Friday, 30 March 2007

Atonement captured

See the filming of Atonement and the locals who took part in it through the eyes of an award winning professional Teesside photographer who visited the set. The Bellamy Pavilion at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's Kirkleatham Museum is hosting the exhibition from April 7 until June 10 featuring photographs of the making of the movie by the 2006 UK Events Photographer of the Year, Pam Ainsley.

Pam visited the Redcar on three different occasions during filming, taking snapshots of activity on the set as it happened from people's living room windows overlooking the set and the beach during the day and evening.

Pam Ainsley said: "It was a fantastic experience to be able to view the making of the film and capture it from a different perspective on another kind of film.

"I knew that many of the 1,000 extras were from Redcar and the surrounding area so I made a point of getting photographs of them.

"After viewing the large amount of images taken I wanted the people who took part in the film to be able to see them. I contacted the Museum who looked at the prints and were more than happy to arrange for the exhibition, so here we are!"

In total there are 250 photographs on display ranging in size from large black and white canvas to standard colour prints.

People spotting themselves in the exhibition will also have the opportunity to purchase the photographs for posterity.

A stretch of the Esplanade in Redcar, from the Regent Cinema to the boating lake, was closed and transformed into 1940's Dunkirk while director Joe Wright filmed his adaptation of Ian McEwan's bestseller.

Atonement is due to be released on September 14.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Ian Swales is selected again for Redcar

Liberal Democrats in Redcar Constituency have selected local resident Ian Swales as their Prospective Parliamentary Candidate. Members voted on a short list of three candidates at a hustings meeting at James Finegan Hall, Eston.

Ian Swales said “I am very pleased to be selected again after a hard fought contest. I look forward to meeting more residents and will continue to campaign for a better deal for the area. After a big swing in our favour last time it is clear that people see us as the real alternative to Labour in this constituency. I will be working hard from now until the next General election whenever that might be”.

Chris Abbott, Liberal Democrat Group Leader on Redcar and Cleveland Council said “I am delighted to be able to continue working with Ian Swales who is an excellent local choice for the area”.
  • Ian Swales lives in Redcar. He is married with 3 children.

  • Formerly a senior manager at ICI Wilton he now runs his own training and consulting business.

  • He fought the 2005 General Election for the Liberal Democrats in the Redcar constituency.

  • He moved the Liberal Democrats into 2nd place with a swing against Labour of 8.2% (share of the vote).

  • Husting meeting was held on Saturday 24th March 2007

Monday, 26 March 2007

Planning for Monday evenings

Redcar and Cleveland Council planning officers will be available to personal or telephone callers at their offices in Belmont House, Rectory Lane, Guisborough for a trial period on four Monday evenings until 7pm next month.

Planning Committee chairman Councillor Peter Spencer said: "The idea is part of the Planning Team's desire to be as accessible to the public as possible. Last year we were the most improved Local Planning Authority for e-planning, giving the public a One Stop Shop service.

"However, we acknowledge there are times when only a face-to-face discussion or telephone call with a Planning Officer will do and this is not always possible during normal office hours. If interest is strong, we will look to this becoming a permanent arrangement".

Apart from Easter Monday, April 9, late opening will be on Mondays, April 2, 16, 23 and 30. The number to ring is 08456 126 126.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Emergency Planning Unit awarded Beacon Status

The Cleveland Emergency Planning Unit has won national recognition for its innovative work to ensure the safety of local people.

The unit which operates on behalf of Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar and Cleveland Councils, has been awarded Beacon status.

The Government-sponsored award which reflects excellence and innovation in local government, was announced at an Oscars-style ceremony in London on Tuesday.

The unit joined forces with Cleveland Police and Cleveland Fire Brigade to highlight the successful inter-agency partnership arrangements operating in the area, and its application for Beacon status was one of only six successful “bids”. Twelve had been short-listed

Chief Emergency Planning Officer Denis Hampson said: “The multi-agency civil protection plans and arrangements that we have developed put us at the leading edge of emergency planning and our partnership arrangements are something of which we can all be proud.

