Friday, 30 November 2007

Christmas lights switched on in Redcar tomorrow

The Christmas lights will be switched on in the High Street, Redcar tomorrow (Saturday 1st December) at 5.30pm.

The winners of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council's Talent 2007 will be showing off their dancing and singing skills on the stage in front of the Town Clock from 3pm. The Christmas parade, led by Police Horses and the Royal Jazz Band, will set off from the opposite end of the High Street, arriving at the stage at 5pm.

That will be followed by Community Christmas Carols until 6pm.

Santa will be in a horse drawn sleigh, accompanied by various Disney Characters including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, characters from the Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Postman Pat and Bob the Builder.

Santa will then be in his Grotto on the High Street from Monday, December 3 until Sunday, December 23. Monday to Friday from 12.30pm until 2pm, Saturdays from 10.30am until 2.30pm and Sundays from 1pm until 3pm. Admission is £1.50 which includes a gift.

The Redcar Business Association will be running its Christmas Window Dressing Competition which will be judged on Friday, December 7th.

All of the Council's short and long stay car parks - except Morrisons in Regent Walk - will be free after 2pm each day from Monday, December 3rd.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Significant spending pressure will hit Redcar & Cleveland schools next year

Ian Swales, Lib Dem campaigner for the Redcar Constituency (pictured), expressed dismay today at the Government's grant to local schools for next year. He is writing to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families to plead for a higher allocation.

He said, "While nationally the Government is giving schools 4.1% extra cash, Redcar & Cleveland schools are only getting 2.1% extra next year. Neither of these figures make full allowance for public sector inflation currently running at 7%.

"It is appalling that our local schools are getting such a raw deal compared with other schools across the country. Falling pupil numbers locally are given as the reason. Even with falling school rolls, classes still need teachers, buildings have to be maintained and office overheads covered.

"The impact is alarming for our schools. They will face the prospect of employing less staff, buying fewer books and resources and cutting back on extra activities.

"It seems inconceivable that the Council will be able to bail out schools from their other resources. It already faces the need for massive cuts in spending because of unfunded commitments and the need to make other efficiency savings to meet reductions in Government grants."

Monday, 26 November 2007

Yorkshire "Pride not Prejudice"

Above are both sides of a remarkable leaflet published by the Labour Party in Bradford who use Yorkshire Day as a way of uniting people in an area where the BNP is active and where there are from time to time racial tensions.

It is so very sad that in the Borough of Redcar & Cleveland Labour are using Yorkshire to create divisions, where there should be none.

Our campaign for recognition of our status as part of the North Riding of Yorkshire is a pragmatic attempt to clear up the confusion that exists as a result of regular changes of name for local government administrative areas. We seek to promote the Borough as part of Yorkshire for all cultural, ceremonial, sporting and postal purposes. We recognise that administratively we are part of the North East Region and we work with four other local authorities in a kind of sub-region, which was named Tees Valley for economic development and strategic planning. We don't seek to change any of this. We are proud of our Yorkshire identity that has been part of the lives of people in this area for more than one thousand years; we encourage people use Yorkshire as part of our postal address; campaign for our real county boundary to appear on maps, alongside our local government areas and we seek to erect Yorkshire boundary signs.

Labour in Bradford have taken Yorkshire Day, an event created by the Yorkshire Ridings Society, which I now chair, and have used it as a symbol to campaign against hate and prejudice. They are to be congratulated for it and Labour in our area should take note of this.

Rather than continue suggesting that we are seeking to change local government and somehow undermine the work of the North East region or the Tees Valley organisation (nothing could be further from the truth), we would urge Labour locally and in the Tees Valley area in general to recognise that we CAN retain our respective Yorkshire and Durham county identities without conflict and without affecting local government administration in any way at all.

Being part of Yorkshire means something good. It is a top tourism brand that is instantly recognisable throughout the world. It is a good postal address that Royal Mail approve of and the Council should think again about abandoning it. Above all, as Labour in Bradford have recognised, it has the potential to unite people.

You do not have to be born in Yorkshire to be a Yorkshireman or Yorkshirewoman. You simply have to accept that our real counties are more than just units for local government and that they exist alongside our administrative areas. As Labour says in Bradford "It's friendly". We Yorkshire folk are proud of our roots, our heritage and yes even our accents."

