Thursday, 31 January 2008

Council clamp down on fly tippers

Fly tippers have been issued with instant £50 fines after a targeted clean-up of the back streets in South Bank by Redcar and Cleveland Council.

Over a tonne of rubbish was cleared in the operation by the Council's area supervisors, working with Community Protection Officers, to tackle the ongoing problem with fly tipping and dumped rubbish.

The collection included two fridges, two freezers, four mattresses, four dining chairs, a hot drinks machine, a Christmas tree, two TVs, two three-piece suites, three carpets, a gas bottle and 74 bags of domestic waste.

As well as clearing the rubbish, the taskforce also collected evidence and were able to visit two homes to issue the fixed penalty notices, with another nine homes under investigation after 184 leaflets to homes around the alleyways were alerted to the clean-up.

The advice leaflet pointed out that household waste should only be presented at the rear of the property, no earlier than 7pm the day before collection and the wheelie bin returned no later than 7pm the same day.

It also promoted the Council's free junk collection service for single items, such as a three piece suite, bed or fridge and gave information on the Authority's Household Waste Recycling Centres at Warrenby and Dunsdale.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Blues win sees Leeds slip to sixth

Leeds United started well with two chances on target, in the first two minutes, by Neil Kilkenny and David Prutton. But stand in goalkeeper David Lucas was called into action in the 4th minute to block a shot from Southend's Mark Gower.

A shot by Andy Hughes on 23 minutes was the only other real chance United had in the first half. Play was end to end but Southend created more chances and Leeds, at times, appeared unsure and unsafe at the back.

Then on 40 minutes a foul by Jermaine Beckford earned a free kick for the Blues. It was taken by Steven Hammell from 25 yards out, blocked by Lucas but it fell to Southend's Lee Barnard who tipped the ball home from six yards, 0-1.

Southend came out for the second half with even more confidence and looked the stronger side.

Leeds first and only really good chance came on the hour when Tresor Kandol missed a sitter from six yards.

Stand in coach Gwyn Williams made his first substitution on 67 minutes when he brought on Seb Carole to replace Peter Sweeney.

Prutton was replaced by Tore Andre Flo on 80 minutes and Bradley Johnson came on for Kilkenny with 7 minutes to go.

Leeds did little more following Kandol's miss and only good saves by Lucas prevented further punishment by the Blues.

We can only hope that Gary McAllister will grab this lacklustre team by the scruff of the neck and turn things around, starting at home to Tranmere on Saturday.

Attendance 9815

Southend United 1 Leeds United 0

McAllister confirmed as new Leeds Manager

Gary McAllister is the new manager of Leeds United reports the club website.

Bassett and Gannon follow Wise out of Elland Road

The Yorkshire Evening Post reports that Leeds United's Assistant Manager Dave (Bertie) Bassett and Coach John Gannon left the club. They just had time to say goodbye as the team made their way onto the coach from Tottenham Hotspur's training ground to Roots Hall for their game against Southend tonight.

Obviously the decks are being cleared for the new manager to bring in a fresh new team. Technical director, Gwyn Williams will take change of the team for tonight's match.

Gary McAllister will do

Posted by Chris:

The news that Gary McAllister is in talks with Ken Bates about becoming the new Leeds United manager is not unexpected and will prove very popular with supporters.

A Motherwell lad who was awarded the OBE in 2001, for services to football, was a great asset to United as a player but his experience as a manager at Coventry was short, due to his wife's illness, and not very successful. He started well but not long after winning Manager of the Month his short spell ended having lost more games than he won. Gary's wife sadly died in March 2006 from breast cancer.

Monday, 28 January 2008

John Sheridan should be Leeds new manager

Posted by Chris:

So farewell then Dennis Wise you have certainly made a mockery of the Beckford "What shirt am I wearing bruv" moral booster.

In my opinion the man to manage the mighty whites now is former Leeds favourite John Sheridan. He is much more articulate than Wise and masterminded Oldham's demolition of Leeds at Elland Road recently.

Dennis never really won the hearts of Leeds fans and the decline in the playing fortunes of the club since Gus Poyet left has been noticable.

Labour cuts to hit women and children first

Labour’s budget cuts will hit women and children first Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council.

