Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Survey seeks views on attracting shoppers and visitors to Redcar

Residents and visitors to Redcar are being asked for their views on the market, seafront attractions and concessions as well as events and festivals in the town as part of a drive to attract more shoppers and visitors.
A consultation process is under way seeking views on:
*       relocation of the market to the precinct area near the Town Clock
*       moving the market day from a Wednesday to a Friday
*       events and festivals to create a vibrant town centre
*       business opportunities for seafront attractions and concessions.

To comment on the proposals:
*       complete an on-line questionnaire by visiting
*       email 
*       telephone 01642 495359
*       write to: Regeneration Services, Redcar & Cleveland Council, Redcar and Cleveland House, Kirkleatham Street, Redcar, Yorkshire, TS10 1RT.
The deadline for comments to be submitted is Monday 14 January 2013.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Redcar Lib Dems campaign for recognition of local hero

Liberal Democrats in Zetland Ward are campaigning to get a plaque erected in a local park to honour a local hero - Redcar's Sir Rex Hunt.
Born in the town's Laburnum Road in 1921, Rex Hunt joined the RAF near the end of World War Two flying spitfires in India. After serving his country in Uganda, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Vietnam, he found fame as Governor of the Falkland Islands during the 1982 Argentinian invasion and the war that followed.
He was knighted in 1982 and continued as Governor after the war until 1985. He later returned to the north-east, living near Stockton until his death on November 11th 2012.
Local Councillor Ron Harrison said:
"Rex Hunt's service to Britain over a period of more than 40 years including WW2 & the Falklands War, during which he displayed cool diplomatic skill and great courage before being taken prisoner, make him one of Redcar's heroes."
"Now that he is gone, we are determined that his name will live on in his home town. We are therefore looking to get some sort of plaque or other memorial built in one of Zetland Ward’s parks in his honour."
Councillor Josh Mason added:
“It’s really important that we remember those who have contributed to Redcar’s rich history and culture. And provide a lasting monument to local heroes, past and present.”

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Redcar's refurbished groynes will be restored to their original height

Here is the reply I got in response to my question about the height of the refurbished groynes shown in the above photograph taken and originally posted on Facebook by Philip Chisholm.

Dear Cllr Abbott

Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding to your enquiry.

Mark Hopgood, Team Leader Technical Projects has received the following response from Steve Dunning:

The groynes at the Stray had ceased to retain sand effectively due to the missing groyne boards and piles. The accepted scientific method states that for groynes to retain sand they should be no higher than 500mm above up drift sand levels, any higher than this and they cause scour which reduces sand levels. Incidentally this is the same method that was used when the groynes were installed in the 1960's

In line with this all groynes are to have the boards and piles repaired to fill in any gaps, and are to be reduced in height to 500mm, or 2 groyne boards, above up drift sand levels. The sand levels will be monitored and, as and when the sand returns, the boards will be gradually built back up to their full height.

The excess boards are being taken to a secure storage area and any extra boards will be sourced through the EA timber procurement framework.

Funding for the work is in place as part of the Redcar Flood Alleviation Scheme and will be made available to the Council as needed

Mark Hopgood

Team Leader Capital Projects Team

Thursday, 22 November 2012

GFH Capital have at last signed a deal for Leeds United but want Ken Bates to stay on as President

I recognise that Ken Bates played an important role in saving Leeds United and has given the club a solid foundation. In other ways, however, he has been a public relations disaster and would, in my opinion, make a totally unsuitable club President.

You only have to read his comments reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post to see that he would be a nightmare as President. The club has just announced that GFH Capital have signed a deal for the club and all he can contribute is a rant about liars, chancers and conmen.

The club President should be a local figurehead that has the respect and approval of the supporters. I was hoping the chants of "Bates out" would now end but it looks like they are set to continue indefinitely.

Mr Bates will, in fact, remain as Chairman until the end of the season and then become club President.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Lib Dem launches Middlesbrough jobs plan

Urgent action is needed to turn around Middlesbrough's jobs crisis, according a local employment expert.

Launching his official 'jobs plan' for the town today, Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate George Selmer said Middlesbrough had been neglected by Labour for decades and needed a strong voice representing the area in Westminster.

