Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Who owns Leeds United?

Today's Guardian has a story about the growing mystery surrounding the ownership of Leeds United.

Once again Liberal Democrat MP, Phil Willis, has risked the wrath of Ken Bates matchday programme notes by calling for a Football League investigation into the ownership of the club:

"Leeds United is a fantastic football club whose loyal and dedicated supporters have stuck by it through thick and thin," Willis said yesterday. "They have a right to know who owns their club and that those people are fit and proper. The Football League must revisit this case to ensure that its rules, that owners must be passed as fit and proper, have been met."

Ken Bates needs to act quickly to avoid this issue dragging on. It is clearly not going to go away and the failure to clear up the confusion over who really owns the Mighty Whites only adds to the concern and speculation.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


Redcar and Cleveland's Children and Young People’s Trust is offering advice on how to manage the family Christmas budget in the credit crunch.

A host of experts will be on hand to give financial advice, particularly for anyone who has been made redundant or whose job may be at risk at three sessions next week.

There will be representatives from the Redcar & Cleveland Moneytree Credit Union, Job Centre Plus, Routes to Employment, Funding for training, Coast and Country Housing, Citizens Advice Bureau, Welfare Rights, Redcar and Cleveland Financial Inclusion Team, Redcar and Cleveland Energy Management Team, Redcar and Cleveland One Stop Shop Team. Sure Start and the Family Information Services.

Dates and venues for the sessions, all open from 10am-6pm and set up with funding from the NHS Trust:

Monday, October 5 at Loftus Co-Op building.

Wednesday, October 7 at James Finegan Hall, Eston.

Friday, October 9 at Coatham Memorial Hall, Redcar.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Ian Swales on the Politics Show

Liberal Democrat prospective MP for Redcar, Ian Swales, has appeared on the BBC Politics Show criticising the new Regional Grand Committee. The Committee met in Middlesbrough last Friday and is an attempt to bring Parliament out of Westminster into the regions.

Ian said:
"It was an interesting bit of theatre but contributed little to the Government of the region. The fact that only 14 of the regions 30 MP's bothered to turn up shows that it is already low in their priorities right from the start.

"The Committee also shows the absurdity of the first past the post electoral system. Full attendance would have seen 28 Labour MP's and just 1 Liberal Democrat and 1 Conservative at the Committee. The recent European elections were held under a fair voting system and the region returned 1 Labour, I Conservative and 1 Liberal Democrat to Brussels.

"Finally I would question the wisdom of adding to the cost of running Parliament and taking a large number of police away from their normal duties. When so many of our local front line services such as social workers, neighbourhood police and the probation service are making cutbacks it seems insensitive to bring this show into town."

Friday, 25 September 2009


Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council is welcoming the Northern Dales Farmers' Market to Redcar High Street, for the final time in 2009 on Thursday 1st October.

The market will be open between 9am and 4pm, there will be a range of high quality, locally produced products including pork, beef, lamb, pies, vegetables, herbs and plants.

Thursday, 24 September 2009


Residents in Redcar and Cleveland are being let down by the swine flu arrangements.

Those needing Tamiflu are expected to go to either Stockton or Whitby to pick up the drug.

Liberal Democrat prospective MP for Redcar has personal experience. He said: “I had some flu symptons and rang the help line. After a long pre-recorded introduction I was put through to two of the staff arguing between themselves and they couldn't hear me. Eventually I got through and was given all the help I needed. However I was amazed to be told that I had to nominate a "buddy" to go all the way to Teesdale in Stockton to pick up the Tamiflu. The pharmacy is only open between 2pm and 6pm. The nearest public transport is at Thornaby railway station which is over 10 minutes walk away for a fit person.

"Many residents will have problems with these arrangements especially those who are elderly or infirm. Not everyone knows someone who could spend most of an afternoon travelling to Stockton and back.

"It's unbelievable that Redcar and Cleveland Primary Care Trust has not provided a single pick up point.”

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Catch Swine Flu in Redcar and travel miles for medication

We learned today that people in Redcar suffering from Swine Flu have to send a buddy to Stockton or Whitby for their Tamiflu medication.

There used to be a flu bank at Guisborough and other local centres but these closed when the outbreak tailed off. But it is increasing again and suffers are not allowed to collect their medication themselves they have to find a buddy to go for them. The nearest place Stockton is a 30-mile round trip.

We are contacting the PCT to press for a local facility to be re-opened.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Stunning royal jewels discovered and saved for the North East thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund

Stunning royal jewels discovered and saved for the North East thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund

The Heritage Lottery Fund has today awarded £274,400 to help Redcar and Cleveland Council showcase the life and death of a royal Saxon princess,whose grave was uncovered in an East Cleveland farmer's field. A collection of rare Anglo- Saxon jewellery that was found at the grave in Streethouse, Loftus will now be kept and displayed at the Kirkleatham Museum.

Some of the pieces from the collection are associated with a rare Anglo-Saxon ‘bed burial’ in which a female body is laid out on a decorated wooden bed accompanied by fine gold jewellery. Due to its rarity, this find is of huge national importance, and these finds are unparalleled across the Anglo-Saxon world.