The Labour-run council is proposing to cut £50,000 from its grants to voluntary organisations budget managed by the Area Management Department. Much of this fund goes to organisations that provide support to children and vulnerable women.

Among the organisations that could be worse off is the Playgroup Network, which provides advice and training for pre-school groups on Teesside.

Another is EVA Women’s Aid, which gives support to women and children whose lives have been affected by domestic violence in the South Tees area.

Labour have found £125,000 to redecorate a Town Hall which will soon have to be demolished, but are cutting £50,000 from grants to excellent, grass-roots voluntary organisations.

Labour’s priorities are all wrong.

Views wanted on Redcar Lane road safety plans

Redcar and Cleveland Council is inviting hundreds of Redcar residents to give their views on road safety proposals aimed at cutting the accident rate along the town's Redcar Lane.

Letters are being sent to 600 homes around Redcar Lane outlining details of a planned £60,000 Casualty Reduction Scheme, which are on display in Redcar Central Library and Laburnum Road library from Monday, February 4 until Friday, February 22.

Improvements would include vehicle-activated signs, urging motorists to slow down, safer crossing points away from junctions, a central pedestrian refuge outside Borough Park and narrowing the carriageway near the junctions of both Victoria Avenue and Queensland Avenue.

Figures show that there have been 33 injury accidents along Redcar Lane between 2002 and 2006 making it the Borough's second worst accident blackspot.

Investigations reveal that there are no common causes for the accidents along the 2.6 kilometre stretch, which have been mostly clustered around the junctions. The breakdown is 2002: six, 2003: six, 2004: seven, 2005: eight, 2006: six.

*Approval has already been given for a £70,000 Casualty Reduction Scheme for the B1380, the road with the Borough's worst accident record, which recorded a total of 67 injury accidents over the last five years.

Work on the 4.3 kilometre stretch from the Greystones roundabout to the Borough boundary is expected to start in March.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Hatters snatch last gasp equaliser to deny Leeds victory

Leeds United's mini two match away excursion, to play the two clubs who were relegated with the whites at the end of last season, started with a visit to the depressing Kenilworth Road to play Luton Town, after a depressing week following the defeat at Elland Road by Doncaster.

The Hatters had most of the possession in the first period of the game and United had to wait until the 12th minute to get their first chance. Tresor Kandol, from 20 yards out, lobbed a cross by Peter Sweeney over the Luton goalkeeper and over the bar as well.

A foul. on 27 minutes, by Luton's Chris Perry on Jermaine Beckford resulted in a free kick for Leeds 25 yards out. Sweeney sent in a sweet left footer which found the head of Paul Huntington who made no mistake and United were ahead, 1-0.

The goal settled things down, though there was trouble in the stands. Leeds began to see more of the ball and ended the half still 1-0 in front. Luton had the most chances but failed to make them count.

The Hatters began the second half the stronger team and an injury to Casper Ankergran, with no goalie on the bench, made it a very nervous second half.

Dean Morgan, who almost joined Leeds a few weeks ago, came on for Darren Currie in the 67th minute and Luton kept pressing.

Leeds created few chances and Tore Andre Flo came on for Beckford in the 85th minute.

United held on until the dying seconds when a cross by Morgan produced a headed goal by Sam Parkin from 12 yards out, 1-1.

They now stay in the area for the game against Southend at Roots Hall on Tuesday.

What happened to that winning team that started the season a few months ago?

Attendance 9297 (1800 Leeds)

Luton Town 1 Leeds United 1

Friday, 25 January 2008

Time to get your bus pass from the library

All current Redcar and Cleveland pass holders, and those who qualify and want a new bus pass, can register at special sessions in Redcar and Guisborough libraries next month for the new National Bus Pass issued for April 1.

Already, nearly 20,000 people have applied for new passes after a series of registration sessions in November.

If you do not currently have a bus pass, but will qualify between now and March 31, you can also register, but you will also need to bring proof of your date of birth.If you attend these extra sessions, you will need to bring proof of residence within the Borough, such as a recent bill showing your address and your current bus pass.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Cycle to the station and keep your bike safe

Redcar and Cleveland Council is making it easier to leave the car at home and let the train take the installing new cycle lockers at Redcar Central station.

