Wednesday, 29 October 2008

True Yorkshire Credit Crunch Calendar 2009

The 2009 True Yorkshire Calendar is on sale now, priced at only £1.00. This year's 'credit crunch' version is A5 black and white. It contains East Riding dialect sayings and features villages from all the Ridings throughout. It also notes County days for those counties which have them.

Copies can be ordered as follows from:

YRS Products
39 Essex Close
TS10 4BY
Tel: 01642 487557
Or email: Glynis
Please make cheques payable to Yorkshire Ridings Society and add 34p per order to cover postage.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Action on parking chaos in Corporation Road

Over the past couple of weeks we have taken up residents’ concerns about people attending the new Redcar & Cleveland College and parking in Mersey Road (pictured), Locke Road and Corporation Road, close to the junction.

Below is the latest information on the efforts to resolve the problem quickly:

The works to the college entrance and the junction will be complete by 20th November. Demolition of the existing building, which prevents the old car park from being used, commences on 14th November. This will enable construction of the second half of the car park to be complete by the end of March.

The college has created a temporary car park for approximately 115 cars behind the new building.

Redcar & Cleveland Council is considering implementing waiting restrictions on Locke Road to its junction with Corporation Road. Other measures will be considered if the parking situation is not resolved by the temporary car park within the college site.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Election campaign scoops award

Redcar Liberal Democrats have won the Lib Dem Northern Region's Award for Best Election Campaign for the Kirkleatham Ward By Election.

The award was presented by Hazel Grove MP Andrew Stunell, at a ceremony which took place on Saturday 18th October at the Regional AGM and Conference in Gateshead.

Pictured (above) receiving the Best Election Campaign Award are left to right: Cllr John Hannon, Andrew Stunell MP, Ian Swales and Cllr Chris Abbott.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Lib Dems up from 5th to 2nd in South Bank

Labour have hung on to their South Bank stronghold in the By Election held on 16th October but 18 years old Toni Meir (pictured) moved the Liberal Democrats into second place, up from fifth place at the last Council Elections in May 2007.

Liberal Democrats followed their spectacular victory in Kirkleatham Ward two weeks ago by securing 22.1% of the vote, which is up by 12.3% since May 2007, a swing of 6.45% from Labour to the Lib Dems. The By Election was caused by the resignation of Labour Councillor Pearl Hall. The Tories came last with only 59 votes.

The result.

Marilyn Bramley (Labour).... 652 (49.9; -0.6)
Toni Meir (Liberal Democrat) 288 (22.1; +12.3)
Bernard Collinson (BNP)..... 206 (15.8; +1.4)
Oz Sadiq (Independent..... 101 (7.7; -7.3)
Joan Bolton (Conservative 59 (4.5; -5.8)

Turn out 27.6%
Majority 364
Lab hold
Swing 6.45% Lab to LD
Percentage change is since May 2007
Based on highest placed candidate for each party in 2007.

This result shows the Liberal Democrats are making all the running in Redcar Constituency and are clearly the only alternative to Labour.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

We've picked Opik!

The Abbott family, Chris, Glynis and daughter Kelly, have cast their votes for Lembit Opik in the election for Party President.

The choice wasn't difficult as the other two are totally unknown establishment types and will probably, like current President Simon Hughes, never set foot in Redcar. Lembit last came to support us in Redcar during the 2001 General Election, when he spoke at Stan Wilson's adoption meeting as Parliamentary Candidate.

We like Lembit, he is high profile and is a household name. He was identified as being the most Liberal in the Parliamentary Party and like us he defended Charles Kennedy to the bitter end.

Lembit has worked hard for the Party and he deserves to be President. He is a likeable guy, intellegent and tough when he needs to be.


Redcar and Cleveland Council has invested in a licence to thrill for its spectacular Fireworks Night display on The Stray at Redcar on Wednesday, November 5.

The display, featuring 15,000 aerial fireworks, will be fired off in a secure area on The Stray car park, starting at 7.30pm, against a background of eight James Bond film music scores.

