Wednesday, August 29, 2012

ERYC solves Gilberdyke drain mystery


Long suffering Gilberdyke residents living along the side of the main road through the village will no longer have to suffer from surface water running off the road and flooding their gardens during times of heavy rainfall.
This has been a long standing issue and despite numerous attempts the problem still persisted, with the route of the drain not being known, having not been mapped since the village expanded in the 1970s.
It was one of those cases often found with drains, (and I should know!) that the logical and shortest route is not always the way drains are installed.  One would have assumed that the road drains would run off into the drain running alongside and eventually discharge into the main dyke (Far Drain) as it passes under the road.  After all, this is the dyke flowing down to the River Ouse into which much of the water from the M62 discharges as well as the village.
Needless to say, with the help from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s highways and drainage sections, including a great deal of jetting with a heavy duty tanker jetter and root cutter the mystery was solved.  When the drain was installed no connection made to the dyke only a couple of hundred yards away, but instead the pipe ran away from the dyke to a manhole at the side of the road where another outlet was found.  A surface water sewer had been installed running taking a convoluted route under various gardens and beneath Hansard Crescent before joining with the main surface water drain running through the village, which then of course runs into Far Drain!
Who knows why the developers didn’t take the direct route in the first place?
The recent rain caused no flooding problems on the road or in the gardens - so both mystery and problem solved!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

GCSE results show ‘TEAM HOWDEN’ moves forward… again 2012!

Students at Howden School and Technology College have every reason to celebrate today as they achieved the school’s best GCSE exam results in the school’s history – This was a 5% improvement on the record set only last summer. This year the students achieved the following:

•60% of students gained the government’s prestigious ‘gold standard’ benchmark of 5 x A* - C GCSE’s or equivalent (Including English and Mathematics)  

•78% achieved 5 x A* - C GCSE grades or equivalent.  

•96% got 5 x A* - G grades or equivalent.  

Garry Garghan (Headteacher) commented:  

"We are really pleased with these results – a 5% improvement on the gold standard record that we achieved last year and a 7% improvement on the 5+ A* - C GCSE results.  

Once again, these results are a testament to all of the hard work put in by everyone connected with ‘Team Howden.  I would like to congratulate students, staff, parents / carers, governors, community partners and the LA who have continued to work so well together to help us go from strength to strength again this year.

This achievement demonstrates the good progress that we are making as a school and shows that we are moving ever closer to being the best that we can be. "
As a member the of Schools Board of Governors I have seen the hard work that has gone into achieving these results, not just from the students and staff, but from all those connected with the School as part of ‘Team Howden’. Many will recall that Howden School was in special measures only two years ago and these results today clearly show just how far it has moved in such a relatively short space of time. 

This achievement is testament to the hard work of the many that make up Team Howden, but a team is like an orchestra - made of many talented and hardworking individuals working together. But an orchestra still needs a conductor, and Headteacher Garry Garghan has fulfilled this role and performed as very few could have done.



Working for Matthew Grove as prospective Police & Crime Commissioner for Humberside

I’m sorry that I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a couple of weeks, and thanks to the people who sent me messages asking if I was ‘still around’ – The answer is a most definite yes!

Many people who know me often ask how I fit everything in – a question I sometimes ask myself!  Although the month of August meant the ERYC was in recess, the Council’s Licensing Committee on which I sit met, as did the Ouse and Humber Drainage Board and many of the Parish Councils in Howdenshire.

Much of my time over the last couple of months has been spent working on the campaign to elect Matthew Grove as your Police and Crime Commissioner come the election on 15th November.  Matthew and I have many things in common. As well as being good friends, we are both East Riding Councillors known for being principled and willing to speak up for the people we represent.  We both have very supportive wives and children, we’ve both set up and run our own companies, and we’ve both found a way of fitting everything in.

Many ask “What are Police and Crime Commissioners?” The Government is asking the public to vote in November for a Police and Crime commissioner who will be responsible for overseeing policing in their local area. This new role is not a new layer of bureaucracy. Instead, PCCs will replace the unelected and unaccountable Police Authority which presently oversees policing locally. 