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Chris on the Politics Show

Posted by Chris:

The campaign for recognition of our Yorkshire status in both Redcar and Saddleworth got a huge boost when the BBC Politics Show gave it coverage over it's entire Yorkshire and Lincolnshire edition.

You can watch it by clicking the following link

But why was Labour MP Austin Mitchell talking about recognition of the real county of Yorkshire and then Humberside in the same breath? I don't think Labour understand what we are trying to achieve. In Redcar quango mad Labour say we should be promoting the area as Tees Valley one day and then the next day they say we should be promoting the Borough of Redcar & Cleveland. On other days they claim we are seeking to re-organise local government when we are not doing anything of the kind.

The Robins nick late win as Leeds fail to take their chances

A first ever visit to Whaddon Road for Leeds United who started brightly with three good chances in the first nine minutes against rock bottom Cheltenham Town.

Chances continued to come as United dominated play throughout the first half but they just could not get the ball into the net.

The second half started in the same way with two shots from Jermaine Beckford in the first five minutes. The Robins followed that with two chances but the Whites were still dominating play. A less than effective first half performance by Seb Carole did not improve in the second half and the normally useful player was replaced by Ian Westlake nine minutes after the re-start.

Fifteen good chances by Leeds went astray in the first 70 minutes to Cheltenham's four. David Prutton was replaced by Torre Andre Flo and Mark De Vries came on for Ben Parker as Dennis Wise tried to break the deadlock with four strikers.

Three minutes later Beckford had the ball in the net but was flagged offside.

United could not score and with goalkeeper David Lucas just recovering from and injured shoulder the Robins nipped in front with a well taken goal by Stephen Gillespe from 30 yards.

Leeds simply dominated this match but failed to score. With a 10 day break now without a game they need to use the time working out why we have lost three out of the last four games and find a way of putting it right.

Cheltenham Town 1 Leeds United 0

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Nick and Chris on Newsnight

How the BBC promoted the contest on their website

Posted by Chris:

With the original, slim version of the Bird of Liberty soaring in the background the contenders for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats faced each other as they stood at lecterns waiting to begin another TV debate, this time with the formidable Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight.

The impression given to viewers was that they had to stand there waiting whilst Mr Paxman presented Newsnight's coverage of the Government's disastrous loss of two CD's containing the personal and banking details of 25million UK residents.

Chris Huhne used most of his one minute, "I want to be leader of the Liberal Democrats because," to remind us yet again that he was an "experienced communicator" who had worked as a journalist and had set up a business. Nick Clegg used the time to express his passionate Liberalism and his wish to lead the party with "energy, conviction and passion."

Mr Paxman introduced the "Calamity Clegg" smear and Chris "apologised profusely" blaming it on a "junior researcher." He went on to accept the explanations provided by Nick and expressed the need for "communicating clearly."

However, it was Nick who expressed views in the clearest terms on immigration and taxation. Chris showed his tendency for populism on both these issues. He also ended up with the last word, once again having to defend his campaign's "Calamity Clegg" attack on Nick. I expect both candidates will have to live with this, courtesy of the media and our opponents, for a long time to come.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Leeds tossed out of the cup by the Bulls

Leeds United's habit of making things hard for themselves continued tonight when Hereford went ahead through Lionel Ainsworth within three minutes in the FA Cup first round reply.

Hereford and Leeds had drawn 0-0 in the first game at Edgar Street in front of Sky TV cameras.

Leeds lacklustre style was in evidence again with only a few bright moments in the first half, when chances by Jonny Howson, Seb Carole, Tresor Kandol and Jermaine Beckford went astray. Casper Ankergren was injured in the 38th minute. Fortunately, for once, United had a goalie on the bench and he was replaced by David Lucas.

They went in at half time to the sound of disapproval from the Kop.

Leeds started the second half a little brighter and an effort by Beckford was saved by Brown three minutes after the re-start, with the Leeds crowd, of only 11,315, unusually quite.

Leon Constantine came on, with 24 minutes left, for Ian Westlake as Dennis Wise gambled once again with three strikers when behind. Midfielder Carole made way for yet another striker, Curtis Weston, in the 83rd minute.

