Thursday, 21 December 2006

New wagons roll with recycling message

Redcar and Cleveland Council has unveiled its new green and tidy look - refuse collection vehicles, complete with new livery.

The Council, which achieved Beacon Council status for its waste and recycling management earlier this year, is the top performing authority of the 25 councils in the North East for recycling and the second most improved in the country with recycling rates currently at over 34 per cent.

Now the positive recycling message is even clearer with the investment of over £750,000 in seven new replacement vehicles, which are already on the Borough's roads in the busy Christmas and New Year collection schedules.

The five 26-tonne vehicles and two 7.5 tonne vehicles, brought in to help service hard-to-reach and inaccessible areas, are all fitted with rear view camera systems for added safety.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Environmental Improvement Councillor Bob Stanway said: "We are absolutely delighted to receive these new vehicles, which advertise our commitment to recycling.

"We're sure residents will see that our intentions are very clear - to keep improving and establish a real sense of pride in making the Borough cleaner, greener and safer."

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council Job Vacancy

Administrative Assistant to the Lib Dem Group of Councillors

Job Ref: CHEXCOFS004

Grade: Grade F £23,175 - £24,708 pa pro rata

Details: 20 hours per week. Temporary contract until 18th May 2007.

Do you have an enquiring mind, research capabilities and the ability to express yourself coherently and concisely both verbally and in print? Are you interested in local democracy and the political management processes of the Council? If so, this job is for you.

Working under the management of the Head of Democracy and as part of the Democratic Team, you will be responsible for providing administration, research and information services to the Lib Dem group of Councillors.

You will need to have proven skills in the use of Word, Excel and Power Point and the ability to take and transcribe shorthand. Contact: For an application pack contact: HR Recruitment, Town Hall, Fabian Road, South Bank, Yorkshire, TS6 9AR. Telephone 01642 444455 (24 hour Answer Machine). Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Closing Date: 5th January 2007

Please note:Deadline is 12 noon on date specified above. Published: 18th December 2006

Apply online:

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council accepts its responsibility for creating equality: "All disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria on a job person specification will be guaranteed an interview and will be considered on their abilities".

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Council praised for "value for money"

Government inspectors have praised Redcar and Cleveland Council for reaching higher standards in value for money.

The Government's Comprehensive Performance Assessment inspection regime has given the annual rating after its introduction of a 'harder test' assessment that covers the last 12 months. high-performing services at the lowest cost, to the people of Redcar and Cleveland."

On giving value for money, the judgement says the Council is "consistently above the minimum requirement and performing well" and that our costs compare well with other similar councils.

The Council Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources Councillor Glyn Nightingale said: "We have shown significant improvement in giving value for money.

"A major initiative has been implemented throughout the Council to ensure our services demonstrate value for money, and this work is now being extended.

"We expect additional achievements and improvements over the course of the next year with the aim of providing excellent,

Recycling boost for Save the Children Fund

Recycling residents across Redcar and Cleveland Council have helped produce a massive charity boost for the Save The Children Fund.

The Council's recycling contractor, Abitibi, pledges £1 for every tonne of glass, cans, paper, magazines and textiles picked up on kerbside collections.

The latest cheque for £19,250, which dates back to May, 2003, matches the 19,250 tonnes of recyclable material, the equivalent of 712 lorry loads.

Abitibi's regional manager Lenny Corrigan said: "We are delighted to be working with the Council as their recycling service collection contractor. Residents who use the kerbside collection service should be very proud they have raised so much for an excellent charity."

The Council's Director of Area Management Simon Dale said: "The public are always asking us what happens to our recycling and this shows that it not only goes into making fleeces, paper and plastics, it makes a contribution to a very worthwhile cause."

The cheque was presented to Nancy Webb, secretary of the Guisborough Group for the Save the Children Fund, who said: "I want to thank the residents who put out their recycling for collection, the Council workers who make the collections and Abitibi who recycle and donate so much to charities.

"Together we can make a difference to the lives of children who suffer from poverty, disease and fear here in the UK and through-out the world. Thank you all."