“I am very proud that the unit has been awarded Beacon status which recognises how well the four local authorities across Cleveland and our emergency service colleagues work together in planning for and managing major emergencies, and protecting residents.”

Local Government Minister Angela Smith said: “This year, we have a comprehensive group of Beacons that I hope will be proud to share their knowledge and excellence across the country.”

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Warden Carolyn scores a winner

Community safety warden Carolyn Bircham has scored a personal triumph for her work in setting up football with matches for young people and giving them the chance to help design a new play area.

Carolyn's extra commitment to her role as Redcar and Cleveland Council's warden supervisor for South Bank, Grangetown and Teesville was 'highly commended' by the annual North East Regional Wardens awards, organised by the Middlesbrough-based North East Regional Resource Centre.

The Council's warden service was also applauded by the Centre, funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, for achieving a distinction for the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund's nationally-recognised quality standard. Centre manager Sian Bunn said: "Redcar and Cleveland did extremely well - not only did they achieve the national standard, but achieved it with a distinction."

Carolyn was quick to praise her team after collecting the award in the 'excellence in working for young people' category - Lesley Fell, Louise Dobson and Dave Grimwood, along with Police Community Support Officer Paul Walker. "To be recognised for the work we've done was fantastic - as far as I'm concerned, it was a team award."

She was also delighted to report more sporting progress - with the creation of a football league next month and a hoped-for start by Coast & Country Housing to create a recreation area on wasteland at the junction of Steel Crescent and Strauss Road, South Bank in the spring.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Community Safety Councillor Joyce Benbow had special praise for Carolyn and the warden service.

"I think it's absolutely excellent, thoroughly well deserved. She's done a lot of work with young people and the more work that's done like this to keep them out of trouble, the better for everybody.

"I think our service continues to improve and with the recruitment of a dozen new wardens next month, it will improve further and make the lives of residents much happier."

Eyes down for more investment in unmade streets

A walk to the bingo will be a lot smoother for pensioners in Brotton and Lingdale thanks to Redcar and Cleveland Council's £1million additional investment to tackle unmade streets.

Community Campaigner Norma Morris is pictured, left, with Brotton Ward Liberal Democrat Councillors Val Miller, centre, and Kay Walker in one of the unmade streets on the Park at Brotton which could benefit from the funding.

Pensioners in the two East Cleveland villages have given the thumbs-up to the start of work in tackling unadopted streets in an ongoing investment that has already allocated £1.3million to tackle 19 schemes across the Borough.

The Council's Cabinet Chairman Councillor Eric Empson, whose portfolio covers the commitment to target unadopted highways, is delighted with the results - and the promise of more to come.

"We began the three-year programme of improvements in April, 2004 and so far 19 schemes have been completed or are nearing completion," he explained.

"The adoption of these roads has to be a benefit not just to the people living there, but to the whole village or town. We have had positive feedback from every piece of work we've carried out.

"The success of the programme has brought numerous requests from residents across the Borough and a further £1m will be allocated over the next four years to try and meet the demands."

Funding of £250,000 has been provided for works to be undertaken in Brotton and Lingdale during 2007/08 and engineers are in the process of drawing up and prioritising a list of possible schemes to take to consultation with councillors and residents.

Brotton ward councillor Kay Walker, a regular at the Thursday afternoon community bingo at the Village Hall, said: "The work is going to be very popular, not only with pensioners, but also young families."

Councillor Steve Kay, who represents the Lockwood ward, which covers Lingdale, said: "We can also hail the investment as an accident prevention scheme as there have been several senior citizens involved in nasty falls. It's not surprising as they have tried to negotiate treacherous unmade streets, full of potholes and covered with loose material.

"I'm delighted that the people of East Cleveland have been given a real say in how this project has evolved and we're looking for more improvements to come over the next 12 months. No-one can deny they are needed."

To date, streets throughout the Borough have benefited from the scheme, including streets in Redcar, Guisborough, Loftus, Boosbeck, Moorsholm, Aysdalegate, Charltons, Lingdale and Dunsdale.

Monday, 19 March 2007

Brotton Library relocation - a real success story

Redcar and Cleveland Council's Libraries Service has a real success story to tell with the relocation of Brotton Library to Freebrough Specialist Engineering College at Brotton.