I have always supported the concept of directly elected officials and have spoken out in favour, and previously blogged about the importance of PCCs. 
PCCs will be visible and directly accountable to the public. In place of bureaucratic control from Whitehall, police forces will be democratically accountable to local people, freeing officers from the red tape which often takes them off the streets. In Humberside this will also mean the PCC being responsible for an £181 million budget.
Police and Crime Commissioners will be public champions in the fight against crime. Chief Constables will remain responsible for operations and the day-to-day running of forces as they are the experts on policing. However, PCCs will appoint these Chief Constables and hold them to account for their record on focusing the local police force on the crime issues people care about. 
The election in Humberside is going to be high profile nationally, and very interesting for us locally. Matthew Grove is your Conservative candidate, whilst Labour have chosen none other than the ‘controversial’ Lord John Prescott of Hull as their candidate.  UKIP’s Godfrey Bloom has also indicated he may stand and has already thrown a couple of ‘punches’ in Prescott’s direction.  This makes for an interesting and lively campaign, but ultimately we have to make sure we get a Police and Crime Commissioner who is equipped to deliver real reductions in crime and antisocial behaviour across East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.  We need someone who can be trusted with managing a £181 million budget, rather than a national or international politician seeking a platform to prolong their careers.
David Davis MP has also thrown his support behind Matthew Grove saying; "Matthew has always been a firm believer in justice and strong law and order. As a Cabinet member on East Yorkshire Council he has proven to be very innovative, and has shown an ability to cut through bureaucracy and red tape. As such he has never been afraid to stand up for what he believes in. He has a firm grounding in what is important to local people, and is determined to champion their causes and fight their corner. This coupled with his business background means that he will bring a rare combination of commitment and common-sense to the role of Police and Crime Commissioner, and he is without doubt the best man for the job."
For those who wish to know more Matthew's website can be found at:


Friday, August 17, 2012

Councillor Paul Robinson's response to Gilberdyke tip application

My response to the Environment Agency regarding the application by City Plant Ltd to vary the conditions of the permit under which they currently work under.

I am very concerned that City Plant Ltd has submitted an application to vary the terms/conditions of the permit relating to the operation of Leatherdog Lane Landfill site in Gilberdyke, an application that appears to contain so many errors, contradictions and more than anything is retrospective. Having been party to numerous meetings, chaired the ‘Tip Liaison Committee’, and as ward member for Howdenshire on the East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) I have witnessed first-hand the actions of the operator, the Environment Agency (EA), the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, and as well as having listened to the concerns of residents – I therefore think I am more than qualified to comment on the application to vary the permit.
  1. Over the past 18 months or so I have witnessed the shambolic actions of those agencies supposed to protect residents, and the way City Plant Ltd have systematically circumvented the planning consent and the permit conditions, only being brought to heel by enforcement action by the EA, which in my opinion came far too late.
  2. It is clear that this application should not be considered until such a time that a planning consent has been determined by the ERYC, which will no doubt, if approved, contain legally enforceable conditions rather than what we have seen previously. I would therefore suggest that it is imperative that o decision or varying the permit be taken until planning consent has been obtained.
  3. The permit should then be totally and legally compatible with any conditions applied to the planning consent (if given) from the ERYC.
  4. Having read the application and sought further advice I am NOT convinced that a ‘bentonite‘ light weight capping is suitable for this landfill site, mainly due to the risks of fracture or tearing as the tip subsides at different rates across the site as a result of the differentials in compaction and identified rates of settlement over the 25 year timespan. I have found nothing in the application to reassure me that the risks have been fully taken into account by the consultants working for City Plant Ltd. I therefore take the view that a clay capping would be more appropriate and less risky, and insist that this is included in the permit. I would also like to see trees planted across the top of the site. I accept that this would perhaps mean more vehicle movements to bring the capping clay and topsoil onto the site, but the risks outweigh the inconvenience.
  5. The finished height of the tip should not be above the previously agreed levels of 19.5m – and for clarification this is the height when the tip is capped off and closed NOT at a time after that.
  6. The priority for all concerned is the timeframe, I have had it confirmed by City Plant Ltd that the tipping of waste on the site will be completed by November 2012, allowing 1 month contingency I would therefore request that a time frame is imposed so that tipping of waste on the site stops by 31st December 2012.
  7. I am not convinced of the landfill gas being burnt off using gas generators, although this is a better option than flaring off. I would prefer that the gas be collected and removed from site to be purified. I could accept a purification plant installed on site to remove harmful toxins produced by the burning of landfill gas, providing the risk to residents could be established and independently verified as being so low so as not to warrant concern.
  8. I am also not convinced of the proposals for controlling water pollution into nearby watercourses or dykes. This is particularly relevant if the site was to split or crack due to differential of settlement over the coming years. I have concerns that the steep slopes of the site do not have run off areas and the lack of a dyke running around the perimeter that is capable of being isolated from the dykes running alongside the site.
In conclusion:
  • There should be NO VARIATION to the permit until such a time that planning consent has been granted by the ERYC.
  • The site should be capped with clay and topsoil and trees planted across the top of the site.
  • The finished height of the site must be part/condition of the permit.
  • The timeframe to stop tipping waste must be part of the permit.
  • No gas generators to be installed unless the risk to residents is proven to be harmless.
  • A much better plan for dealing with surface water run-off and potential leachate leakage must be put forward.

Cllr Paul Robinson 

ERYC Ward Member for Howdenshire