Monday, September 28, 2009

Successful East Riding of Yorkshire Council ‘On the Road’ event held in Holme on Spalding Moor

Thank you to all who visited the ‘On the Road’ event held in HOSM during the day, and also those who took part in the evening session. It was interesting to hear your views.

The issues raised during the day included youth provision, transport, litter and litterbins, overgrown hedges, anti-social behaviour, speeding traffic, and concerns with the process by which planning permission is determined.

The evening brought to HOSM the Leader and Chief Executive of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, members of the Councils Cabinet and senior managers, plus representatives of the Police, Fire Heath and voluntary sector, for what turned out to be an interesting meeting.

The three issues that came to the fore were speeding in the village, the smells drifting over the village from nearby composting operations, and a desire by people to see the local organisations work together in the village.


Speeding in a number of different places in the village is an issue that is constantly raised with me by HOSM residents, and something I have spoken about previously. I will be continuing to work with the Police on this, not only in my role as one of your East Riding councillors, but also as chairman of the Police and Partners Community Forum, and Chair of the Local Action Team.

If you do witness speeding in the village please contact the local Police on 0845 6060 222


As many of you know I have spent a great deal of time and energy working with local MP David Davis looking into the composting industry, which creates almost all the unpleasant smells drifting over HOSM and Spaldington. I took a motion to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council for us to look into the industry; this was successful in creating an understanding of what is happening as well as highlighting some of the problems. I have had further meetings with the Environment Agency over the last month and I am confident that we are now at last seeing a positive move by them in addressing the issue, although they are not able to solve this in isolation, also needing the Council’s Public Protection staff and most importantly residents to work with them.

It is important that residents report smells drifting over the village to the Environment Agency by calling their 24 hour hotline on 0800 807 060.

New Bus Service from Holme on Spalding Moor to Market Weighton and beyond!

Over the past years one of the issues that has been raised with me by HOSM residents has been regarding a bus service connection between HOSM and Market Weighton. I am pleased to say that after considerable time spent not only by myself, but also my fellow Ward Councillors, and others, East Yorkshire Motor Services commenced a bus service to and from Market Weighton on 1st September 2009.

This is the number 34 bus leaving from HOSM seven times per day (Monday to Saturday) and 7 times in the opposite direction, this will allow connections with the Number X46 bus service to/from Beverley, Hull and York.

I am told this new bus service HOSM will be reviewed after a period of time to determine viability, and if well used it could be increased.

For timetable information please click:

Update 29th November 2009

There appears to be a few teething troubles with a number of people complaining that the times for the connecting bus services, especially when coming back from Beverley don’t quite work out as planned. This has resulted in a long wait for some and necessitated others having to pay for a taxi to get home. I am looking into this, but just as it took a long time to get the bus service –so it takes a little while to change the timetable!

Could anyone who has experienced any problems please let me know as the more evidence there is, the better the case.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gilberdyke to Hold Anti-Social Behaviour Drop-in Session

East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Gilberdyke Parish Council and Humberside Police have recently received complaints regarding nuisance behaviour in the village. This behaviour can have a very negative impact on the quality of life for a residents, which is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated

The Police, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) Safer Communities Team and local Gilberdyke Parish Councillors are holding a Drop-in Surgery to be held at Gilberdyke Memorial Hall regarding this anti-social and criminal behaviour. The Drop-in will be held on 30th September between 5pm and 7pm.

Councillor Paul Robinson says “After seeing a number of instances of anti-social behaviour in the village over the recent months, we have organised this event to give Gilberdyke residents the opportunity to speak to the Police, and the ERYC staff, and local councillors in an informal setting, to raise issues that concern them and provide details of what they have experienced”.

“It is important that we try to establish the nature and extent of the problem, where it happens, when it happens and who is involved, and this can only be determined by residents telling the Police and the council”.

“It also is an opportunity for the Police and the Council to inform residents what is being done and how they can help in addressing this problem”

If you would like any further details please do not hesitate to contact me

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Two Local Liberal Democrat Councillors defect to join Haltemprice and Howden Conservatives

Former Council Chairman Joins Double Defection

Two Liberal Democrat Councillors, including a former Chairman of Willerby Parish Council have defected to the Conservative Party.

The former chair of the Council Steve Kersey and fellow Councillor Veronica Stone have taken the move in response to David Cameron’s call for Liberal Democrats to join the ‘Conservative family.’

