the partnership approach brought the best out of everyone’s talents and knowledge and we have worked across boundaries to promote a long-term plan that reflects the community’s aspirations.

I would like to recognise in particular Dr Gordon Shields for championing and taking the lead on the project, Tania Pells the Goole and Howdenshire LAT officer, Leigh Johnson Howdenshire Forward's Renaissance co-ordinator, and all other partners and team members whose efforts have ensured we have succeeded so far.

Hugh Roberts, Chairman of Howdenshire Forward, said: "I’m absolutely delighted that the innovative approach taken on the Wallingfen Way Project has been regionally recognised for its excellence in strategic partnership working. The commitment shown by all members of the working group, including all three parishes, Goole and Howdenshire Local Action Team, and Leeds Metropolitan University has proved to be a true winner for Howdenshire."

For more information on Howdenshire Forward’s activities, please visit the website: or contact Renaissance co-ordinator Leigh Johnson on (01482) 391689, email