As well as the acquisition, the project will also create a new Anglo-Saxon gallery in the Kirkleatham Museum. This will be home to an interpretation of Anglo-Saxon life in the area and of the Streethouse finds; a reconstruction of the burial bed and the newly acquired objects will take pride of place on display. Other elements of the project will include a touring exhibition, learning and outreach activity and volunteering opportunities, these will enable the collection to be seen and appreciated by local residents and visitors alike.

Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in the North East Ivor Crowther said:

“These rare finds are a spectacular insight into the lives of the people who lived in the region long ago. This is the only discovery of this kind and of this calibre in the North East and it is really important that we keep the pieces here for local residents and visitors to come and admire. The jewellery will provide an excellent learning tool and thrilling museum exhibition. By providing volunteering and work placement opportunities, the project provides tangible historical and archaeological skills that can be used for future job and learning possibilities. We are delighted to have been able to largely support this project and are excited to witness the development of the plans.”
These sorts of burials are extremely unusual with only 12 recorded in the country and none recorded in the North East making it hugely important for the heritage of the region and the country. The jewellery was discovered by archaeologist Steve Sherlock with the help of the Teesside Archaeological Society.

The pieces are of such high quality that it is widely believed to be a royal burial ground which adds to the wonderful story behind the jewels. The cemetery at Street House has five high status female graves and one sword burial, with the stunning finds thought to date from the second half of the seventh century (after AD 650). During this time the Northumbrian royal family was being established in and around the smaller areas of Bernicia, north of the Tees and Deira across Yorkshire.

Alan Pearce, Museums Curator for Kirkleatham Museum at Redcar said:

“I am absolutely delighted with this award which recognises the quality of the objects and the unique story of a princess and her royal bed burial in East Cleveland. We can now conserve and research the jewels and create a stunning exhibition to enable everyone to appreciate and get close to them. The exhibition will open before Easter 2011 and will include state of the art virtual touch technology and an exciting community outreach programme. I am enormously grateful to everyone who has contributed to this project to enable us to secure these very rare and precious finds for Kirkleatham museum."


Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council is currently undertaking Statutory Consultation on its Building Schools for the Future plans.

The consultation which runs until Sunday 25th October, focuses on the following proposals:

*to discontinue Gillbrook College and expand Eston Park School

*to discontinue St Peter’s Catholic College of Maths and Computing, South Bank and expand Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided School – A Specialist Science College, Redcar

*to discontinue Freebrough Specialist Engineering College. An Academy at Freebrough is planned. This will be subject to a proposal by the Secretary of State. This will not affect the day to day operation of the College. A full and thorough consultation process about the Academy will take place next month.

Have your say at one of the following drop-in sessions:

Expansion of Eston Park School: Wednesday 23rd September, at James Finegan Hall, Eston, 4pm-6pm and Wednesday 14th October, at City Learning Centre, Eston, 5pm-7pm.

Catholic provision in Redcar and Cleveland: Wednesday 30th September, at James Finegan Hall, Eston, 4pm-6pm and Wednesday 21st October, at Sacred Heart RC School, Redcar, 5pm-7pm.

An Academy at Freebrough: Wednesday 7th October, at Freebrough Specialist Engineering College, Brotton, 5pm-7pm.

The full consultation document is available on the Council's website, follow the link from the homepage.


Redcar and Cleveland Council is ready to start maintenance work on stretches of four major roads across the Borough, including grass cutting, gully cleaning, sign maintenance, street lighting maintenance, litter picking and road repairs.

The timetable for the weekend working, which will involve lane closures, but no road closures, is:

A171 Swans Corner Roundabout to Guisborough Road Roundabout: Saturday, October 3 - fast lanes, Sunday, October 4 - slow lanes.

A1085 ICI West Gate to Kirkleatham Lane: Saturday, October 10 - slow lanes, Sunday, October 11 - fast lanes.

A174 Greystones Roundabout to Redcar Lane Roundabout: Saturday, October 17 - fast lanes, Sunday, October 18 - slow lanes.

A66 Cargo Fleet lane to ICI West Gate: Saturday, October 24 - slow lanes, Sunday, October 25 - fast lanes.

Friday, 18 September 2009

One rule for us and another for Redcar's Labour leader

Those people who have received a notice under their windscreen wiper informing them they should park properly in Redcar & Cleveland Town Hall Car Park will be interested to see this picture of the Council's Labour leader parked in a prohibited area right next to the Town Hall entrance.

Councillor George (I'm and ex steel worker - save our steel) Dunning's foreign car was parked all morning without getting a notice put on it.

Peeping through the window, on the left, is George's sidekick deputy leader Sheelagh Clarke who almost blew a gasket in the lobby because we dared to take a picture of the car.

Lib Dems move closer in South Bank

Steven Abbott (third left) with Glynis and some of the Campaign team after the Count.

Our lad Steven improved the Lib Dem vote, on a lower turnout in Labour's safest seat to move within 88 votes of winning South Bank ward in yesterday's by-election.