Commenting on his defection, Cllr. Kersey explained “I believe the Conservative Party offers our country a chance it is in dire need of – a chance for change. Change that will bring about fresh ideas and strong leadership. I have come to the conclusion that the only way forward is to support the Conservatives in order to bring about the change of direction our country so desperately needs."

Cllr. Stone added: “During these unprecedented times we have to wake up and realise that the only way to get through this horrible debt deficit and to protect generations to come, is change. When every child is born with £17,000 worth of public debt to its name, people quite rightly want action and straightforwardness. I believe that only the Conservative Party can deliver these criteria.”

“I am delighted to welcome Cllrs. Kersey and Stone to the Conservative Party and look forward to working with them and using their talents during our General Election campaign and beyond.”

Monday, September 14, 2009

In the book 'The Wind Farm Scam', to be released on 30th September 2009......

As many of you know I sit on the East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Planning Committee, which over the past two years have considered a number of applications for renewable energy proposals. I have voted both for and against renewable energy proposals including windfarms, treating each application on its own merits and will continue to do so.

Today I received the following, which is quite interesting and raises a number of issues worth debating.

Please feel free to offer comments as I would be interested to hear your views (needless to say I won't be commenting myself).

Environmental Scientist exposes wind farm scam

In his book The Wind Farm Scam, to be released on 30th September 2009, Dr. John Etherington argues that wind farm technology is a wholly counter-productive and undesirable response to the problems of climate change and electricity generation. Dr. Etherington is a former Reader in Ecology, Thomas Huxley Medallist at the Royal College of Science and former co-editor of the Journal of Ecology.

The Wind Farm Scam explains that the intermittent nature of wind power cannot generate a steady output, a fact that necessitates back-up systems from coal and gas-powered plants that significantly negate any reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, there are the ecological drawbacks, including damage to habitats and wildlife, and the far from insignificant aesthetic drawback of the assault upon natural beauty which wind turbines entail.

Moreover, wind power is being excessively financed at the cost of consumers who have been neither consulted nor informed that this subsidy is being paid from their bills to support an industry that cannot be cost-efficient.

With the recent proliferation of local groups opposing wind farm planning applications (now over 300), and the increasingly frequent and challenging discussions on wind farms in all the media - including a round condemnation by James Lovelock on the BBC’s Hard Talk programme - this meticulously researched and compellingly-argued book could not be more timely.

As Christopher Booker says in his introduction:

“Eventually the obsession of our politicians with tower blocks was seen to be one of the greatest follies of the age. In time to come – it may be sooner than we think – the obsession with wind power will likewise come to be seen as an even greater folly”

The press release continues:

Publication of "The Wind Farm Scam" comes at a crucial time, as our government appears determined to confront public opposition to deployment of wind power. Just a few months ago Energy Secretary Ed Miliband publicly stated "It is socially unacceptable to be against wind turbines . . ." and more recently Huw Irranca-Davies, DEFRA minister for marine and natural environment, supported the fast-tracking of wind power through the planning system by allowing developers to finance local projects. Such action is contrary to the government's own 2007 policy set out in "Delivering Community Benefits from Wind Energy Development: A Toolkit" which contained the categorical statement that: "To put it simply, planning permission cannot be 'bought'.”

Despite the government's statement that 81% of people are in favour of wind power and that 62% would be happy to live within 5 km of a wind power development, media polls have recently shown a consistent 70% to 90% of people opposing local wind farm development. For example, whilst this book was in press, the Scottish "Lochaber News" asked if councilors should approve a plan for wind turbines, to which question the poll gave a resounding "No - 90%". We are not alone. In Germany, usually presented as a showcase for wind power, the response to the State of Brandenburg's decision to increase the already large areas covered by wind farms, was a local petition of 27,000 signatures opposing the decision.

Proponents of wind power repeatedly stress that opposition is based primarily on the impact on landscape, but justify this by the need to "tackle climate change" through reduction of carbon dioxide emission. As this book shows, the saving of CO2 proposed by government's own 2010 target for electricity generated by renewables is a minute 0.04% of the global total and, by 2020 this will not have grown in any way comparably with the huge increases of emission from the developing world. To achieve the target, installed capacity of wind will have grown to near 50 gigawatts which according to predictions by wind farm operators E.ON UK and Iberdrolla, will necessitate up to 90% of this 50 GW being backed-up by conventional power stations. Paradoxically then, we need to build more CO2-emitting power stations to allow deployment of hugely subsidized wind farms.