Monday, 18 December 2006

Council pride at recycling ranking

Redcar and Cleveland Council today reacted with pride at its position as the second most improved council in the country for the Borough's recycling and composting rates.

Figures from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs show Redcar and Cleveland recording an annual percentage increase of 20.8 to return a recycling rate of 35.7 per cent for 2005/2006, compared to 14.9pc the previous year.

That rate also places the Borough as the top performing council in the North East, adding to its success of becoming a Beacon authority, awarded for its waste management and recycling.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Environmental Improvement Councillor Bob Stanway said: "It was a bold decision to make the changes we have done and today's figures show it was the right one.

"First and foremost, we have a debt of gratitude to pay to the Borough's residents, who, in the main, have supported these changes."

The Council's Director of Area Management Simon Dale added: "The changes have not been easy to implement, but have been wholeheartedly embraced by our workforce.

"But while we are absolutely delighted with these statistics and our place at the top of recycling councils, we all accept there is more to do to get the service as we would like it for the Borough's residents."

An example of the Council's innovative approach is the educational role for refuse workers - not only do the crews pick up recycling and waste, they actively seek engagement with local residents to provide information and advice.

The crews have also come up with a solution to help cope with plastic bottle sacks being blown around amid the English weather.

A pilot scheme is testing a new device to which the sacks can be attached, which will hopefully lessen the number of complaints and reduce the replacement costs.

Friday, 15 December 2006

Free road safety checks

Redcar and Cleveland Council's Road Safety Team, in conjunction with Halfords and Kwik Fit, is offering motorists the chance to have free checks on their car tyres, windscreens and wipers, as well as giving out leaflets on winter driving tips and topping-up their wiper bottles with washer fluid, at three venues next week -at Asda, South Bank on Monday, December 18, Saltburn seafront on Tuesday, December 19 and Marske town centre car park on Wednesday, December 20, all from 10am-3pm.

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Millions of pounds to deliver hundreds of jobs in the Borough of Redcar & Cleveland

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council is celebrating today having secured £10.9 million of Government funding which will create over 450 jobs and transform business and employment opportunities throughout the area over the next three years.

The money, part of the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative, will be used to increase the number of self-employed in the area by 480 and support the start-up of over 200 new businesses and 8 new social enterprises.

Communities Minister, Baroness Andrews said: "The Local Enterprise Growth Initiative aims to encourage a step-change in economic activity in some of the most deprived areas in England. I am impressed by the huge response to LEGI and the genuinely deep understanding of local issues demonstrated by many bids and the strong role set out for local partnerships in delivering change.

"Following a very tough selection process I am convinced that the winning proposals will be able to make a real difference and drive enterprise forward in partnership with the private sector. LEGI is a vital element in turning around the lives and prospects of some of our most disadvantaged communities in an economically sound and sustainable way."

Councillor Eric Empson, Chairman of the Cabinet, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said: “This is simply fantastic news and we are delighted that we have secured Local Enterprise Growth Initiative funding of £10.9million to invest in our most deprived areas over the next three years.

“Redcar and Cleveland has always been one of the north’s best kept secrets; we have an incredible heritage of world-class industrial enterprise and now the area is establishing itself as a potential world-leader in new energy and recycling industries. This funding provides us with a real opportunity to harness potential and build an exciting and dynamic future for residents.”

Councillor Vera Moody, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: "This is great news. LEGI funding will help local people pursue their talent for enterprise and exploit the opportunities that exist.

"We have worked with our schools, businesses and a wide range of public and voluntary sector organisations to develop proposals to inspire, encourage and support people to start and develop successful businesses which will transform our community.

"We know this will not happen overnight, but with LEGI funding and the commitment of local people and organisations we will make rapid progress."

Working in partnership with public and private sector organisations the funding will provide a targeted programme of business development and support for Greater Eston, West Redcar and East Cleveland residents.

This will focus on four key areas, including:

Enterprise in Education – the funding will provide enterprise co-ordinators in three schools - Eston Park School, Redcar Community College and Freebrough Specialist Engineering College – who will lead a programme of teaching, mentoring and enterprise awareness raising to tap into the potential of young people and generate confidence in their ability to build a thriving business and exciting future for themselves; to support this ‘can-do’ attitude there will also be funding available for budding entrepreneurs to start-up businesses on the school site.