Organiser Steve Illidge, director of Highlight Pyrotechnics, explained: "In the opening sequence, we've got several litres of petrol ejected into the air on fire, creating large rolling balls of flame fired in time to the 007 theme.

"When we play From Russia With Love, there will be huge red hearts appearing in the sky whilst thousands of pink comets are fired over 30 metres into the night sky - it fits beautifully with the tempo of the track.

"The final flourish is Live and Let Die - one of the best tracks for fireworks - and the final salvo is made up from hundreds of brocade shells which will turn the entire sky to silver!"

Other featured soundtracks in the 25-minute display are On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Thunderball, Diamonds Are Forever, Goldfinger, Casino Royale and the latest Bond, Quantum of Solace.

A stretch of the Coast Road will be closed to traffic from 5pm, reopening at approximately 9pm. The Council is organising a free park and ride bus service from the Majuba Road car park, with four 26-seater minibuses starting a shuttle service from 6pm.

Child Poverty figures a disgrace says Ian Swales

New figures released by the Campaign to End Child Poverty show that over half the children in Redcar constituency are growing up in poverty.

Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Redcar, Ian Swales said "these figures are a disgrace. Nine years after Tony Blair pledged to end child poverty in a generation things seem to be going in the other direction.

Studies show that children who grow up in poverty are likely to become poor adults. Social mobility is getting worse through Labour policy decisions. For example the introduction of student tuition fees means fewer children from poorer backgrounds are now going to university.

With the poor paying more of their income in tax than the rich and the gap between poor and rich being wider than under Margaret Thatcher, Labour politicians should hang their heads in shame."

The figure for Redcar constituency is 52%.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Memories of campaigning for the Liberals in Redcar during the early 1960's

We received the following from John Stevens Liberal Candidate for Cleveland in 1964:

Many congratulations on a wonderful result! It set my time clock going!

May I indulge myself in a little flight of memory?

I became PPC for Cleveland in 1960 after helping to form Darlington Young Liberals. Cleveland Division covered Eston Redcar Guisborough Loftus and the Villages down to Hinderwell.

It was fairly lonely at the Parliamentary level but I did kick off the Redcar Liberals on a pretty successful run of local Govt wins - the most surprising of the results that I recall being a very near miss in Dormanstown. Labour had a real fright there as they were used to majorities in the thousands. There were at that time (pre-reorganisation) 6 Town Wards and we won three! This was, I think, in 1962. I lived in Mersey Road (No 126)

One oddity was that I met (at the age of 30) some old boys of 80+ in Eston who had worked for Herbert (Lord) Samuel who was Home Secretary in the great reforming Administration of 1907. I wrote to Lord Samuel who was then very ancient, asking him to the Liberal Annual Dinner in Redcar. He had to decline because of "the infirmities of old age" - I wish I'd kept his letter..... but what a tenous rope of history it all makes!

I polled about 12,000 (17%) which in 1964 was a fairly good result for Libs. (Lab (Tinn) gain from Tory (Proudfoot) My agent was Steve Cooksey from Leeds

Moved South 1965 with my then work and left politics to bring up my family: was a Founder Member of SDP and served 16 years on Colchester BC retiring in 2000 (my wife is Constituency Chairman)

Back in the Sixties a schoolteacher called Hargreaves was Hon Sec: John Fletcher was Chairman (His Dad was N Y CC Chair): My memory for names is not great but one or two of your (very much!) older members may remember our campaigning days in Redcar - there was a good sense of breaking new ground - and Lib Dem progress since the Sixties has been great! Please pass my very good regards to anyone who may have a memory of those days!

And thanks again for that good by-election and for stirring my memory so well!

John Stevens

Partners in action in Newcomen Ward

Redcar and Cleveland Safer Communities Partnership is launching an action-packed week of activities in Redcar's Newcomen ward from Monday, 13th October - with help from police horses, police motorcyclists and the Fire Service.