Book borrowing is up by 23%, with 2,762 issues in February, compared with 2,229 last year, and, encouragingly, junior issues have jumped by 68%, with 1,061 in February, compared to 706 for the same period last year.

The number of active borrowers has also increased, up 16% in the two months since the move from Brotton High Street in December, with 1,729 borrowers, compared to 1,496 borrowers.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said: "I am absolutely delighted with the public's response, especially younger readers."

Librarian Diane Lonsdale said: "We've had marvellous feedback since the move and are doing all we can to increase interest in the new building even more."

Attractions include a new Saturday morning club, the War Hammer Fantasy Fun Club, from 10am-noon, a children's reading group on Thursday afternoons, from 4.30pm-5.30pm, aimed at five-12 year olds and a Friday afternoon homework club, from 3.45pm-4.45pm.

Friday, 16 March 2007

Solving problems with new Joint Action Groups

A multi-agency task force is being in created in Redcar and Cleveland, aimed at focusing on troublespots across the Borough.

The Council has joined forces with senior officers from Cleveland Police, Cleveland Fire Brigade, Youth and Children's Services, Redcar and Cleveland Primary Care Trust and Coast & Country Housing to establish Joint Action Groups.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Community Safety Councillor Joyce Benbow explained: "These groups will be building on our existing partnerships at ground level, bringing together a wealth of expertise and experience to try and solve all sorts of problems.

"The issue might be off-road motorcylces, antisocial behaviour, even uncollected wheelie bins - issues which affect a number of partners for different reasons.

"It's all about our drive to ensure ongoing environmental improvements, making the Borough a greener, cleaner and safer place to live and work."

Redcar and Cleveland Police's District Commander Superintendent Ian Richards believes the new JAGs can only build better inter-agency work.

He explained: "This problem solving group will further cement the excellent multi agency working which exists within Redcar and Cleveland and can only be of benefit to the local community through the delivery of better all round services."

The six JAGs, which will be chaired by a senior Cleveland Police officer, will dovetail in between the schedule of meetings already scheduled for the Council's existing six Area Environment Committees, which meet on a six-week cycle. The first meetings are planned to start in May.

Protesters "false claims and sabotage tactics" have cost council taxpayers almost a quarter of a million pounds

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has today revealed that a small group of protestors acting against the proposed £88million housing and leisure development at Coatham Links in Redcar has cost the council taxpayers of the Borough approximately quarter of a million pounds in additional legal fees.

The financial information – made available through a routine Freedom of Information request – has shown that the programme of activity by protestors to delay the consideration of the scheme has increased legal costs by £243,941 over a four-year period.

These activities include a recent bid to register public rights of way across the proposed development area, a bid to delay the consideration of the development due to health and safety reasons and legal action to register the land as a village green. All these have been rejected when considered by the appropriate independent bodies.

Councillor Glyn Nightingale, Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources, said: “As a Council we take very seriously our commitment to being an open and honest organisation; we welcome any opportunity to provide information on how public money is being spent.

“Any proposal for a large development will cost a Council money – this is inevitable in the first stages of negotiation, consultation and planning. It is only sensible that we meet these costs. Firstly, it ensures we provide fair and open consultation on any proposals we receive; and, secondly, it encourages important new opportunities that investors and developers can bring to the area in potential new facilities, housing and businesses.

“However, as these figures highlight, we are increasingly concerned about the costs incurred through a small number of protestors’ false claims and sabotage techniques designed to delay the consideration of the current proposals for the Coatham Links. Legitimate protest is part of the democratic process.

“We have procedures in place to allow for this, but the tactics of a small number of protestors have achieved nothing except the waste of Council money on legal action, wasted officer time spent in responding to the protestors' alarmist and exaggerated claims – worse still is the number of deeply unpleasant personal attacks on Council staff.”

“We are committed to making Redcar and Cleveland a prosperous place for our residents to live, work and invest. We are also determined this proposal will receive a fair and open consideration at the forthcoming meeting of the planning committee. We hope protestors do not use this open, democratic process to create a platform for their own personal motives.”

