Tuesday, 29 August 2006

Josie meets James McAvoy

Josie Crawford, Lib Dem Councillor for Coatham Ward, met Atonement star, James McAvoy, at a reception following the filming of scenes at Redcar.

Nick Murray has posted some exciting Atonement pics on his blog http://www.nick.org.uk/

Friday, 25 August 2006

Crackdown on antisocial drinking behaviour

Redcar and Cleveland Council is introducing Designated Public Place Orders from Friday, September 1 to curb alcohol fuelled anti-social behaviour for over 300 streets in nine towns and villages across the Borough.

The towns and villages covered are Brotton (22 streets), Marske (30), Redcar (35), Loftus (67), Guisborough (88), Eston (8), Saltburn (30), Normanby (20) and Carlin How (11) as well as a number of parks and playing fields.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Community Safety Councillor Joyce Benbow said: "This order is designed to help the good citizens of the Borough enjoy the parks and streets in their free time without harassment from alcohol fuelled individuals”.

Inspector Andrew Bright, Chair of the Redcar and Cleveland Community Safety Partnership’s Violence and Street Crime Task Group, said. “This is another valuable tool in our armoury to help stamp out anti-social behaviour and crime fuelled by the irresponsible consumption of alcohol which so often brings misery to residents and communities”.

Councils can designate public areas where they are satisfied nuisance, annoyance or disorder has been associated with public drinking in that area. There are no provisions under the legislation to create Alcohol Free Zones or blanket restrictions.

If a Police Officer, Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) or community safety warden believes that someone is consuming alcohol or intends to consume alcohol they can require them to stop and/or confiscate the alcohol from people whether the drinking vessel is unopened or not.

If someone, without a reasonable excuse, fails to comply with a request from a Police Officer, PCSO or Community Safety Warden they are committing an offence and further action can be taken which can include a penalty notice for disorder of £50 being issued. A Police Officer can also arrest an offender and prosecute them.

Thursday, 24 August 2006

Our best ever GCSE results

Redcar and Cleveland's 11 secondary schools are celebrating the Borough's best-ever GCSE results this year, with more than half the 2,000-plus students achieving five or more A*-C grades.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Education Councillor Steve Kay said: "We want to congratulate all our young people for their exam successes and the efforts they have made to ensure an excellent level of attainment across all our secondary schools.

"As far as the national standards are concerned, covering five or more A*-C grades, this set of results represent the best-ever, reaching 50.6 per cent, two per cent up on last year."

Sacred Heart RC at Redcar and St Peter's RC at South Bank have achieved their best-ever results, with Sacred Heart's success rate up 4.3 per cent to 64.3pc and St Peter's rising to 40pc from 34.8pc. Huntcliff School at Saltburn also made considerable progress, up 13.4pc to 66.4pc.

Extremely encouraging results have been recorded at Gillbrook College, Eston, previously the Borough's lowest performing school.

Following best-ever results at Key Stage 3, the College has increased its GCSE five or more A*-C grade percentage by over 12 per cent to 33.5pc. Higher grades in maths rose by 13pc (36.2) and science grades were up 18pc (31.9).

Councillor Kay explained: "With a new headteacher and deputy head arriving for the start of the new school year next week and the move to a new purpose-built school in October, the future looks very bright for the students at Gillbrook.

"Everyone at the College should be congratulated on this substantial increase in standards."

Improvements in the core subjects - Maths, English and Science - were made in most schools. English at Redcar Community rose 13pc to 45.2, with Huntcliff reporting a ten per cent rise in Maths (63.5pc) and 17pc to Science (65.4pc).

Provisional percentage results for five or more A*-C grades in the Borough's secondary schools (with 2005 results in brackets) are:

Bydales, Marske 56 (48), Eston Park 46 (44), Freebrough 28.1 (28.6), Gillbrook 33.5 (21.1), Huntcliff 66.4 (53), Laurence Jackson, Guisborough 59.2 (68), Nunthorpe 70.1 (69.4), Rye Hills, Redcar 45 (46.8), Sacred Heart 64.3 (60), St Peter's RC, South Bank 40 (34.8), Redcar Community College 41.4 (44).

Green light for Bydales wind generator

Green energy will help power a new school and educate its pupils into the benefits of solar energy after Redcar and Cleveland Council approved the installation of two solar panels and a wind turbine.