Leeds tried harder in the second half but but failed to play the patient passing game that has brought them so much success this season. League 2 side Hereford looked the most likely to get a result and they deserved their win.

It's the League that counts this season isn't it?

Leeds United 0 Hereford United 1

Monday, 19 November 2007

Lib Dems disappointed by Council Home Insulation Scheme

Liberal Democrat Councillors on Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council have reacted with disappointment to the news that the Council’s new home insulation scheme will only be free to people on benefits.

When the Lib Dems ran the council as main partner of the Coalition until May this year, they introduced free insulation for all homes with residents either under five years old or over 60. However, Labour recently scrapped this scheme.

Following pressure from the Liberal Democrats, the Labour-run council has now introduced a similar scheme for cavity wall and loft insulation, but it will only be free to householders in receipt of benefits.

Leader of the Lib Dem Group Councillor Chris Abbott, said:

“This scheme is good as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough. It is great for people on benefits, but what about people who are just above the benefits threshold?”

“The losers here are the less well-off retired people, who used to get the insulation for free but will now have to pay.”

“In the longer term I would like to see the Council go further, and follow the excellent lead of Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council in providing free cavity wall and loft insulation for all households which request it. There the result has been savings on fuel bills of £150 per household per year, the creation of several new jobs, and a significant cut in CO2 emissions.”

Sunday, 18 November 2007

More desperation from the Huhne camp

Posted by Chris:

The release of the document "Calamity Clegg" by the Chris Huhne campaign and the subsequent row on the Politics Show has once again confirmed my view that Chris is well behind and is resorting to desperate tactics.

To say, as Chris did, that he knew nothing about it beggars belief. Chris should concentrate on what he is standing for and stop trying to give us his misinterpretation of what Nick Clegg stands for.

The postal votes go out this week and most will return them straight away. Time is running out to persuade members and I guess the Huhne camp are seeking to hot things up but these tactics were bound to backfire. The way it was put to Chris on the show cannot have done his campaign any good at all. He was put in a position where he had to say nice things about Nick and was then faced with having to explain why his campaign had published the smear document.

Members are angry at the way Charles and Ming were treated by those who anonymously briefed the media. Sending out papers knocking Nick amounts to the same thing.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Town beaten as two goal Beckford wins it for Leeds

A slow start by Leeds with only one chance (a header by Tresor Kandol) in the first 17 minutes before Johnathon Howson hit a right footed volley from 20 yards, which was tipped over the bar by Peter Brezovan in goal for Town.

This seemed to spark a lacklustre Leeds into action and chances were created but they soon died out. Leeds had most of the possession but they were not playing at their best.

Then on 31 minutes David Prutton sent in a cross which was handled by Swindon Captain Hasney Algofree and Jermaine Beckford smashed in the penalty 1-0.

Beckford was booked on 15 minutes for unsporting behaviour, as were Miguel Comminges and Algofree of Swindon.

Leeds went in at half time with their lead intact but within one minute of the re-start Swindon were level with a goal by Lee Peacock 1-1. The whites were simply not working hard enough.

But on 55 minutes Beckford got his second with a 12 yard volley when he worked well with Kandol 2-1.

Another Swindon booking came on 58 minutes when Christian Roberts fouled David Prutton. Radostin Kishishev replaced Seb Carole on the hour. Swindon's Michael Pook was booked in the 68th minute for a foul on Howson and Jerill Ifil was booked on 70 minutes for fouling Kandol.

Mark De Vries came on for Kandol shortly after Swindon had a goal disallowed for offside in the 82nd minute. The last minute saw Leon Constantine replace Beckford and yet another Swindon booking - Billy Paynter for dissent. Leeds held on to collect another valuable three points and move up to 4th.

The crowd was 27,990.

Leeds United 2 Swindon Town 1

Question Time - Desperation and Depression

Posted by Chris:

There seems to be signs of a little bit of desperation creeping into the postings of some of the Lib Dem Bloggers for Chris Huhne following the appearance of both candidates on Question Time.