The financial information shows in addition to legal costs in response to protestor activities, the Council has also spent approximately £44,640 per year (£178,560 in total over four years) in negotiation, consultation and standard legal costs. This is substantially less than the average cost to a local authority for a proposed development of this size.

The planning application, submitted by Persimmon Homes in August last year, will be considered at a special Planning Committee meeting, open to the public next month.

Plans will restore Coatham Boating Lake

Redcar and Cleveland Council is starting work on restoring Coatham boating lake to its former glory, including the creation of a shingle beach to an island for wading birds.

The project, a separate but complementary initiative to the proposed Coatham Links development, will install new seating, new footpaths, a new perimeter wall, improved planting scheme and night-time lighting.

The designs for the work, which do not need planning permission, have been drawn up after consultations with Natural England, to ensure the value of the lake for birds can be maintained and enhanced.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said: "We believe this scheme is another example of how we are bucking the national trend by improving our seaside resorts, rather than see them go into decline.

"The overall aim of this work is to improve the quality of the public realm areas surrounding the lake, to increase public use of the space and restore the area to its former glory as a public space."

Material at the edges of the lake and island will provide wading birds with the habitat they require, while the beach will add interest to the island and provide opportunities for wading birds.

Councillor Fitzpatrick added: "We're delighted with the scheme and the addition of lighting to the area will ensure night-time interest and safety within the area."

*Council engineers are investigating the state of the boating lake's footbridge, with a view to organising repairs.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Is there no end to the twisted nonsense spouted by opponents of the Coatham Links development?

Posted by Chris:

The opponents of the superb Coatham Links proposed leisure and housing development seem to have two methods of working.

The first is to be highly selective in what they hear and to spin conspiracy theories around their selections.

The other is they simply make it up.

It was recently announced that the bowling alley is moving to the building where the bingo hall was going. This is because the Council and the developers Persimmon Homes had listened to the views of residents and businesses and had decided not to proceed with the bingo hall. Instead it was agreed that the bowling alley would be sited in the building that was to house the bingo hall and thereby freeing up space in the new leisure centre for a state of the art dance and performance area.

Because it was announced that there would be no bingo hall, in the twisted logic of one of the protesters, this means there will be no bowling alley as well.

It has been pointed out over and over again that there is no public funding for the provision of the extreme sports facilities that are planned on the site, and never has been. Again it is a leap of twisted logic for the protesters to claim that means there can be no extreme sports. The existing leaseholder for that part of the site is responsible for that part of the development not the Council or Persimmon Homes. The development agreement has a fall back position to cover what happens if leaseholder fails to deliver.

There is £120,000 set aside to CPO the site so extreme sports can be delivered. Again the protesters twist this simple position of "the current leaseholder will do it but if they fail we take over," into something sinister that 'proves' it will not happen.

It has always been the case that at the beach near South Gare we have agreed advisory signs asking people not to walk there during the nesting season. Again this perfectly reasonable position, that we have always been open about, is twisted in the objectors minds to mean all activities are banned on the beach throughout Coatham.

We have pointed out many times that the visitor centre will be provided in the later phases of the development and at this stage all the grant funding needed to provide the facility cannot be confirmed because the grant providers do not agree funding until all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed. To twist this into "there will no visitor centre" is nonsense.
The Coalition of Liberal Democrats, Conservatives and East Cleveland Independents that currently run the Council are determined that the Coatham Links scheme will be delivered in full and it is vital that we retain control in May because clearly it is the only way we can bring about the regeneration of Redcar.

You cannot argue with someone so besotted with conspiracy theories but we do try.

Monday, 12 March 2007

Kerry and Neil share the care

When Kerry Lewis and Neil Young began dating, there was one extra caring commitment for them both to consider...

And just as their love has blossomed, with a May wedding on the horizon, so their relationship with 14-year-old John* has flourished through their dedication as carers.

Redcar and Cleveland Council is highlighting their partnership and John's progress to promote Share The Care Week, from March 19-March 25, hoping more people will be persuaded to follow the couple's shining example.