The headteacher at Bydales Specialist Technology College, Tony Hobbs, who will welcome the school's pupils into new buildings later this year, said: "We are delighted. This gives us the go-ahead to work with the Centre for Process Innovation and the Council.

"We will be creating cutting-edge learning activities for pupils that relate to sustainable energy with particular emphasis on renewable energy, such as photo-voltaics and wind generators.

"It will allow pupils to investigate how they work, how the energy can be stored and how it can be used to power objects within the school. We also intend to display the outputs on plasma screens around the school."

The Council's Planning Committee today (Thursday, August 24) agreed with officers' recommendation to approve the school's application for the installation of a three-metre mast and solar panels at the new school building on the Coast Road, with two conditions, including controlling any noise from the wind generator.

The 800 Bydales pupils are expected to start lessons in the new school, being built as part of the Council's massive PFI schools modernisation programme, on the first day of the winter term, Monday, October 30.

Wednesday, 23 August 2006

Misinformation about 'Coatham Links' funding and flooding issues answered

At Redcar & Cleveland's Grand Scrutiny meeting, held yesterday, the Council's Chief Executive, Colin Moore, was asked two questions about Coatham Links and these are the answers he gave:

In answer to the question of whether in the event of planning permission being granted the Council had the resources to complete the Leisure provision he said:

"The cost of the two swimming pools, bowling alley, leisure centre including five a side pitches and dance floor is £11.5 million. The Council has £14million secure through the capital receipt from Persimmon, Sport England Grant and prudential borrowing. This is £2.5 million in excess of the leisure provision requirements.

"In addition there is £12million required for all groundworks, surrounding infrastructure, utilities including a combined heat and power plant, promenade improvements, art works and a new coast guard station. The Council has £11.3million pledged in the forward plans of funding bodies. This can be confirmed after planning permission has been granted. If Planning Permission is not granted there is no need to confirm the funding as nothing will be built anyway.

"In addition Mr Richardson reported earlier in the meeting that the Council had £5million unallocated capital resource. There is therefore more than enough to complete the Coatham Links and carry out further investment in the Borough.

"The Council is looking for in excess of £13million to add a visitor and exhibition centre with viewing tower at Coatham. At present only half the amount necessary has been raised from funders. This is the last element of the scheme and, if permission is granted, will be two to three years away from starting. By then we are very confident the visitor centre will also be fully funded.

"Just to remind Members the legally binding development agreement with Persimmon does not allow any houses to be built without the building of the leisure provision.

"There is no reason for anyone to claim doubt over the funding of Coatham Links. There is no room for doubt. The Council has more than it needs to complete the leisure at Coatham Links"

The second question was about whether the Council was acting irresponsibly in building on an identified flood risk area. Mr Moore's reply was as follows:

"The Council is very much aware that the 1 in 200 year flood plain map shown by the Environment Agency encroaches into the Coatham Links Site. In fact it covers the very eastern end of the site covered by the boating lake. Persimmon Homes employed consultants to look at flood risk issues related to both coastal and fluvial flooding and also to come up with a solution for dealing with surface water drainage generated from the Coatham site.

"That assessment has resulted in the following :

a) Discussions with the Environment Agency in relation to Flood Risk issues

b) Advice from the Environment Agency to build floor levels to a minimum level of 5.19m AOD. This takes account of current predicted worst case tide levels, 400mm to take account of predicted climate change impacts and free board protection of 600mm to all buildings. Persimmon has adopted this position.

c) A formal part of the planning submission has been the preparation of a Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) 25 Flood Risk Assessment. This was completed and submitted as part of the planning submission.

"The Environment Agency are a Statutory Consultee in the planning process and only if the PPG25 Flood Risk Assessment meets their requirements can planning approval be granted. Clearly the Council hopes the groundwork undertaken by Persimmon ensures this is the case. If it doesn't we will revisit and do all things necessary to ensure that the Environment Agency are content."

Coatham Enclosure is not a Village Green

Councillor Vera Moody, speaking as Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: "Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has been told that an application for judicial review for a Village Green at Coatham in Redcar has been refused.

"The Honourable Mr Justice Collins at the High Court of Justice, London, found that 'the inspector's findings of fact, following a careful and detailed review of the evidence heard over 6 days at the inquiry, cannot be impugned'.

