Monday, June 28, 2010

Holme on Spalding Moor Village Hall carpark to be repaired and resurfaced

Councillor Matthew Grove the East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s (ERYC) Portfolio Holder for Highways and Emergency Planning and I attended a recent meeting of the Holme on Spalding Moor Village Hall Committee to discuss the carpark.

This came after some delicate negotiations, and a lot of hard work by Nick Evans and the Hall Committee; I am pleased to confirm that repairs to the Village Hall carpark are to be carried out by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council as part of the proposed work to be carried out on High Street and Selby Road. The Village Hall Committee entered into an agreement with the Boothferry District Council in 1995 for the car park to be used by the public and some repair work on the car park was done at that time. This agreement comes to an end in October 2010 and in recognition of the arrangement the Council will repair the potholes in the carpark.

The Council have also offered the Village Hall Committee the use of their contractors to resurface the carpark at cost price – obviously this will mean the Hall having to contribute financially to this at an estimated cost of £10,000.00 excluding re-marking the parking bays. This is a huge cost for the Village Hall Charity to fund, and there are no grants anywhere available for work of this kind. Car parks seem to be excluded from every type of grant.

The ERYC have also committed to providing road planings to repair the access road to the playing field running at the end of the Hall.

I am assured that the services using the car park such as the youth bus, ERYC travelling library and others will continue, after the arrangement comes to an end, however the Village Hall Committee will have to review how the car park is used after it ceases to be a public car park. The funding of future maintenance costs will also have to be addressed, possibly through the Parish Council precept, but this will be a decision for them in the future.

(Pictured with Cllr Matthew Grove (Left) and Village Hall Committee Chairman Nick Evans)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why I couldn’t support the application for a anemometer (wind testing) mast at Holme on Spalding Moor

An anemometer (wind testing) mast is normally the forerunner to a fully-fledged windfarm. The recent planning application for an anemometer mast at the Gallymoor site at Holme on Spalding Moor was something I could not support, when it was presented to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Strategic Planning Committee on which I sit.

I thought the location was not the best on the site as it was too near the neighbouring property, also I would have liked to see more information on wind turbine numbers; height, type and location being considered, and how the anemometer mast fitted in with the complete proposal.

Unfortunately the majority of the Planning Committee took a different view and the application was approved.

As a member of the Planning Committee I have supported applications for anemometer masts on a significant number of sites that have come before us, but conversely I have been unable to support others, these included places such as North Newbald, Sixpennywood and Spaldington.

It seems ironic that the information gleaned from an anemometer mast does not appear to be an important part of whether a wind farm application is to be submitted or not. This was evidenced by the North Newbald application when the anemometer mast was given planning consent at appeal on the 3rd November 2008 - BUT the Council received the application for the resultant windfarm on 3rd October 2008, a full month before the result of the mast appeal was known. Therefore clearly no information from the anemometer mast could possibly have been included in the application.

For this reason I feel applicants could, and should be more upfront with their plans.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Out on the Advance Goole Neighbourhood Programme’s street surgery

As Chair of the Goole and Howdenshire Local Action Team(LAT) I was pleased to take part in another of the Advance Goole Neighbourhood Programme’s street surgeries, this time in Old Goole (I think this is five I’ve done now – but this one certainly carried out in the nicest weather!).

The Street surgeries are an opportunity for a team of local Councillors, officers from Neighbourhood Policing, Fire, and Health, plus officers from a whole range of East Riding of Yorkshire Council services, to spend 2 ½ hours walking around a specific area, meeting residents and identifying issues. It is also an opportunity for residents to chat to members of the team and have a say on local services and local problems.

The issues raised ranged from smell emanating from a local factory, damage to footpaths, potholes, anti-social behaviour, youth provision and littering. The Fire service was also able to arrange a number of home fire checks, which are valuable in preventing fires starting and more importantly how people can escape.

It was also an opportunity to feed back to residents on progress that had been made since the last street surgery in the area.

Useful Contacts are:

Roslyn Abbott, Advance Goole Neighbourhood Team (01405) 837198

Goole and Howden Local Action Team (LAT) (01482)887700

Goole Police 0845 6060 222

East Riding Council Anti-Social Behaviour Team (01482) 396380

East Riding Council Customer Services (01482) 393939

East Riding Council Development Control (01482) 393740

Animal Health Team (01482) 396301

More information on the Advance Goole Neighbourhood Programme can be found at:

Early retirement of Senior Council Officer

Yesterday the East Riding of Yorkshire Council debated the issue of the early retirement of one of the Council’s Senior Officers. This was centred on whether the full Council should in effect support the decision of the Council’s Cabinet in approving the taking of more than £360,000 of taxpayers money from service budgets to put into that Senior Officer’s pension fund, to enable the Officer to take early retirement under the 85 year rule*.

Just over a year ago I supported the awarding of backdated pay rises to the Council Senior Council Officers, (including the retiring Officer), as I felt the move was a way to "retain and attract staff". Alas this has not happened with this particular Officer, which I find very disappointing.

I could not support the Cabinet decision and therefore abstained from the vote, a record of which will be included in the Council minutes.

I fully support the decision taken by the Council to set up a review of the Council's pension scheme and look forward to receiving the findings in due course.

*The 85 year rule allows members to take unreduced benefits before their normal retirement date when their Age + Membership = 85.

Please note: comments are welcome on this posting - but will not be allowed if the Officer is named)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Police, Fire, Council & Local Neighbourhood Watch working together on crime and fire prevention

The past two weekends have seen the Howdenshire Neighbourhood Action Team having stands at North Cave Gala and Eastrington Show. This is a great example of organisations such as Humberside Police, the Fire Service, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, and the local Neighbourhood Watch working together to listen to residents, book in home fire and safety checks, and deliver messages around crime and fire prevention.

The Police and Fire services also picked up quite a lot of information regarding local issues, as I did as the Ward Councillor. A very worthwhile project, with good results, put on at very little cost to the taxpayer.

(pictured with Gina Walker of the Eastrington Neighbourhood Watch, PCSO Simon Palmer, and Martin Conley from Humberside Fire and Rescue)