They are all rushing in to claim that Chris was the winner. How they can justify that is beyond me. What was obvious to me was that we have two outstanding candidates who came across extremely well in spite of the interruptions from David Dimbleby, which both handled satisfactorily. The programme was a rare opportunity to showcase the Liberal Democrats and viewers had a chance to see two stars of the Liberal Democrats future in action.

The only issue where there was a real difference of ideas was on Trident and for me Nick Clegg expressed the most common sense, whilst Chris appeared opportunistic and muddled.

The worst thing about the Question Time experience was the follow up programme on BBC News 24 afterwards. This is always a second rate anti-climax but it was made worse by the choice of guests. The first was Andrew Pierce, Assistant Editor of the Daily Telegraph who went completely over the top in his efforts to dis the Lib Dems. The second was Lib Dem, Olly Grender, who was far too nice to defend the party against the smears of Pierce.

I was thoroughly depressed by the end after reading all the irrelevant nonsense from Labour and Tory supporters that the BBC put out on the ticker.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Two pictures of Nick Clegg in Newcastle

Nick and John Shipley with the Earl Grey
statue in the background

Glyn Nightingale (left) with Nick and Chris

In the Toon with Nick Clegg

Posted by Chris:

Glyn Nightingale and I spent an interesting afternoon in the company of Nick Clegg and a number of north east Lib Dems, including Newcastle Council leader John Shipley and Freddie Fletcher.

We travelled up to the Newcastle/Gateshead Hilton, where Nick was to address the North East Economic Forum. Nick was introduced by Michael White, Assistant Editor of The Guardian, who chaired the session. "You will be aware he is standing for the Leadership of the Liberal Democrats and he is going to win," Mr White told the audience of north east business people, quangocrats, academics and civic worthies.

Nick's speech was delivered with his usual self assurance and he handled the questions extremely well, though there was nothing hostile from the floor. He received a hearty round of applause at the end.

We then joined Nick for ham and pease pudding sandwiches plus freshly baked biscuits. It was a chance to see him in action close up. Glyn and I took the opportunity to brief him about the progress we have made in the Redcar Constituency and we outlined our plans for the future, one of which was to secure a visit from him.

I talked to Nick about the Lib Dem Blogsphere and who was supporting who. He seemed most interested and asked me a number of questions between discussions with others on a whole range of topics. He was certainly impressive in how he interacted with people. It has confirmed to me that he is the best choice for Liberal Democrats.

We then went on a long walk around the centre of Newcastle, led by John Shipley whom I have known for about 3o years, since our days in Whitby. Nick was photographed at the Earl Grey statue and we left him at the station for his journey to Buxton, via Sheffield, for his appearance on Question Time tonight.

The full list of supporters to date should be on his website over the weekend.

I hope to publish some pictures later, if Glyn Nightingale manages to download them from his mobile.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Where is your pride of place?

There is still time to vote for your favourite location in the Borough of Redcar and Cleveland as part of a unique online poll to try and prove it deserves Pride of Place.

Redcar and Cleveland Council has posted ten top attractions in the Borough, with Roseberry Topping topping the votes cast so far ahead of Redcar's Kirkleatham Museum and Saltburn's Victorian Cliff Lift on the Pride of Place website, as part of the Government's Connect to your Council campaign.

Other Borough choices are the beaches at Redcar and Saltburn, Huntcliff at Saltburn and the town's Victorian Pier, Winkies Castle Museum on Marske High Street, the Saltburn Smugglers Heritage Centre, the South Tees Motorsports Park.

The Pride of Place poll can be accessed until Friday, November 30 by logging on to the Council's website, and click on the Pride of Place link on the home page.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Shakers end Leeds Wembley dream

Leeds United entertained League 2 side Bury at Elland Road this evening with a much changed team in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

Leon Constantine and Filipe Da Costa made their full debuts and Simon Madden made his first appearance at right back.

Leeds started well with Leon Constantine scoring his first goal for the club in the 8th minute. Bury gained confidence from a headed goal by Ben Futcher on 24 minutes and another from Andy Bishop in the 29th minute.

Da Costa, with his first chance to shine, showed plenty of skill but spoiled all his good work four minutes before half time when he was shown a red card for lashing out at Shakers defender Paul Scott. Shortly afterwards United midfielder, David Prutton went into the book for his fifth yellow card this season, which means he will miss the FA Cup replay against Hereford.