Harnessing the Passion – the north-east can suffer from the perception that the area is lacking dynamism and economic drive – this perception will be challenged. Passion, ambition and ideas can be harnessed and channeled into the creation of thriving businesses. Business development funding will be made available for researching new business ideas and ‘leading light' mentors will provide business savvy with the aim of increasing the number of self-employed by 480.

Enterprise Growth – with the aim of creating 450 new jobs in the next three years, new businesses will be supported in securing business premises, getting involved in the right business networks and taking full advantage of the opportunities on offer to open up supply chains and tender for new business.

Social Enterprise – increasingly public services are now provided by suppliers to the public sector. A new Development Trust will be set up with the aim of creating and supporting 8 new social enterprises over the next ten years, with significant commitment from Primary Care Trusts and the private sector already secured.

Enterprise Marketing – marketing will be undertaken to demonstrate to regional and national audiences that Redcar and Cleveland is an area of massive potential where businesses can thrive. This will boost new investment and interest in the area.

Partners in delivering the programme Alliance & Leicester Bank, Business Link Tees Valley, Chamber of Commerce, Redcar & Cleveland College of Further Education, the Community Network, Eldonians Ltd, Eston Park School, Federation of Small Businesses, Freebrough Specialist Engineering College, PD Ports plc, Langbaurgh Primary Care Trust (PCT), Redcar Community College, Redcar & Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency (RCVDA), Redcar Racecourse, Working Links Ltd, UK Steel Enterprise Ltd.

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Council moves forward with plan for Greater Eston regeneration

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council is set to invite residents from South Bank, Grangetown and the Greater Eston area to have their say on future development in their area.

The Council is set to commission its Greater Eston Masterplan - a key document that will act as a definitive guide and play an essential role in moving forward work to secure major investment and development for the area - investment that has the potential to bring about the provision of wide range of development such as affordable new homes, thriving shops, entertainment, open public spaces and parkland, a new library and healthcare facilities.

Residents will play a key role in developing the Masterplan - the first stage in its development will be consultation with residents, businesses and community organisations. Some of the immediate issues to tackle will be limiting decline in the area and the need for new housing, the redevelopment of Eston Square and the Low Grange Farm, which are currently in private ownership, and establishing what residents want for their future.

Councillor Chris Abbott, Cabinet Member for Housing and Neighbourhood Renewal, said:

“South Bank, Grangetown and the Greater Eston area have suffered a number of years of decline and its now time to stop this trend and look forward; there have been some difficult decisions and a lot of hard work to get to this point but we can now start to talk realistically about building a new future for the area.

“The Masterplan is not just another paper plan – it is a real, working document and an essential tool that will move forward work with developers and investors in the area – this is a plan that will make things happen and that’s why it is so essential that we start by talking with residents and local businesses to find out what they want the plan to deliver for them.”

Christmas lights ceremony now on Friday

The Mayor of Redcar & Cleveland, Councillor Mary Ovens, will get her Christmas wish granted - and switch on Redcar's festive lights in a rearranged ceremony on Friday, December 8.

Galeforce winds forced organisers to abandon Sunday afternoon's planned programme of entertainment in the build-up to a switch-on.

But now, even though the illuminations have been glowing for shoppers throughout the week, Councillor Ovens and Father Christmas, who moved into his grotto on Monday, will team up for another ceremony.

They will be helped by one of the Talent 2006 competition winners, nine-year-old Nicole Taylor from Coatham Primary School.

Councillor Ovens said: "I was so disappointed the weather ruined all the hard work that had gone into Sunday's ceremony, but I'm delighted we can reorganise another switch-on."

The planned switch-on is now set for 4.30pm on Friday by the Town Clock as Councillor Ovens tours the town to judge its Best Window Display.

Library on the move

Brotton library will be turning over a new leaf when the brand new facility opens within the new Freebrough Specialist Engineering College in the New Year.

There may be a few tears when the existing library in Brotton High Street closes for the last time on Saturday, December 16 but it will be cheers all the way when the new library opens its doors on the first school day at Freebrough on Monday, January 8.