"This means that following a lengthy and thorough process of review the final decision is that the land at Coatham Enclosure is not a Village Green.

"His observations also state 'in the circumstances, it is quite impossible to show that the Council's decision was wrong in law. It is highly likely that this claim was not lodged within the maximum period of 3 months and certainly it was not lodged promptly. There has been no excuse provided for the delay which is another reason not to grant permission'.

"This is simply the fantastic news that we've been hoping for. You simply have to look at the Coatham Enclosure to know that it is not a Village Green.

"Sir Andrew Collins observations about no excuse for delay, show to me, that this was never a genuine claim but simply an attempt to sabotage a scheme that will breathe new life into Redcar and the Borough and that the applicants stalling for time has simply undermined their case.

"This means that one less hurdle stands in the way of a fantastic development that will create at least 200 new jobs, bring much needed high quality housing, state of the art leisure facilities and hundreds of thousands more visitors to Redcar a year."

Titanic Exhibition becomes Redcar's added attraction

Redcar's Kirkleatham Museum is offering another look back in time with its hugely-popular exhibition on the doomed ocean liner, Titanic, attracting over 2,000 visitors a week.

The publicity which has put the town in the national spotlight with the transformation of the Esplanade into 1940s Dunkirk for the filming of the hoped-for blockbuster, Atonement, is also having a marvellous spin-off for the Museum.

As total visitor numbers approach 20,000 since the exhibition opened nine weeks ago, staff have this week welcomed coach parties from Birmingham, Bradford and Durham en route to the seafront.

Redcar and Cleveland Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said: "We waited a long time to secure the Titanic exhibition, which was always going to be a really good attraction. Visitor numbers bear that out, and with the added interest from the film-making, it's become a fantastic time for the town.

"It proves if we have the right attractions we can get people into Redcar and adds more strength to our plants to regenerate the town."

The exhibition, which will be open on Bank Holiday Monday and runs right through to December, features over 200 exhibits and, thanks to two more visitors from the Torbay Maritime History Society, who are hoping to take Titanic: Honour and Glory to the south west, there are new additions.

They donated three books by W.T. Stead, the famous journalist and social reformer, who at 22 in 1871 was the youngest editor in the country, taking over Darlington’s Northern Echo newspaper. He lost his life on the Titanic on his way to speak at a conference on World Peace at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Other fascinating exhibits include costumes and props from James Cameron's epic movie and artefacts from Titanic's sister ships.

*It was 11.40am on Sunday, April 14 when Titanic struck an iceberg off Newfoundland Grand Bank. Within two and a half hours, only 705 passengers on the 'unsinkable' liner had been saved from the 2,200 who set sail from Southampton.

Chance for closer view of Atonement

The public will be given a fascinating chance to get an even closer view of Redcar Esplanade's incredible transformation into 1940s Dunkirk when filming for the hoped-for blockbuster, Atonement, is completed.

The stretch of the Esplanade, from the Regent Cinema to the boating lake, has been out of bounds to the thousands of people who have flocked to see the action this week, involving 1,000 locally-recruited extras for director Joe Wright's adaptation of Ian McEwan's bestseller.

The road closure is expected to be lifted some time on Sunday when the tons of rubble, which have been strewn across the surface, will have been cleared, but there will be be plenty to see on Bank Holiday Monday and Tuesday before three days of work starts on Wednesday to dismantle the scenery.

Redcar and Cleveland Council will complete the final stage of work to return Redcar back to 2006, with the reinstatement of street lighting and street furniture, as well as restoring the stone penguins to their spot near the boating lake after that.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick, who has been given an inside tour of the action, said: "I was absolutely fascinated to see how they've altered the buildings, camouflaged them and turned the area into a film set.

"The town has been packed all week and I'm sure we've seen an awful lot of investment come into the area. Now there's this marvellous chance to see close-up how much work has been done."

Location manager Adam Richards, who earmarked Redcar as the 'perfect' location in December last year, is still thrilled at the end product. "I've been doing this job for 20 years and I'm staggered by the scale of what we've achieved."

There will still be a few permanent reminders of the days Hollywood came to Redcar with 300 crew, the £50 a day extras and 40 assorted vehicles.