It was one way traffic throughout the second half as Leeds took control of the game in spite of being a man down. Chance after chance after chance came and went with the crowd, of 18,809, sounding like 40,000, urging them on.

It was probably the most exciting match of the season so far and it ends United's hopes of a day out at Wembley but never mind, it is the league that is important this season.

Glynis adds:

We've got trophies and we don't need the paint!

Leeds United 1 Bury 2

Monday, 12 November 2007

Green Council wins apple

Redcar and Cleveland Council in partnership with its highways partner Alfred McAlpine Government Services have won a bronze green apple environmental award at the House of Commons.

The success came in the Building and Construction category of the national Green Apple Awards, now in their 14th year, which highlight best practices in various industries covering environmental initiatives.

McAlpine met the criteria by the selection of environmentally friendly materials and recycling residual waste from both the office and roadworks on site.

Nick Clegg is storming ahead

Nick Clegg has reported that more than 1500 supporters have now signed up to back his bid to become Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

On Facebook too, Nick is in the lead. 'Nick Clegg for Leader' currently has 729 members, whilst Chris Huhne has 316.

The latest big endorsement came last week when Baroness Shirley Williams announced that she was backing Nick.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Up the Railway!

Posted by Chris:

My dream tie for the second round of the FA Cup Leeds United v Harrogate Railway almost came off. Down to the last four balls in the pot and both teams still in the draw, I was sat on the edge of my seat when Leeds United or Hereford United came out. But alas, it was the monkey hangers instead of the Railway.

Harrogate Railway got a home draw against Mansfield Town. It is a real shame Leeds, who have yet to get past Hereford, just missed out playing them. It would have been a huge boost for the coffers of the Railway and a huge game locally.

The Railway play at Station View, Starbeck, where I grew up watching them play, with my dad in the late 1950's and early 1960's before I was old enough to go and watch the mighty Leeds. They had a corrugated iron shelter at the back of one of the goals, which I notice is still there. We used to bang on that like mad and shout "up the Railway." I bet they still do. They also had two old railway carriages that were used as the changing rooms.

One day one of the linesmen failed to turn up and my dad was asked to run the line. He got to go in at half time for a cup of tea and I had to wait outside.

My brother Stephen is the local historian and he writes a weekly 'Starbeck Nostalgia' column in the Harrogate Advertiser series. My mother sent me his recent piece on the history of the Railway. It ended with the hope for a dream tie in the next round at home to Leeds United. "Then we will see where my loyalties lie," he wrote. I know how he feels.

Fiona Hall tops the list for Euro Elections

Fiona Hall MEP tops the list of three North East candidates selected by the Liberal Democrats to contest the Euro Elections in 2009.
1. Fiona Hall
2. Chris Foote-Wood
3. Neil Bradbury
The full list for England can be viewed here.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Leeds fail to tame the Bulls at windy Edgar Street

A windy Edgar Street was the scene of Leeds United's first ever first round FA Cup tie and their first ever match against Hereford United.

The Bulls started well and probably should have had a penalty early on. Leeds withstood the pressure and seemed to take control of the game towards the end of the first half, with a patient short passing game, marshalled by Seb Carole who showed excellent skills.

In the second half it was Hereford who had the most chances and earn a first ever trip to Elland Road for the replay.

Hereford United 0 Leeds United 0

Thursday, 8 November 2007

More chances to have your say

The Redcar and Cleveland Partnership and Redcar and Cleveland Council are organising the Borough's biggest public consultation exercise to get views on its first Sustainable Community Strategy.

The Strategy will set the vision for what Redcar and Cleveland will look like in the future and shape the work and priorities of all the Borough's public service providers.