The six new improved lockers, replacing the originals which were the victim of vandalism, have been funded with £6,000 from the Council's Local Transport Plan budget.

They are available for hire at £1 a week, along with six lockers at Saltburn station, six at Marske station and four at Longbeck station.

To rent a locker, contact the Council on 08456 126 126.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Atonement up for seven Oscars

Atonement, the big screen blockbuster that Redcar helped to make, has been nominated for seven Oscars.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Determined Donny outplay Leeds at Elland Road

Doncaster Rovers first league visit to Elland Road for more than 50 years started with Donny, unbeaten in the last 16 games, full of confidence and looking like they were here to make a match of it.

In a nice pre-match gesture the Doncaster Chairman laid a wreath at the foot of Billy Bremner's statue.

It was rapid end to end play for the first 20minutes with Donny equal in terms of possession. Then a foul by Paul Huntington, 12 yards from the Leeds goal line was easily converted by Brian Stock, 0-1.

United began to get more of a grip on the game but seemed to be short of ideas up front. Three Leeds corners in the dying minutes of the first half failed to bring the vital goal and Donny held on to their deserved 1-0 lead.

Matt Heath came on for the injured Darren Kenton at the start of the second half. Rovers won their first corner straight from the kick off.

United's first chances of the second half came when Jermaine Beckford and Bradley Johnson had attempts on goal missed.

Tore Andre Flo was replaced by Tresor Kandol on 53 minutes. With Donny dominating the game, Dennis Wise sent on Curtis Weston to replace Niel Kilkenny on 71 minutes.

United could hardly get a kick of the ball and were being outplayed by Doncaster. They reverted to route one football but few chances came and Donny ran in well deserved winners.

Leeds drop down to fifth place in League One as Rovers move up into forth.

Attendance 31,402.

Leeds United 0 Doncaster Rovers 1

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Becks "what shirt am I wearing bro?" PC wallpaper

The Evening Post's new Leeds United PC wallpaper, features the comments made by Jermaine Beckford, during Monday night's post match interview on Sky TV, when he was asked about Derby County's interest in him.

Here it is, plus a 15 point head start version:

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Eco-Park plans receive £2.5million funding

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council is celebrating confirmation of £2.5million Single Programme funding from One NorthEast, the Regional Development Agency, for the construction of access and highway improvements to serve the first-ever Tees Valley 'Eco-Park'.

Working in partnership with Renew Tees Valley Ltd and Tees Valley Regeneration, the Council is planning an Eco-Park on a 53 hectare site off the A66 at South Bank to breathe new life into a derelict former steelworks site and potentially provide a new base for up to 20 renewables and recycling industry companies, creating up to 500 new jobs for the area.

Work is expected to begin by March in a phased development that will take place over several years.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Beckford rises above the Alex to make it two in a row for Leeds

A rare treat these days, a live showing on Sky TV of Leeds United's third ever visit to Gresty Road to take on Crewe Alexandra.

Dennis Wise handed debuts to Darren Kenton and Peter Sweeney, whilst another new recruit, Bradley Johnson, gained a place on the bench.

United dominated the early stages with over 60% of the possession in windy conditions and had three early chances, the nearest coming in the 3rd minute, when an Andy Hughes header hit the bar.

Crewe came close only once in the first twenty minutes but striker Nicky Maynard was looking dangerous up front.

On 36 minutes Jermaine Beckford rose high for a long cross from Sweeney and with the giant Crewe goalie bearing down on him Beckford seemed to hang in the air as he directed the ball into the net, 1-0.

Leeds ended the first half with their lead intact. They dominated most of the half and restricted Crewe to the single chance.

Early in the second half the Alex were lucky to avoid a penalty as a shot by Frazer Richardson was deflected off the line by the arm of Crewe defender, Ben Rix. It went unseen by the referee who awarded Leeds a corner.

New boy Bradley Johnson came on for David Prutton in the 70th minute. Tore Andre Flo was replaced by Tresor Kandol in the 76th minute.

United retained around 60% of the possession and the new signings looked good. Beck's goal was his 16th in the league this season but, surprisingly, the first with his head.