The Regent Cinema, which has been turned into a French bar for a fight scene, involving 25 stuntmen, is being given the scenery - and Universal Pictures are in discussions over the prospect of a Redcar premiere, when the film hits the big screen in September next year.

Monday, 21 August 2006

Now Atonement-mania hits our libraries

Redcar and Cleveland Council's libraries are coping with Atonement-mania as moviemakers move into Redcar to film author Ian McEwan's international bestseller.

The work on creating the set, transforming a stretch of the town's Esplanade into 1940s Dunkirk, has already attracted hundreds of people to the town.

When this week's hectic filming schedule is complete, involving 1,000 extras, a three-day localised daytime road closure on Newcomen Terrace, between Henry Street and Turner, next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday - August 30, August 31 and September 1 - will allow the dismantling of scenery on top of the former Olympia Health Club.

That work can be viewed by the public throughout the three days - and there has already been great interest in a special 'Atonement' exhibition at Redcar Central Library.

The wartime story is certainly capturing readers' imagination with increased supplies of 13 ordinary copies, one spoken word and two large print versions, already out to borrowers and more on order to keep pace.

The exhibition, mounted in the library foyer, features a showcase with World War II helmets, shell casings and ammunition, as well as request forms for borrowers.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said: "I think people are delighted with the fact that the film is here - it's creating a terrific amount of interest right across the Borough and beyond.

"And what a positive spin-off we've got with people wanting to read the book, too. It's a real win, win situation for everyone."

The story of Atonement, rated 'McEwan's best novel so far, his masterpiece', is:

“On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, 13-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge.

“By the end of the day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start and will have become victims of the younger girl's imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries and committed a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone.”

Sunday, 20 August 2006

Sunday, 13 August 2006

August 2003 Draft development plans released for consultation

Focus 229 August 2003

Draft Development Plans for Coatham Enclosure about to be released for Public Consultation

PROPOSALS to develop Coatham Enclosure with a mixture of Housing and leisure facilities will go out to public consultation in the next few weeks.

The plans, presented by Persimmon Homes, include 294 houses and apartments, a swimming pool, an extreme sports centre, viewing tower, shops and a pub.

All will be subject to public approval, finance and further technical considerations. If approved it is expected that they will be considered for Planning Permission in May 2004, with a possible start on site in January 2005.

The above article was distributed in both Newcomen and Coatham Wards

Consultation took place in the autumn of 2003 and the results were referred to the Council's cabinet on 16th March 2004. At Cabinet we responded to the views expressed by residents and requested numerous changes to produce an even better, more ambitious scheme.

It included the provision of both a 25 metre swimming pool and a leisure pool, reduced size of sea front apartments, sea front parking, a dance floor, extra parking and better sight lines through the housing part of the development.

This was to delay progress and went to a second public consultation. In spite of a determined campaign to disrupt it, the results showed considerable public support for the proposals and this was backed up by a Mori survey.

In Issue 233 we surveyed residents with the following question:

Please highlight what should be the Council's priorities for Redcar

YES/NO - Develop Tourism in Redcar
YES/NO - Development of Coatham Enclosure
YES/NO - Support Wind Turbines in Coatham Bay
YES/NO - Make Redcar the civic centre of the Borough

In Issue 235 we reported back the results as folows:

Develop Tourism in Redcar
Yes 180, No 26, No Answer 64.

Development of Coatham Enclosure
Yes 144, No 64, No Answer 62.

Support Wind Turbines in Coatham Bay
Yes 106, No 92, No Answer 72

Make Redcar the civic centre of the Borough
Yes 156, No 24, No Answer 90.

April 2003 Going for Gold Lib Dems pledge to give priority to re-development of Coatham Enclosure


Focus 226 April 2003

The back page of this edition comprised of a summary of Going for Gold the Liberal Democrat Manifesto for the 2003 Council Elections.

Slap bang in the centre is the following pledge:

Liberal Democrats will give priority to the redevelopment of Coatham Enclosure.

The result of the election led to the formation of the successful Lib Dem/Conservative/Independent Coalition. In Redcar more Liberal Democrats were elected than the other two parties:

Lib Dem - 7
Labour - 6
Conservative - 2

July 2001 Council markets Coatham Enclosure but can't guarantee a new Swimming Pool


Focus 212 July 2001

Join the fight for a new swimming pool in Redcar

RESIDENTS have come out strongly in favour of a new swimming pool for Redcar.