The title of this book expresses the author's belief that wind power is an institutional confidence trick - succinctly summed-up by Lord David Howell, former Secretary of State for Energy in Mrs. Thatcher's government: "Extensive wind farm developments will be seen in due course to have taken public opinion for a colossal ride..." It is indeed colossal – electricity compulsorily priced at two or three times its real value, saving a derisory amount of CO2 emission and, as conceded last year by the British Wind Energy Association, mitigating only half the amount of CO2 emission which was claimed for most wind farms already installed.

The Wind Farm Scam: Isbn 9781905299836, £9.99, published 30th September 2009 by Stacey International

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Eastrington and Howden dropped kerbs issue continues

The issue of dropped kerbs across footpaths and verges to allow access to driveways again came to the fore at a public meeting held this week in Eastrington for both Eastrington and Howden residents, who had received letters from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC), informing them of the legal position under the Highways Act, where the Government legislation insists the council is required to maintain the highway including kerbs, verges and footways. The Council being the body that enforces the construction of appropriate vehicular crossings.

The problem arises, as now many households possess at least one vehicle, very often 2 or 3, and the streets were not originally designed to accommodate the present requirement for off road parking. Naturally people want to park their vehicles off the road if possible, to avoid damage and congestion and many have constructed driveways - but without having the correctly constructed dropped kerbs.

Beneath the verges and footpaths there are located gas, electrical and other service lines, which can be damaged by vehicles passing over the un-supported ground cover. The repairs to these can lead to inconvenience and costs that put pressure on Council Tax contributions or increased utility bills.

The issue first came about a year ago when letters where received by a dozen or so residents of Eastrington’s Pinfold Street and of Howden’s Derwent Crescent. I shared the feelings of the residents when they said the letters were badly written and somewhat heavy-handed, we as a Council looked into this, lessons were learnt and the format and tone of the letters subsequently changed. Residents where also given a grace period to have the work done whilst still using their drives.

Some residents have questioned why some dropped kerbs have been installed in Goole free of charge. I have looked into this and found that this work has been funded as part of a ring-fenced Government regeneration budget, which if not spent in Goole, it would be taken back, by the Government, and given to another authority.

Working with Eastrington’s Pinfold Street residents, we were able to find ways to take advantages of economies of scale. This included purchasing just one vehicle access information pack, working with the council so all the work was covered under one single planning application, and obtaining a very good deal from one contractor who offered a reduced price for doing all the driveways at the same time. Unfortunately one or two residents decided not take advantage of this and are now faced with a higher cost if they choose to have the work done, having to park on the street in the meantime, and enforcement action if they continue to use their driveways.

Ten further Eastrington households have recently received letters from the Council asking them to consider installing dropped kerbs; I am committed to helping these residents as before, in trying to make the process as straightforward and cost effective as possible.
I have a great deal of sympathy with householders having to pay for their own 'dropped kerb access', if it is their responsibility, but ultimately this is Government legislation, with the Council’s role being to ensure that residents comply with the law.

(For the original story and comments please see post passim of 1st Sept 2008 at - or by typing Eastrington dropped kerbs into the blog search box at the top left of blog header and hit 'search blog')

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Fire hazard shed in Gilberdyke removed by the Council

This week East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) contractors have removed an asbestos nissen hut and its contents of highly inflammable polystyrene from a site adjacent to Clayton’s Fold in Gilberdyke. This after the hut was declared dangerous under the Building Act.

Humberside Fire and Rescue had also identified the hut as a very serious risk to life from fire. The shed had become attractive for young people in which to hang out, although this was not necessarily a major problem, the concern was the fact that the floor area was covered with highly inflammable polystyrene chunks to a depth of over two feet.

This was brought to my attention a number of months ago by a Gilberdyke resident who also raised it with the Goole and Howdenshire Local Action Team (LAT) as it was a long standing issue and complex to solve as the responsibility for the site was difficult to establish. Working together with the ERYC Planning department and Carl Ducker of Building Control, a solution for moving forward was able to be found.

The owner was eventually traced and contacted by ERYC Building Control and made aware that the building was being declared dangerous, and that he was required to carry out work to remove the danger as soon as practically possible. Failure to do so would result in the work being undertaken by Council contractors and the Council’s expenses recovered from the owner or via a charge recovered upon sale of the land.

The owner chose the second option and the Council removed the offending hut and contents within two days.