The 'Not in My Neighbourhood Week' event involves the Council and its partners in a range of activities, including a Bring Out Your Dross (BOYD) invitation as part of a clean-up operation, multi agency patch walks and high visibility patrols from the Council's Community Protection Officers and Police.

The BOYD takes place on 13th October and residents in the following locations can place bulky waste out for free collection between 8.30am and 1.30pm only:

The Meadows
Place unwanted items at the garage site to the rear of 23 The Meadows.
Malham Gill
Please place unwanted items at the kerb side near to your property
ensuring that you do not obstruct the footpath/highway.
Rubble, soil and asbestos will not be collected.

A 'Meet the Partners' day is being organised at Newcomen Primary School on Tuesday 14th October where pupils have the opportunity to meet one of the Council's Anti-social Behaviour officers, the police horses, police motorcyclists and the Fire Service.

The Council is also hoping to raise awareness in the lead-up to Bonfire Night, urging the public to contact Trading Standards on 01287 612490 if they think someone is illegally selling fireworks or raise the alarm if they see a bonfire that needs to be removed by ringing a 24-hour hotline on 0800 0131 357.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Lib Dems condemn Independent support for Labour

Posted by Chris:

Council officials have moved East Cleveland Independent Councillor David Williams’ seat in the Council Chamber over onto the Labour benches.

Liberal Democrats on Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council have urged Councillor Williams to reconsider his decision to join with Labour.

The Labour dominated ruling group on the council lost its majority following a crushing defeat at the hands of the Liberal Democrats at the Kirkleatham byelection last week.

But now Cllr Williams has joined the Labour-dominated ruling group in order to save them.
Cllr Williams was elected last year as a member of the East Cleveland Independent Party to represent the Westworth ward (Charltons, Boosbeck and part of Guisborough). The party ran a heavily-anti-Labour campaign and had an agreement with the Liberal Democrats that the parties would not stand against each other.

With Labour’s support falling by 170 votes in the Guisborough byelection, and crashing through the floor by 16% in Kirkleatham, it is clear that the people of the borough want them out.

Hardly surprising considering they have led the council down from a 4-star “Excellent” rating to merely “Adequate” whilst increasing council tax by the maximum they could get away with.

If Cllr Williams thinks that propping up a failed Labour administration is what the voters of Westworth put him there to do, then he has badly misjudged the situation. I urge him to reconsider.

Redcar Council has £6m in Icelandic banks

In response to a question by Lib Dem Councillor Irene Curr, Redcar and Cleveland Council's Labour Leadership have issued the following statement:

Redcar and Cleveland Council is one of a number of councils that has deposited money with Icelandic banks.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources Councillor Peter Scott said: "There will be no immediate difficulties for the Council as a result of the banks' collapse.

"This is, of course, an unwelcome development, and the position is still unclear but there is no immediate detrimental impact to Council services.

"I strongly support the Local Government Association's call to the Government to guarantee Redcar and Cleveland's cash thus avoiding any negative effects on our taxpayers, and I shall be working closely with our officers to that end."

The Council has £6m with two Icelandic banks - £4m is not due to be repaid until February and £2m in May, 2009.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Lib Dems storm to victory in Kirkleatham Ward

Liberal Democrats have won the Kirkleatham Ward By Election for Redcar and Cleveland Council putting control on a knife edge.

The Labour/Independent Coaliton have now lost their majority on the 59 seat Council.

Lib Dem Candidate, John Hannon (pictured front/centre), stormed to victory, by taking the seat from Labour with a majority of 545 votes. The full result is as follows:

John Hannon (Lib Dem) - 1031
Paul Dixon (Lab)............... 486
Brian Mundy (Con)............ 204
Dawn Castle BNP............. 106
Turnout 36.8%

Composition of the Council now is:
Labour 27 (with by election on 16th October in Labour ward).
Lib Dem 14
Conservative 11
Independent supporting Labour 2
Independent 5