The Council's Director of Development has reported that a six-month programme to market the Coatham Enclosure for leisure uses will start shortly, but has pointed out that there is no guarantee that potential partners or developers will want to build a swimming pool. On this basis, it would appear that the people of Redcar might have to raise the necessary finance themselves.

As an independent organisation it might be possible to do just this. It will involve a lot of work and commitment. The Focus Team would like to know what residents think about the idea? Are you prepared to help? Please contact Chris & Glynis Abbott as soon as possible

In Focus 213 we asked resident to give their opinion on the level of priority that should be given to the provision of a Swimming Pool facility at Redcar.

In Focus 214 we reported the results as follows High Priority 240, Low Priority 22, No Priority 0, No Answer 12.

February 1997 and local Labour Councillors vote to close Redcar Swimming Pool


Focus February 1997

Labour Councillors vote to close Redcar Swimming Pool

LOCAL Labour Councillors put party before people once again when they voted to close Redcar Swimming Pool.

Liberal Democrat Councillors Chris Abbott and Stan Wilson have slammed the decision of Labour controlled Redcar Council to close the pool, in spite of a strong campaign waged by local residents and pool users.

"What really sickens me is the way some Redcar Councillors were claiming to be supporting the campaign to save the pool but when it came to the crunch they meekly toed the party line," said Chris Abbott.

"All the Liberal Councillors have promised to keep up pressure on the Labour Council to try to reverse the decision," said Stan Wilson.

January 1997 and the battle to save the swimming pool


Focus January 1997

Liberal Democrat Councillors battle to save Redcar Swimming Pool

REDCAR Council has to make further budget cuts and what is the first thing that our top heavy Labour controlled Council proposes to close?

Yes, you've guessed it, Redcar Swimming Pool.

Newcomen Ward Liberal Democrat Councillors Chris Abbott and Stan Wilson, together with Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson, Cllr Joyce Benbow, have pledged to fight any plans to close the pool. They have pressed for cuts in bureaucracy which they believe are the root cause of the Council's troubles.

"Too many Council Departments mean too much bureaucracy and too many highly paid top level Council Officers. The Council can quite easily reduce from ten Departments to six but it is like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas. Council Officers will not propose cutting their own empires. Instead they propose cuts in services to the public. The very basic facilities which the Council was set up to provide." said Cllr Chris Abbott.

"Frankly, the Labour Council have got themselves into this mess by the long term neglect of what is an essential facility for a seeside town. It is vital that it remains open until a new state of the art facility can be provided as part of the regeneration plans for Coatham Enclosure area," said Cllr Joyce Benbow.

"As a former teacher I am most concerned about all the valuable education time which Redcar school children will waste travelling to Saltburn Baths. Local Liberal Democrats will vote against the proposed closure of Redcar Swimming Pool." said Cllr Stan Wilson.

IT is interesting that the Coalition, elected in 2003, has severely reduced the number of departments, chief officers and bureaucracy. Placing the emphasis on putting services first we have dragged the Council up from only fair under Labour to FOUR STAR excellent today. Our plans to provide two new swimming pools in Redcar are now at planning stage and we are determined to bring them to fruition over the next few months.

August 1993 and the plans are still on the shelf


Focus August 1993

When will Redcar get some real regeneration?

REDCAR regeneration is not about the wasteful replacement of good paving on the Esplanade and the erection of a few flagpoles.

Three years ago, in the June 1990 edition, the FOCUS team welcomed the report on the study by Consultants, Drivas Jonus. Listed below are some of the proposals which the FOCUS team felt were right for the town:

WILTON STREET AREA: This could be re-developed with covered access onto a pedestrianised High Street, a sensible traffic management scheme, road re-alignment and better car parking provision.

KIRKLEATHAM STREET AREA: We prefer sheltered housing or civic or cultural buildings on this site not light industry.

COATHAM ENCLOSURE: Removal of the lorry park to a site inland. Re-alignment of MAJUBA ROAD. Possible residential development on the sea front. Improvements to the Leisure Centre and Swimming Pool, plus private sector leisure developments.