The next series of dates, venues and times to have your say are:

Monday, November 12: The Book Bus at Rosedale House, Nunthorpe, 4.45pm-6pm.
Tuesday, November 13: Roseberry Library, 1.30pm-3.30pm, Greater Eston Area Committee at Bankfields Primary School, 6pm-7pm.
Wednesday, November 14: Guisborough Library, 1pm-3pm, Kilton Area Committee at Brotton Methodist Church, 6pm-7pm.
Thursday, November 15: Redcar Library, 10am-11.30am and James Finegan Hall, Eston, 4pm-6pm.
Friday, November 16: Skinningrove One Stop Shop Bus, 9.30am-noon.
Saturday, November 17: Redcar Leisure Centre, 11am-1pm.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

True Yorkshire Calendar 2008

The True Yorkshire Calendar 2008 is on sale now. The calendar can be obtained postage free by sending a cheque for £4.00 (which includes postage), made out to the Yorkshire Ridings Society, to:

Yorkshire Ridings Society
39 Essex Close
TS10 4BY

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Cherries picked as Leeds get back to winning ways

Another season's best crowd for a Leeds United away game saw the whites get back to winning ways and put three past lowly Bournemouth.

Tresor Kandol opened the scoring in the 4th minute as Leeds dominated the early stages but the Cherries got a grip of the game as Leeds faded a bit and they pulled one back through Jern Karacan on 37 minutes.

Dennis Wise must have worked his magic during the break because United came out a much better side and took control of the second half. Goals from Seb Carole on 54 minutes and a second for super striker Kandol (86 minutes) put the game beyond Bournemouth.

Back to seventh in League 1, on 23 points, plus 15 nicked by the Football League.

AFC Bournemouth 1 Leeds United 3

Emma has been hit by a car outside school

Posted by Glynis:

Our 12 years old granddaughter Emma has been hit by a car close to her School, St Peter's, at South Bank this morning. We don't have much detail at present but she has head injuries and a broken kneecap.

UPDATE 2.30pm: Emma has had a catscan and they are awaiting results. Her leg isn't broken but the bones are chipped.

UPDATE 8.55pm: I have seen Emma at James Cook Hospital. She has a huge bruise on her head and a great big scrape down her back. They may keep her in a couple more days when they decide what to do as they now think she may have fractured her leg.

Emma can't really remember what happened but her cousin Victoria, who was with her, said that she was crossing the Trunk Road at the junction with Normanby Road (at the green man crossing). A car kept coming, hit Emma, knocked her up in the air and she landed on her face.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Association of British Counties calls for a new name for Durham Unitary Council

The Association of British Counties (ABC), a body which promotes the importance of the historic counties to the culture and heritage of the UK, is calling on local councillors to choose a new name for the Unitary Council which will shortly replace Durham County Council and the 7 district councils within its area.

ABC says that the name 'Durham County Council' or 'County Durham Council' would be inappropriate since the area of the new Unitary Council only covers about 2/3 of historic County Durham and actually excludes a large majority of the population of the historic County. The area of the new Unitary Council covers about 2/3 of historic County Durham but excludes a large majority of the population of the historic county. The Unitary Council will also serve a large area of Yorkshire.

ABC is proposing that a new name such as ‘Central County Durham & Teesdale Council’ or ‘Mid Durham & Teesdale Council’ would better reflect the communities served by the new Unitary Council.

Durham County Council and the 7 District Councils were created on 1st April 1974. The Government recently announced that these councils will be replaced by a single Unitary Council from April 2009.

The relationship of the new Unitary Council to the historic counties of Yorkshire and County Durham is illustrated below. The historic counties are shown as colour filled areas with black boundary lines. The new Unitary Council area is show by red boundary lines.

ABC’s Chairman, Dr. Peter Boyce said: "From our perspective, the unqualified name ‘Durham County Council’, adopted by the council in 1974, has always been inappropriate. Only 1/3 of County Durham folk are served by Durham County Council. The council’s area covers the middle of historic County Durham, but does not include large parts of the south-east and north-east of the county, including major towns and cities Sunderland, Darlington, Hartlepool, Gateshead, Stockton-on-Tees, South Shields and Washington. The creation of the Unitary Council is an opportunity to choose a name which better reflects the communities served by the Unitary Council."

Councillor Chris Abbott, Chairman of the Yorkshire Ridings Society, a member group of ABC, said: "About 1/5 of the area of the new Unitary Council lies in the historic North Riding of Yorkshire. Teesdale is often known as the most northerly of the Yorkshire Dales. The new Unitary Council should be proud to serve this beautiful part of Yorkshire. It should not adopt a name which denies the Yorkshire identity of this area."