Kerry's links with John, who has special needs, dates back nine years. She remembers: "I was giving him one-to-one care at school then he needed care at home - so I took him, took my work home! And it went from there - I fell into it, then fell in love with him."

Neil, who works for the Council as a school sports co-ordinator, explained: "I fell into the role with dating Kerry - John came with that. It was hard at first, he was a bit jealous with a new person on the scene. But now we're best friends. It's different every day - he's fun, enjoyable, like having another brother rather than being a dad."

And Kerry agrees: "He's like my little kid brother. We have him several nights a month, it's still extremely challenging, but it's really rewarding and great to see how John has developed. It makes me really proud. How long will I do it? For as long as he needs me - forever."

The Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Social Well Being Councillor Valerie Halton said: "Kerry and Neil are marvellous examples of the sort of people we would welcome with open arms.

"Foster carers who join the Shared Care scheme provide not only a break for parents and siblings, but also a different environment that offers her or him different experiences of life, which can spread horizons and improve wellbeing."

Glynis Horner, the Shared Care scheme's social worker, explained: "We have eight shared care foster carers who offer respite care to a number of families and we are always looking to recruit new carers for whom we provide training and ongoing support."

Anyone interested can ring 01642 495910 for an informal chat.

*John is not his real name.

Community Achievement Award winners announced

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's Mayor, Councillor Mary Ovens, is holding a civic reception for the latest winners of the annual Mayor's Community Achievement Awards on Wednesday, March 14.

Councillors have nominated 15 individuals and groups from across the Borough for the awards in recognition of their voluntary work.

The ceremony is being held in the Mayors Parlour at 7pm.

Councillor Ovens said: "The work these people do is simply fantastic and I'm delighted to be able to officially give them the recognition they deserve".

The full list is:

# Carol Anderson & Sue Franks: Are guide leaders of the Marske and New Marske Girl Guides. This nomination is fully supported by past and present members of the movement and especially parents, who appreciate their devotion to the care and development of their children.

# Wendy Arundale of Teesville: Puts much of her own time and effort into helping all areas of the community and arranges fundraising activities for many charity groups raising lots of money.

# Brotton Village Hall Committee: This group of local people have improved the hall by refurbishing the toilets and kitchen area, as well as fundraising to keep the important community facility from closing.

# Barbara Brown & Carol Waller: Are part of a group of volunteers helping to raise funds for the Parish of Kirkleatham, via the Church Charity Shop in Roseberry Square, Redcar. This award is for the group's many years of service to their local community.

# Geoff Frewin: Currently the District Commissioner for Redcar and Eston Scout District, he continues to contribute to the grass roots of youth community work, running cub packs and scout troops that would otherwise close because of a shortage of volunteers in the area.

# Susan Jacklin: Is a countryside warden volunteer at Guisborough Forest and Walkway, she gives her time freely at Christmas and events organised throughout the year, going above and beyond the call of duty.

# Lazenby Environmental Group (LEG): This group formed in 1990 and meets every couple of months with representatives from all the companies on the Wilton International Site, leading to an excellent working relationship between the village and their industrial neighbours, ensuring any environmental problems are dealt with.

# Lingdale Lift-Off: In little more than a year this group has done much to improve the village. They help keep it tidy and brighten it with flowers and Christmas Lights. They have worked to build community spirit, optimism and self-help, as well as pride in Lingdale.

# The Loftus Community Forum: Is a shining example of community involvement. They draw in thousands of pounds in outside funding helping Loftus improve as a whole, making the town a better place with their help, support and commitment.

# Peter Brian Maidens and Joy Simpson: Have worked over many years giving their time to community projects in Saltburn, including the annual In-Bloom competitions and Christmas Lights as well as other community events.

# The Marske Leisure Centre Committee: Took over running the centre in 1984 and the community of Marske is indebted to them for their time, effort and commitment in keeping the centre going for the benefit of the people of Marske.

# The North Skelton Belles: Have for many years organised flowers and Christmas decorations for the village on an annual basis and through fundraising and getting involved in local events they are an asset to their local community.

# The Friends of Redcar Cemetery: This group’s efforts have enabled partnership working and funding to be found for the restoration of the entrance gates and new fencing. Other work they do includes general tidying up, litter picking, bulb planting and bird boxes. The meet regularly and produce a quarter newsletter.