Says Cllr Stan Wilson:

"In 1991, the Labour Party took control of the Council and set us back years. They threw out the £50m Motor Sports development, sneered at the TDC, and then wondered why their bid for City Challenge grant money for Redcar was turned down.

This edition of Focus was distributed in Newcomen and Coatham Wards.

More than 16 years of consistent campaigning for the development of Coatham Enclosure


Posted by Chris:

One of the advantages for a Councillor of issuing regular newsletters to the residents he or she represents is that you keep an accurate record of your campaigns and can make you opponents look foolish when they start spreading malicious and inaccurate statements.

The proposals for Coatham Enclosure have been a long time germinating (more than 16 years in fact). I am proud of the fact that Glynis and I have consistently supported the need for the development of this eyesore area for leisure and linked housing development and have kept people informed every step of the way. We have always seen it as a major catalyst for the regeneration of Redcar.

Back in June 1990, the last time the Council was balanced, we reported on the Redcar Regeneration Study by Consultants, Drivas Jonus, who first planted the seed that has only just germinated with the recent submission of a Planning Application for today's much more ambitious scheme. Some of the proposals in the Study never got off the ground others were amended but in the case of Coatham Enclosure they have been, albeit delayed for many years, expanded on and improved by the current administration after listening to the constructive views of residents.

Focus June 1990

REDCAR REGENERATION PLANS WELCOMED

Liberal Democrat Councillors Stan Wilson and Chris Abbott have welcomed the report on the Redcar Regeneration Study put forward by Langbaurgh Council's consultants, Drivas Jonus.

The report concentrates on four principal sites and we highlight some of our proposals below.

WILTON STREET AREA: This could be re-developed as a new retail area with covered access onto a pedestrianised HIGH STREET. Better car parking provision and a widened WEST DYKE ROAD. The Station and former Garden Centre Site were not included because English Estates already propose to build offices and workshops.

KIRKLEATHAM STREET AREA: Sheltered housing is preferred here, by the consultants. This matches the views of local residents supported by the FOCUS TEAM and against the view of the Council who prefer light industry.

COATHAM ENCLOSURE: Possible re-alignment of MAJUBA ROAD. Removal of the lorry Park to a site inland with possible residential development on sea front. Improvements to leisure centre and swimming pool.

WILTON SITE: Encouragement for the provision of modern industrial units on land close to ICI's Wilton Site.

This article was distributed in two editions of Focus in June 1990 - the Newcomen Ward edition and the Coatham Ward edition. It is interesting that opponents of the scheme often claim that they were not informed about the proposals to provide housing on the lorry park.

Thursday, 10 August 2006

Tides predicted to reach a 10 year high

The Environmental Agency has issued a ‘News Release, ‘which states that the highest tides for the next ten years are predicted to hit the North East and Yorkshire coastline this autumn.

The high tides are forecast for August 11-13, September 9-11 and October 7-10 but their severity is dependent on weather conditions such as wind strength and duration as well as atmospheric pressure.

The tides in September and October are the highest and could be more than 3.08 metres depending on the weather conditions in the areas close to North Shields and Whitby, while August’s tides could be more than 2.87 metres in the same areas.

In Redcar the high tides over the forthcoming weekend are due at:-

Fri. 11 Aug 04:31 and 17:10
Sat. 12 Aug 05:13 and 17:54
Sun. 13 Aug 05:55 and 18:39

Although the forecasted weather conditions for the weekend do not cause concern, arrangements have been made for the Council’s Highway Partner, Alfred McAlpine to provide resources to monitor the situation along the Council’s coastline.

Wednesday, 9 August 2006

Seafront road to close for filming of Atonement

Newcomen Terrace, Redcar will be closed to traffic and pedestrians from Saturday August, 12 to Sunday August, 27 as the area prepares to be turned into 1940s Dunkirk for the filming of the blockbuster movie 'Atonement'.

The seafront road will be closed from the Regent Cinema to Arthur Street where bombed out buildings and a band stand can already be seen as work carries on to create the essential scenes for the movie.

Diversion signs around the closure are already in place on Majuba Road, Lobster Road, Coatham Road, Millbank Terrace, West Dyke Road, Lord Street, Redcar Lane, Granville Terrace, High Street East and Wilton Street.

Extra parking will also be available on Kirkleatham Street and will be signed from Majuba Road car park.