Attendance 6771 (1995 from Leeds)

Crewe Alexandra 0 Leeds United 1

How to find a route to employment

Redcar and Cleveland Council's Routes to Employment Team, who have helped nearly 400 people find work over the last nine months, is setting up new courses for residents looking for advice and guidance on training and employment.

The training programmes will give help for those who have been out of work for some time or looking to start work for the first time as well as training in letter and cv writing and how to approach an interview.

There are still places available on the first of these employability courses which runs for five days from Monday, January 28 at the South Tees Skills Centre on Grangetown's Bolckow Road Industrial Estate.

The Team is also planning three Site Safety Passport Courses, at venues to be confirmed in Grangetown on Monday, January 21 and Tuesday, January 22, in Redcar on Wednesday, February 6 and Thursday, February 7 and in Skelton on Monday, February 18 and Tuesday, February 19.

Training is free to unemployed residents looking to get into work but places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment. For more details, an informal chat or to make an appointment contact the Team on 01642 442950.

Sporting chances at half-term

Redcar and Cleveland Council's Sports Development Team is organising a series of multi-sports days during the schools' half-term holiday in February.

Anyone aged eight-16 can come to the sessions, led by qualified coaches from local sports clubs, which involve coaching followed by games, with activities ranging from basketball, athletics and rugby.

Each session, from 10am-3pm, is £3 a day. Booking is essential and places are limited. For more information, contact Louise Sherrington on 01642 496441 or Stuart Smith on 01642 496428 at the Sports Development base, Kirkleatham Museum, The Pavilion, Redcar, TS10 5NW

Dates and venues are:

Monday, February 18 and Tuesday, February 19 at Rye Hills School, Redcar.
Wednesday, February 20 at St Peter's RC School, South Bank.
Thursday, February 21 and Friday, February 22 at Laurence Jackson School, Guisborough

Labour Cabinet proposes stringent cuts in services but has plenty to spend on Town Hall that is due for demolition

Spending £125,000 on the soon to be demolished Redcar & Cleveland Town Hall and Finegan Hall, whilst making stringent cuts in public services is like putting new tyres on a car just to tow it to the scrapyard.

The Council's Labour cabinet have done just that at a time when they are faced with slashing millions of pounds from the Council's budget.

What do the Labour Cabinet think they are playing at? According to the latest Cabinet Business papers, to be considered at the Cabinet meeting on 22nd January, they plan to include the following popular public services as part of a series of cuts totaling £5.5m:
  • Slash £112.700 from the Library service
  • increase the charge for junk jobs from £10 to £15
  • remove all bring sites
  • end the 'bring out your dross' scheme
  • slash maintenance on play equipment
  • introduce charges for green box replacement
  • cease winter flower bedding
  • reduce funding for supporting people and housing efficiency
  • cut grants to voluntary organisations

The former Coalition spent four years building up and improving public services, which earned us four star excellent status, but within one year the Labour Council are poised to wreck much of this good work with stringent cuts in public services that will surely send the Council back to the bad old pre-Coalition days when we were a failing Council.

UPDATE 15/1/08: We have received an anonymous comment referring to the allegations of a £12million black hole in the council's funding that the Labour leader claimed was left by the Lib Dem led Coalition in office until May last year. This claim was retracted a couple of days later and a full account can be read here.

We have not published the comment because it contains what we consider may be libelous remarks. As pointed out many times before, we are not prepared to publish anonymous comments which we consider are offensive about anyone, including ourselves. Nor do we publish comments from fake names either. On more than one occasion we have received comments from people using the same fake names that we see regularly in the Evening Gazette letters page.

Golden Globe awards for Atonement

The film which put Redcar on the map has won two awards at the 65th annual Golden Globe awards.

Atonement, which features the transformation of Redcar beach into 1940s Dunkirk, picked up the Best Picture and the Best Original Score.

The film will be released as a DVD next month and will include a feature on how Redcar was transformed.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Refurbishment of Moore Street Toilets to get under way

Work will begin week commencing 14 January 2008 on the refurbishment of Moore Street Toilets in Redcar.

As part of the scheme, the toilet cubicles will be reduced to 50% of the current number (as this toilet block was constructed before the additional Bandstand Toilets and are never fully occupied). This will help reduce the potential for future vandalism and maintenance costs. The refurbishment work will include improved facilities to meet the current Disability
Discrimination Act requirements.