# George Rowden: This 77 year old has every day for the last four years, including Christmas Day, visited Zetland Park and cleaned up all the litter and bagged it for collection, he maintains the park to a high degree and all the park users and the Friends Group much appreciate his efforts.

# The Friends of Zetland Park: This group works hard in fundraising and obtaining grants and forming partnerships to improve the appearance and increase the usage of the park.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Attempt to block Coatham Links development fails

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, acting as Highway Authority, has today been successful in its application under section 116 of the Highways Act 1980 to ‘stop-up’ certain footpaths on the land known as the Coatham Enclosure, Redcar.

Teesside Magistrates ruled that the specified footpaths are unnecessary as there are other routes that are equally as convenient for public rights of way for the purposes of either work or leisure.

The remaining public rights of way on the land at Coatham Enclosure, which provide access to and from the land, will continue to be waymarked and maintained as public rights of way, whilst those now deemed unnecessary will no longer continue to be maintained as public rights of way.

The Council, as Highways Authority, is responsible for the maintenance and promotion of public rights of way and recognises the importance of maintaining public access throughout the Borough – more information on public rights of way throughout the Redcar and Cleveland Borough are available on the Council's website at

An attempt by a single protester to oppose the application failed. If it had succeeded the much needed multi-million pound Coatham Links leisure and housing development, which will provide Redcar with two swimming pools and other major lesiure facilities, would have been put in real jeopardy.

Coalition Council plans to restore Marske Valley Gardens

Hundreds of residents in Marske are getting the chance to have their say in restoring the town's Valley Gardens to their former glories in a £200,000 investment scheme.

Groundwork South Tees, working in partnership with Redcar and Cleveland Council, begin door-to-door interviews at over 400 homes from the end of this month.

The Gardens, originally created to form a link between the beach and the town centre, were constructed in the 1930s, and now one of the main jobs will be to repair the 'vicar's trod' the main path originally used by the vicar and the monks to cross the Valley to St Germain's churchyard.

Other works are set to include improvements to the footpaths and boundaries as well as the reinstatement of some of the Gardens' original features.

The Friends of the Marske Valley Gardens, formed in August last year, are delighted at the initiative. Chairman Susannah Henderson said: "We are a new group who want to see the Valley Gardens restored and we are sure the people of Marske would like the chance to be involved."

Ian Moran, a community project officer for Groundwork South Tees, explained: "We are committed to a wide-ranging public consultation, starting with a blank canvas.

"We are aiming to have sketch proposals drawn up by May and then we will return to the homes to see if they're in agreement. Work is programmed to start in November and take two months."

The Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said: "We would be delighted to hear the views of local people. It's a wonderful opportunity for the public to get what they want - and can only open access to the Gardens and encourage tourism."

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Locke Park ready for £300,000 facelift

Redcar's Locke Park is ready for a £300,000 investment to include a new pavilion and better footpath links as part of a Borough-wide environmental improvement programme.

The facelift also includes refurbishment of perimeter fencing and two park shelters and the installation of new front gates along with de-silting the lake and work to improve the surface of the tennis courts.

Redcar and Cleveland Council and the Friends of Locke Park is using funding from the Government's Neighbourhood Renewal Fund allocation to deliver recommendations from the park's Conservation and Management Plan.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said: "The investment in the park is part of a much bigger commitment to ensuring we provide good facilities to create safer, strong communities across the Borough.

"We also want to encourage greater numbers of our residents and visitors to Redcar to use our green spaces to support a healthy lifestyle for themselves

"There will be other improvements to sites across the Borough, including the Valley Gardens at both Saltburn and Marske, the Coronation Park at Loftus and the Eston Recreation Ground."

For the Friends of Locke Park, the investment will be compensation for the failed bid for Heritage Lottery funding in 2005. Friends chairman Ann Best said: "We were so disappointed when we didn't get the Lottery funding, but we're over the moon now, it's absolutely super.

"The work on the paths will certainly make it a lot safer and we're already planning to see if we can get more funding to add some new children's play equipment."