Peter Boyce continued: "The historic counties are a key part of our cultural heritage and an important source of identity and affection to many people. Local authorities should not choose names which undermine historic county identities. The new Unitary Council can avoid this by choosing a name which reflects the fact that this council will serve the central part of historic County Durham and that part of Yorkshire in Teesdale. Possible names include 'Central County Durham & Teesdale Council' or 'Mid Durham & Teesdale Council'."

The Association of British Counties is a society which promotes the continuing importance of the historic counties to the culture, geography and heritage of the UK. ABC believes that the establishment of an identity for local government which is distinct from that of the historic counties would be to the advantage of both local government and the historic counties.

Dr Herbert Kay

Posted by Chris:

I attended the funeral of Dr Herbert Kay this morning at Acklam Crematorium. It was a Humanist service which celebrated the life of a much loved Middlesbrough GP.

Herb's wife Jean was my predecessor as leader of the Lib Dem Group on Redcar & Cleveland Council. I met Herb an many occasions when I did electrical work at their house and always enjoyed his witty comments. In retirement Herb converted part of his garage into a joinery workshop and he made many quality pieces of furniture.

His daughter brought a couple of his more quirky pieces to the service and spoke about them. One which she showed was Herb's special leaflet spatula which has been much used by local Lib Dem campaigners for the past few years. Twelve inches long by one and a half inches wide, with a specially shaped handle to allow you to keep hold of it, if grabbed by a dog, this wonderful instrument is a vital health and safety requirement for leafletters.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Leeds Leadership Hustings No 2

Posted by Chris:

For the second time in less than two years we travelled to Leeds to attend the Liberal Democrats Leadership Hustings.
On the way we passed a church, I think it was on Scott Hall Road, which had a yellow dayglow poster outside, displaying the words "Looking for a new Leader."

We have certainly found one.

Held in the impressive Civic Hall, with its two owls perched proudly on two white Portland stone spires, it was nice to be back in a proper Council Chamber. It was standing room only once again as members came from far and wide. I was surprised to see Julia Goldsworthy MP and Chris Rennard present.

We watched Nick Clegg arrive, with his huge entourage, as we sat on the wall outside the entrance. We followed him up the stairs and just as we were about to enter the Chamber the fire alarm went off and we all had to march outside again.

We stayed for the speeches and the first two questions and that was enough to confirm that our choice of Nick Clegg was the right one. I don't want to rubbish Chris Huhne, he is clearly a most able and attractive candidate but Cleggy was by far the most passionate and animated of the two. Chris was well received but his monotone delivery is not as inspiring as the more punchy Nick Clegg.

Judging by the sound and length of applause, whilst we were in the hall, Nick came out the winner by a mile.

Blues smash Mighty Leeds unbeaten record

It had to come sometime and it has looked like happening over the past few games. Leeds United have been beaten in a League 1 game.

If it was going to happen then Carlilse was going to be the place. They are riding high and in front of their largest crowd since 1976 they hit three past sleepy Leeds in the second half. Had it been a game of just one half then Leeds would have been worthy winners with a 27th minute goal from Jermaine Beckford but we have to play well for 90 minutes not 45.

We managed to get back to the car, having come out of the Leeds Lib Dem Leadership Hustings early, to listen to the second half on Radio Leeds on the way home. It was just like last season in the second half depressing and inept. Leeds committing needless fouls and then defending weakly.

We have got to bounce back quickly and the trip to Dean Court to face lowly Bournemouth, in another sell out fixture on Tuesday, becomes a must win game.

Carlisle United 3 Leeds United 1

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Be Enterprising

The Redcar and Cleveland Partnership is organising drop-in sessions to offer information on how to benefit from the Borough's Local Enterprise Growth Initiative.

The sessions, which also offer free creche and refreshments, will tell you how your group might benefit from LEGI's Social Enterprise support, generate more income and make a difference in your community.

Dates, venues and times are on Monday, November 5 at South Bank Women's Centre, from 10am-1pm, Tuesday, November 6 at the Sure Start Children's Centre, Saltburn, from 1pm-4pm and Wednesday, November 7 at Redcar Library, from 4pm-7pm.