The result

Sue Jeffrey (Lab).................. 442 (43.6%; -6.3%)
Steven Abbott (Lib Dem)......... 354 (34.9%; +12.8%)
Vince Smith (Ind).................. 102 (10.1%)
Martin Gordon Bulmer (UKIP)...... 69 (6.8%)
Joan Bolton (Con)................... 47 (4.6%; -0.1%)

Turnout 21.3%
Majority 88
Lab hold
9.55% swing from Labour to the Liberal Democrats

The result last time:

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

Monday, 14 September 2009


Redcar and Cleveland Council's newly-appointed Town Centres Manager Pat Cambage is gearing up to the main challenge of reviving the fortunes of Redcar Town Centre.

Pat, who went to school in Redcar and studied at Teesside University, brings a wealth of business experience to the role - and an understanding of the area.

He said: "I've a lot of friends in the area, I know a lot of the business people so I have a vested interest in helping the community."

His varied working life began by completing a trainee pub management course over evenings and weekends at the Red Lion on Redcar High Street in the 1980s during his studies.

He also worked at Cleveland Potash Mine at Boulby before he began a 25 year involvement in the motor industry, moving from major dealerships on Teesside to roles in international companies, Daimler Chrysler and JCB.

Pat explained: "I'm bringing transferable skills from a variety of sectors that I'm sure will stand me in good stead.

"It's vital we all work together - the Town Centre management, our stakeholders and the Council - to create a platform for progress."

He believes: "The common aim will be to improve the prosperity and quality of life in Redcar’s town centre."

Pat has had close Teesside links throughout his life, achieving Master of Business Administration and Diploma in Management Studies after four years studying at Teesside University, from 1998.

A married man, with two grown-up daughters, Pat is a Middlesbrough football fan and participates in many sports ranging from cycling, walking, and climbing to martial arts.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Is the Leeds United Academy in decline?

Posted by Chris:

Former Leeds United defender, Peter Swan, has told the Yorkshire Post that the reason young players are being poached by other clubs is because the standard of coaching has declined at the Leeds Academy.

This seems hard to believe when you look at the likes of Fabian Delph, Ben Parker, Jonathan Howson and Aidan White but Leeds have declined to comment and this sets alarm bells ringing.

The most damning allegation concerns Swan's son George (14), who was recently lured away by Manchester City, along with another promising youngster, Louis Hutton, also 14.

"Already, he is benefiting as the medical team have discovered he has one leg longer than the other, which is quite common, so he now wears specially adapted boots.

"City believe this could have been the reason for the niggling injuries he has suffered. He was at Leeds for five years and yet no one ever spotted this."
If this is true it really is shocking news. United have a proud record for producing top quality young players going right back to the late 1940's and this is the first time in my recollection that the quality of the Academy and its coaches has been questioned in this way.

Leeds United need to answer the points made by Peter Swan, declining to comment is not an option. Ken Bates and others have been quick to attack clubs for poaching players and they have led us to believe that it was all about money. He may be right but these are serious allegations which need answering.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Redcar and Cleveland Council mags are dumped

If you wondered why you didn't get your copy of the Redcar and Cleveland Council's magazine, well, it's here dumped in the NEDL compound in the cut between Sandsend Road and Kirkleatham Lane. Attempts to get NEDL to clean up the place takes for ever but we will persevere.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Counting votes on Friday morning might be a good thing

Posted by Chris:

There has been much comment on the blogsophere in response to the Daily Telegraph article about the possibility of a quarter of Councils abandoning the traditional election night count in favour of counting votes on the Friday morning.

Mark Pack was one of the first to come up with a list of good reasons why we should stick to counting votes as soon as the polls close, whilst Guido Fawkes has been inundated with comments opposing his suggestion that electronic voting would have the whole thing over in a minute or two.

The huge increase in postal voting, with returns now allowed right up to the close of poll, and the need for stringent security checks, is the main reason why some Councils' are opting for Friday morning counts.

My view on the issue is a rather selfish one:

I have been involved in a count straight after every election but one since October 1974. If it is only an additional 25% that is counted on the Friday morning I am hoping that Redcar constituency is one, so that I can sit and watch the whole of election night on TV for a change. Okay there is often a telly in the counting hall and you get to hear about some of the results but you feel guilty if you are not concentrating on the counting.

Redcar and Cleveland's four recent Council by-election counts have all been held on the Friday morning and it has been great.

Everyone worked right up to the close of poll and no-one left two hours early to "get ready for the count." I was able to concentrate on the counting, fresh from a night's sleep.

We did win three of them and moved up from fifth place to second in the other, so I might have had a different view if we had not done so well. And the General Election will be different as I would still be up until about 4 am but I am sure I will be less stressed out.

Thursday, 3 September 2009


Keen gardeners are being given the chance of getting free soil conditioner in the second green giveaway organised by Redcar and Cleveland Council.

There will be a three bag limit for every vehicle that arrives at Eston Sports Academy car park, Normanby Road, South Bank on Saturday, September 12, from 10am-noon.

Shovels will be provided for the giveaway on a first come, first served basis for ten tonnes of soil conditioner, but people will need to bring their own bags.

The first giveaway last month at Belmont House, Guisborough was a huge success - with the five tonnes of free soil conditioner shovelled up in just an hour.