It is anticipated that the external disabled facility will be ready for Easter 2008 with a completion target date of April 2008 for the remaining refurbishment work.

The Bandstand Toilets will remain open 7 days a week during the building period and notification will placed at Moore Street advising the public of the alternative Bandstand facility.

Best ever GCSE results again this year

Redcar & Cleveland has once again achieved its best-ever GCSE success rate. 52.9 per cent of students achieved A*-C grades in any subject and the schools' best performance for students passing five A*-G grades, with a 91 per cent success.

Last year's figure, also a best ever, was 50.6%.

The 2007 results of the Borough's pupils at 11 secondary schools, achieving five A*-C grades, with 2005 and 2006 in brackets, are:

Bydales, Marske 53 (05 - 48, 06 - 57), Eston Park 58 (05 - 44, 06 - 46), Freebrough 38 (05 - 29, 06 - 28), Gillbrook 30 (05 - 21, 06 - 34), Huntcliff 63 (05 - 54, 06 - 67), Laurence Jackson 61 (05 - 68, 06 - 59), Nunthorpe 74 (05 - 70, 06 - 70), Redcar Community College 47 (05 - 44, 06 - 43), Rye Hills 53 (05 - 47, 06 - 45), Sacred Heart 58 (05 - 61, 06 - 65), St Peter's RC 39 (05 - 37, 06 - 35).

Indian Cookery

Would you like to impress your friends with your culinary expertise?

Redcar & Cleveland Council's Adult Education Department have an Indian Cookery course (10 weeks) commencing Tuesday 8 January 2008, 6.00-8.00 pm at Redcar Education Development Centre, Corporation Road.

For more information about the course or fees please ring 01642 490409.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

How safe is your vehicle this winter?

Redcar and Cleveland Council's Road Safety Team is offering a helping hand to motorists with free advice at drop-in winter car clinics - and hope they get the message.

The first series of three clinics in December checked on a total of 163 cars, with disappointing results, including 14 cars found with illegal tyres, 44 with road light bulbs not working and 157 cars in need of a significant windscreen wash.

Now the Council is hoping for an improvement at two more free drop-in sessions at Asda car park, South Bank on Friday, January 18 and the Windy Hill Lane car park at Marske on Friday, January 25, both from 10am-3pm.

The team's free check will look at road lights, tyre tread depth, examine windscreen wiper blades for efficiency, check windscreen wash reservoir levels and top up if required and confirm any child seats are fitted correctly

Monday, 7 January 2008

2008 US Presidential Matching Quiz

Hat tip to No Geek is an Island for drawing our attention to this quiz, which helps you select the candidate in the US Presidential Election who is most matched to your views. Actually we both prefer Barack Obama and if we had to have a Republican favourite it would be Rudy Giuliani. This is how it came out based on the quiz:

Chris's result:

82% Barack Obama
79% Hillary Clinton
78% Dennis Kucinich
77% Joe Biden
77% Bill Richardson
76% John Edwards
76% Chris Dodd
75% Mike Gravel
49% Rudy Giuliani
41% John McCain
28% Mitt Romney
27% Mike Huckabee
24% Ron Paul
18% Fred Thompson
17% Tom Tancredo

Glynis's result:

74% Hillary Clinton
74% John Edwards
73% Barack Obama
68% Joe Biden
66% Bill Richardson
64% Chris Dodd
63% Dennis Kucinich
60% Mike Gravel
50% John McCain
46% Mitt Romney
43% Rudy Giuliani
39% Mike Huckabee
39% Fred Thompson
38% Tom Tancredo
22% Ron Paul
2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Crime Prevention Advice

Cleveland Police crime reduction officer Ian Solomon will give crime prevention advice at Roseberry library, Redcar on Tuesday, January 8, from 1.30pm-3.30pm and Ormesby library on Thursday, January 10m from 10am-noon.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

A much improved United clobber the Cobblers

Leeds United made five changes for the game against Northampton Town. Amongst them were new signing, Aussie International, Neil Kilkenny, making his debut and striker Tore Andre Flo, who started the game in place of Tresor Kandol.