The new pavilion will be for community use, including a meeting room for the Friends, disabled toilets, storeroom and a kitchen, replacing the tennis pavilion, the victim of an arson attack last year.

The perimeter path around the lake and the three main entrance paths that point the way to the Coatham Parish Church spire will be restored to their original red colour.

The Friends are now planning for their annual Gala Day in the park on Saturday, July 14, from 11am-4pm and would welcome new members. Anyone interested can contact Friends secretary Carolyn Farrance on 01642 484487 or attend the group's annual meeting on Thursday, May 17 in the Redcar Station Business Centre at 5.30pm.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Council demands a fair allocation of development support

Posted by Chris:

The nonsense in today's edition of the Evening Gazette criticising our withdrawal of funding from Tees Valley Regeneration needs proper explanation:

We have agreed not to pay £50,000 towards the costs of two project officers.

We have already paid out a quarter of a million pounds to this organisation over the past four years and they have not promoted a single project in our Borough. The organisation is concentrating its efforts in the area between Middlesbrough and Stockton. They refused to support Coatham Links but expect us to back Middlehaven, which we are happy to do, but they must treat us equally and there is a view amongst our officers and members that this is not happening.

We have not pulled out of the organisation but have fired a warning shot that we are not prepared to continue being ignored and that we demand investment in our Borough.

We have today fiercely defended our position in what was one of the best debates the Council has had for a long time. We took advice from our officers and I hope that our points will be put across when the Gazette reports on the debate.

It has absolutely nothing to do with our promotion of the area as part of Yorkshire, as the opposition are claiming. We have to work with the Tees Valley organisations and the North East for economic development and strategic planning purposes and do so willingly, but we are not prepared to waste public money funding staff who are doing nothing for our area.

Councillor Glyn Nightingale is leading on this for the Coalition.

Redcar & Cleveland Council to host County celebrations in 2008

Posted by Chris:

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council is to host the Yorkshire Society's Yorkshire Day Celebrations on 1st August 2008. A motion was passed at today's meeting of the Full Council and only the Labour councillors voted against it.

We will be setting up a steering group to begin preparations as soon as possible.

The Council had received an invitation from the Yorkshire Society to host the celebrations. I should add that this is a completely separate organisation from the Yorkshire Ridings Society, which I currently chair.

The Yorkshire Society was formed in 1980 and has held this event in a different town each year since about 1984.

This, in my opinion, is a wonderful opportunity for our Borough and especially for whoever will be our Mayor in 2008. Around 250 Civic heads/dignitaries and Yorkshire Society members attend a Church Service of Celebration for Yorkshire (the historic County) and a formal Banquet, including a civic procession (in full colourful regalia) to Church and to the Banqueting Hall. The Civic guest list is prepared and passed from one host to the next, and updated as necessary on an annual basis. Of the 250 in attendance around 30 or 40 are Society members.
The hosting Council selects a guest of honour and speaker at the luncheon, and the Mayor usually makes a welcome speech.

The cost of the event is met by the hosting Council, which I understand from previous hosts can be defrayed by means of sponsorship from local/regional businesses. The luncheon is again covered by a ticket price for those in attendance.

The event is being held in Hull this year and last year it was held in Penistone.

Our event does not necessarily have to be held in Redcar. It could be Guisborough or Saltburn or Eston and we could perhaps let each town bid for the event.

Where ever it is held the event and the celebration gives the Council a fantastic opportunity to promote itself, our community and our region across the County and beyond.

Mayor plans fund raisers

Redcar and Cleveland Council's Mayor Councillor Mary Ovens is planning two major fund-raisers for her civic charities, the Marie Curie Cancer Care and the young people's Redcar support base, The Junction.

There will be a concert featuring the Marske Fishermen's Choir and the talented youth choir, the Topline Community Arts Project, on Friday, March 30, in Redcar's Christ Church, Coatham Road, starting at 7pm. Tickets are £3.

The annual Mayor's Charity Ball is at Gisborough Hall on Thursday, April 26 from 7pm. Tickets are £35 which includes a reception drink,three-course meal with wine and live entertainment. There will also be a raffle/tombola and auction.