Redcar and Cleveland Council receives an apology from CPRE

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has received an apology from the Campaign to Protect Rural England after it was wrongly listed in a press release regarding building low density houses.

The CPRE said that it received a message from the Department for Communities and Local Government, telling them that there is an error in some of its published figures, which were placed on its website in May.

The analysis carried out by the CPRE was based on these figures relating to density.

The CPRE continued "we are sorry that the Government has put incorrect figures in the public domain, and trust it will soon publish correct figures on its website."

A Council spokesman also said: "That in any event these figures are up-to 5 years old and are concerned with house building not granting a planning permission, which is the only element under the council's control.

"Planning permission for building in 2001 dates back to as much as 10 years earlier before Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council even existed.

"We are pleased that CPRE have admitted their error but even if they were right it would have been pretty meaningless and not worthy of the description of 'named and shamed'."

Saturday, 5 August 2006

£558 raised for Redcar Lifeboat from sales of white roses

Posted by Chris: Yorkshire Day, this year (Tuesday 1st August), was spoiled by heavy showers but the efforts of Redcar Lifeboat Ladies helped to boost sales of white roses.

£558 was raised this year and every penny will go to the local lifeboat funds. It is always a thrill to see people queuing up to show their pride in Yorkshire on Yorkshire Day, by paying £1, for one of our white roses. Each Spring the Ridings Society holds a coffee morning in Marske. We use the money raised to buy the roses and then sell them for a local charity.

Attendances at the Readings of the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity were down this year, due to the heavy showers, but money raised from the roses is well up on last year.

Probably the best attendance was in Lingdale and it is a few years since we last did a reading in that village. We have now completed ten years doing the readings each Yorkshire Day and we are already planning a much bigger event next year.

Thanks must go to Stewart Macfarlane of Radio Cleveland, for once again leading the group around Eston, Redcar, Marske, Loftus, Lingdale, Saltburn and Guisborough and reading the declaration. Thanks also to Eric Howden who read the Latin and old English versions and Cllr Dave Fitzpatrick (pictured above), who did the old Norse version.

Following on from this Glynis, Charlotte and I went to a Yorkshire Day Garden Party in Cloughton, near Scarborough where we had a Yorkshire pudding supper, with onion gravy, in aid of St Mary's Church. Six year's old Charlotte had three.

There were about 100 people present and I was asked to speak about our activities and explain such things as the correct way to display the Yorkshire rose on flags. I also took a box of roses and sold 33, which raised £33 for the church funds.

Colin's pal wins the North Riding Duck Race


Posted by Chris:

This year's North Riding Duck Race attracted 182 £1 entries and was held last Saturday in Saltburn Beck.

The weather, this year, was fine and a good crowd attended. I did my usual job of shepherding the ducks that get snagged up, in my fishing waders - bought three years ago and not yet used for fishing. Councillors Josie Crawford and Val Miller stood on the wier with my fishing nets to catch the winners. North Riding Group Chair, John Curr gave his usual commentary, whilst filming the proceedings.

The race was won by Rowland Gaunt from the village of Spotborough near Doncaster, once home to Douglas Bader. Rowland and his wife Jan have attended all our duck races, travelling up with YRS Chair Colin Holt and his wife Hilary. Sadly, Colin died in April this year and in tribute we provided the Colin Holt Cup for the winner. It was nice that Hilary was able to present it to Colin's pal, who she had once again travelled up with from Doncaster.

The train on the Saltburn Miniature Railway was proudly flying the Yorkshire flag, as it does each time we hold the duck race.

We were able to hand out free packets of Yorkshire tea, to race entrants after the manufacturers, unprompted, sent us a couple of boxes full in support of Yorkshire Day.

First Place and winner of the Colin Holt Cup:
No 161 - Aqua - Rowland Gaunt of Spotborough, Doncaster

Second Place:
No 169 - Blue - Maise Wilson of Oxford Street, Saltburn

Third Place:
No 55 - Quackers - Joyce Taylor of Rydal Avenue, Redcar

Best Named Duck (chosen by John Curr)
No 20 - DCUK - Chris Sewell of Viking Marina, Goole

Heather wins the Flat Cap Fling

Posted by Chris:

A packed Redcar High Street was the venue for the Council's Yorkshire celebrations on Saturday 29th July and there were lots of activities going on to suit all ages.