With the crowd subdued for the first 20 minutes United had 65-75% of the possession without any real chances. The Cobblers seemed content with defending and the first real chance fell in the 22nd minute when a shot by Flo from 12 yards was cleared off the line.

Former Birmingham midfielder, Kilkenny, who looked good when he played on loan for Oldham against Leeds on Tuesday, impressed with his intellegent passing and showed he had already been working on free kick set pieces during his first couple of days at Thorp Arch.

As half time approached the whites were up to 80% possession. Frazer Richardson got the ball, in the 43rd minute, ran half the length of the pitch, flipped past three players and blasted a low shot into the back of the net from 20 yards, 1-0.

Seb Carole replaced the injured Ian Westlake at the start of the second half.

A corner by Kilkenny on 51 minutes found Rui Marques who headed in from 12 yards, 2-0.

The Cobblers began to throw a bit of caution to the wind and began to gain possession, with two up front instead of one, which had been the game plan in the first half. Their first and only real chance came in the 62nd minute when Ian Henderson volleyed over the bar from 12 yards.

Leeds, hoping for a clean sheet, remained on top and Beckford had a shot cleared from the line in the 72nd minute and hit the bar on 74 minutes.

Flo was replaced by Kandol in the 76th minute.

Nothing would go in for Beckford. Three more shots from the super striker were saved and another hit the bar in a three minute period from the 77th minute.

Curtis Weston came on for David Prutton in the last minute and scored with his first touch from 12 yards, 3-0.

Leeds deserved their win and were much improved from Tuesday but Northampton were weak opposition. Kilkenny did exceptionally well in his first game for the club and young Paul Huntingdon, making his first league start, looked very impressive. Could this be the start of a fresh run of victories?

Attendance 24,472.

Leeds United 3 Northampton Town 0.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Recycling News

Redcar & Cleveland Council's new Waste & Recycling Calendar 2008/2009 together with a roll of clear plastic bags will be delivered to all households during January.

Programme of deliveries:

Zone 1 w/c 7th January
Zone 2 w/c 14th January
Zone 3 w/c 21st January
Zone 4 w/c 28th January

Each household will be provided with a roll of 30 clear plastic bags, these bags are for the purpose of recycling cardboard and plastic.

Hessian sacks are to be replaced with clear plastic bags – this is due to the high number of reported lost hessian sacks and the problems experienced with windblown litter. Due to the light weight of the bag and its content and the difficulty in securing the content, the plastic bottles and cardboard often end up strewn across the street which has a negative impact on the local environment.

In addition to this the council have to commit extra resources to remove the litter. The clear bags have been trialled with a number of households and proved to be very successful - the overall satisfaction rate was 92%. Residents who are still in possession of a hessian sack can continue to use it, however if the sack is lost/missing then they need to start using the clear plastic bags as the hessian sack will not be replaced.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Latics lash Leeds with three first half goals

A low key start, with rain falling and the crowd (25,906) subdued, Oldham dominated the early stages led by Chris Taylor who went off with a leg injury on 18 minutes, to be replaced by Deane Smalley.

This seemed to wake up the crowd but the Latics looked like they wanted a goal and they got one in the 27th minute when Reuban Hazell volleyed in a right foot shot from 25 yards, 0-1.

Oldham continued to press and seemed better than Leeds in every department. This was illustrated when Leeds had to defend a corner on 36 minutes and failed to prevent Neal Trotman heading in from 12 yards, 0-2.

The nightmare continued when a cross from Oldham's Craig Davies was deflected into the net by Leeds midfielder, Andy Hughes, 0-3.

At the start of the second half Leeds brought on strikers Leon Constantine for Radostin Kishishev and Tore Andre Flo for Seb Carole and within seconds of the re-start, Constantine, with his first touch of the ball, converted a cross from Jermaine Beckford at close range, 1-3.

Ben Parker came on for the injured Alan Thompson on 55 minutes.

Oldham held their game and withstood pressure from the powerful Leeds strike force. A goal by Tresor Kandol was ruled offside but nothing United did could make up the first half deficit and they went down to their first home defeat of the season.

It is truly turning out to be a dreadful Christmas period for the whites.

Leeds United 1 Oldham Athletic 3