There will be longer opening hours at the new library, and, in an innovative move, the library service will be providing services to pupils as well as the public.

Redcar & Cleveland Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said: "We are very confident that library users will be delighted with their fantastic new library.

"Not only will it be providing better facilities for local people but it will also be open for longer. We hope that people will come along and see for themselves what a tremendous improvement it is."

The staff, too, are looking forward to the move. Librarian Diane Lonsdale said: "We're all really excited at the prospect and can't wait to open the new library.

"We're looking forward to the opportunities to get move involved with the young people in Brotton, but we have also been working hard to encourage our existing users to come and have a look - we're sure they will be as impressed as we are with it."

The 3,000 leaflets informing borrowers of the imminent move also explain that bus services X3 and X4 stop close to the new library entrance.

Advice is also given for Brotton borrowers for the gap between the old library closing and the new library opening, with the chance of taking out extra books, while renewals can be made by phoning any Borough library or going on to the libraries web page, through

Children put the focus on long lasting homes

Residents, who have lived for decades in prefabricated bungalows, originally built to last ten years, have been the focus for budding photographers in a fascinating exhibition that traces the homes' history.

The 30 photographs and a collage to celebrate the longevity of the 36 bungalows in East Meadows, Marske, which were built in 1947, will be unveiled at Marske Library on Wednesday, December 6.

Coast & Country Housing, working in partnership with Redcar and Cleveland Council's Library Service, created the project which involved young people from the library's Reading Group and nearby Errington Primary School.

Photographer Tony Griffiths hosted two workshops with the young photographers, while professional artists Kathryn Wren and Margaret Hayden worked with another group to produce the collage, thanks to £2,000 funding from the Museums Libraries and Archives Council North East.

The Council's museums curator Alan Pearce, who will present certificates to all the children involved, will accept a DVD of a permanent photographic record of the East Meadow homes to be stored at Kirkleatham Museum.

Coast & Country Housing's Director of Regeneration and Development Anna Gibson said: “The bungalows have served a close-knit community of residents for several decades longer than intended since they were erected to provide emergency housing after the Second World War.

"However, they can no longer be brought up to modern-day standards economically and the residents have worked very closely with us to design a replacement development that we are sure will become as cherished and popular as the prefabs.

“I congratulate the children and artists involved in the collage and photographic exhibition, ensuring that this important era of social housing has been recorded so creatively for the reference of generations to come.”

Resident Mrs Thelma Peacock said: "The children have worked very hard and we were thrilled to talk to them and show them round our bungalow. It’s exciting for us to be part of the history being recorded and we are looking forward to viewing the exhibition.

"At first I was concerned about the proposals but Coast & Country Housing have consulted with us and have kept us involved in the process. I realise that the new homes will be much better than at present and I am looking forward to moving."

The Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said: "The young people have done a terrific job and I'm sure they've also learnt a great deal about the homes."

Monday, 4 December 2006

High Street lights switch-on is victim of galeforce winds

The switch-on of Redcar High Street's Christmas lights was a victim of yesterday's galeforce storms.

Redcar's Town Centre Manager John Partridge took the decision to cancel the event, which included performances from talent contest winners and Santa's parade, at lunchtime when the high winds prevented organisers from erecting the main stage in front of the Town Clock.

He explained: "We were concerned about the safety of people gathering in the High Street and bringing the parade down to an area that was getting increasingly stormy. It seemed to be the focus of very strong winds."

Redcar and Cleveland Council's Mayor Councillor Mary Ovens had been looking forward to her civic duty of switching on the illuminations. She said: "I'm extremely disappointed, but given the dreadful weather, it would have been completely unsafe."

Mr Partridge added: "A lot of people had put a lot of time and effort into planning the afternoon and we're particularly disappointed for the winners of our Talent 2006 competition who have been prevented from performing."

The lights are now in operation and Santa's Grotto, open for the first time today, Monday, December 4, will now be open every weekday afternoon from 12.30pm-2.30pm, Saturdays from 10.30am-3.30pm and Sundays from 1pm-3pm. Admission, which includes a gift from Santa, is £1.