As part of this the Yorkshire Ridings Society (YRS) organised a, free to enter, Flat Cap Fling for the first time. It was won by teenager Heather Brinsley of Redcar.

David Tucker, Managing Director of D.J. Tucker Ltd, kindly sponsored the event with a nice cup for the winner.

We set up a stall in front of the Council's Event cabin and sold white roses, duck race entries and handed out leaflets. It also turned out to be a bit of a Councillors surgery as people wanted to raise Council issues with us.

I was delighted that the Mayor, Councillor Mary Ovens, came to help along with Glynis, our grandaughter Charlotte, who handed out leaflets, Councillor Val Miller and YRS Secretary Nancy Hudson.

Trying to get blokes to enter was like pulling teeth. In the end it was almost exclusively lasses who entered. With a light breeze behind them, and long waits for people to move out of the way, three local teenage girls competed for the first three places. The winners were as follows:

First Place and winner of the D.J. Tucker Ltd Cup:
Heather Brinsley of Langley Close, Redcar.
Second Place:
Rebecca Ball of Broadway West, Redcar.
Third Place:
Elizabeth Williams of Victoria Avenue, Redcar.

All three received £5 vouchers for WH Smiths.

Friday, 4 August 2006

Planning Application in for multi million pound Coatham Links development

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has received a planning application for the multi million pound Coatham Links development.

The application will now be considered within the statutory planning framework.

As part of this process, the Council is currently embarking on a consultation exercise with a number of interested parties including, environmental, regeneration and sporting bodies as well as residents who live next to the site.

All residents and businesses have 21 days from the date of the consultation letter and site notice to comment on the scheme.

The planning application is available for inspection from Monday August 7, for four weeks at Belmont House in Guisborough during normal office hours and at Dawson House, Redcar between 10am and 7pm, Monday to Friday.

The documentation can also be found on the Council's website www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk

Planning Officers will compile a report for the Council's Planning Committee detailing all material considerations, including those contained in relevant representations made to the Council.

This report will contain a recommendation to the Committee.

The Planning Committee will then decide whether it is minded to approve the application with appropriate conditions, in which case it will be referred to Government Office North East, or refuse the application. In the case of a refusal the applicant has right of appeal.

The Planning Committee meeting will be open to the public and representatives of both supporters and objectors will be allowed to address the Committee, as will Ward Councillors.

The date of the Committee meeting is yet to be agreed and will be publicised on the website once known.

Thursday, 3 August 2006

A Viking reads the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity in Old Norse


Left to right: Cllr Dave Fitzpatrick, Eric Howden,
Radio Cleveland's Stewart MacFarlane, Cllr Madge Moses,
Cllr Margaret Wilson, Cllr Glynis Abbott and Daniel.

Yorkshire flag flies over Redcar & Cleveland Town Hall on Yorkshire Day

How Redcar plans to save the penguins

A mercy mission is being launched to ensure the preservation of one of Redcar's prized possessions as an invasion force prepare to take over their seafront habitat.

A specially-trained workforce has been organised to quietly approach the colony of penguins, who have been facing the South Pole since their arrival on the Esplanade at least ten years ago, lifting them all into purpose-built trailers for the journey to a place of safety.

Only once before has their space been invaded - when a cheeky thief took one that ended up outside one of the town's fishmongers - but with at least 1,000 visitors set to storm the beaches later this month, Redcar and Cleveland Council decided it had to act.

It is part of a busy period of preparation as the town readies itself for a transformation into 1940s Dunkirk for the filming of scenes for a movie blockbuster, the film version of Ian McEwan's bestselling novel, Atonement.

The stretch of the promenade from the town's Regent Cinema to the boating lake will become a film set, so the risk to those penguins was too great to take.

The Council's highways partner, Alfred McAlpine, has begun the four weeks of preparatory work, removing street furniture, including street lighting columns, signposts, flagpoles, benches, litter bins and, of course, those penguins.

The colony, installed by the Great British Bollard Company as part of the Esplanade's public art, will be transported to a secret location and kept under lock and key before their anticipated return next month, when the stretch of prom returns to the 21st century.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said: "I'm told we're taking them off to a safe pool where we can feed them lots of fish and bring them back fat and happy."