Speaking outside the Corporation Road Jobcentre, where he and Ian Swales MP met local jobseekers, George said:
George jobcentre
"Unemployment in Middlesbrough is among the highest in the country. The town needs an MP who can turn that around.
"For too long, Labour have been happy to accept second best for this area. Their neglect and complacency is shocking.
"I've spent my career getting unemployed people back to work. I know how to fix Middlesbrough's jobs problem.
"You only have to look next door to see the positive 
George and Ian jobcentre

George Selmer works to help unemployed people back to work

impact a Lib Dem MP can make. While youth unemployment is rising in Middlesbrough, it has fallen by 6% in Redcar." 

Redcar MP Ian Swales added,

"While Labour are still pining over the loss of One North East - a Tynside-focused quango that consistently overlooked Teesside - George is concentrating on the solutions that will help people here in Middlesbrough.
"That means a focus on apprenticeships, and securing Regional Growth Funding for local businesses. "It means banging the drum for Teesside in Westminster to help attract new jobs and encourage existing firms to expand.
"Tackling unemployment is the number one challenge facing Middlesbrough's next MP. Local voters should back the man with a plan."

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

I voted against Rex Hunt's request for Whitby to twin with Port Stanley

A reference in the Evening Gazette today about reporter Mike Morgan's telephone conversation with Sir Rex Hunt shortly before the 1982 Argentinian invasion of the Falklands brought back memories of my own involvement in what I think were the events which led to Mike Morgan making the call.

Mike (pictured right) was then a reporter on the Whitby Gazette and I was a member of Whitby Town Council.

I think Mike was prompted to make the call to His Excellency Mr Rex Hunt, the Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Falkland Islands and dependencies in response to a letter Mr Hunt (who had yet to be knighted) had sent to Whitby Town Council expressing his concern about the Tory Government's cost cutting measure to remove the British warship that was protecting the islands. He suggested a town twinning arrangement between Whitby and Falkland Islands capital Port Stanley due to the fact that both towns had whale bone arches. He felt it would help to maintain links with Great Britain.

All the members of the Town Council were delighted to form a twinning arrangement with Port Stanley except for me. I felt it was a pointless exercise as it was so far away and it was not possible for exchange visits to take place. 

The twinning arrangement went ahead and a ceremony took place in the Pannett Art Gallery in Whitby in August 1981. I am pretty sure that Rex Hunt himself actually attended this. Whitby Town Council could always do a good ceremony and the food was always nice.

Little did I know that some months after voting against the twinning arrangement Argentina would invade the Falklands, Rex Hunt would become a hero and pictures of the sign Port Stanley twinned with Whitby would be seen all over the world.

The decision to twin with Port Stanley turned out to be a very astute decision indeed and one that I got wrong. It did as Sir Rex Hunt said it would. It helped to strengthen the links between Great Britain and the Falkland Islands.

Whitby went on to twin with a number of faraway towns which had links with Captain Cook:

Anchorage, Alaska, USA 
Cooktown, Australia 
East Fremantle, Australia 
Waimea, Kauai, Hawaii, USA 
Nuku’alofa, Tonga 
Porirua, Whitby, New Zealand 
Port Stanley, Falkland Islands 
West Wylong, Australia 
Whitby, Ontario, Canada 
Whitilanga, New Zealand 

I remember one Town Councillor piping up in support of twinning with Nuku'alofa: "The Queen of Tonga looked so lovely at the Coronation in 1953." 

I wanted the town to twin with a European town where exchange visits could take place. An editorial in the Whitby Gazette actually supported this too. I still think the town should have gone in for a different type of arrangement with these places so that those who like meeting people could enjoy the benefits that town twinning brings. It became quite a curiosity that Whitby was twinned with such faraway places and that in itself has earned the town a lot of publicity. 

Sir Rex Hunt who was born in Redcar and attended Sir William Turner's School, flew Spitfires in the RAF before a career in the diplomatic service. He retired as Governor of the Falkland Islands in 1985 and settled in Stockton, where he died aged 86.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Lib Dems demand answers on BMX track at Eston

Liberal Democrats in the Borough of Redcar and Cleveland are asking when the problems with the BMX track at Eston will be dealt with.

The track has cost £90,000 to build but has had to be repaired four times already due to subsidence.

The Director of Biketrack (specialist track designers) has said that parts of the course are so dangerous they need demolishing altogether.

Liberal Democrat Leisure Spokesman, Cllr Josh Mason (pictured), questioned the Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure & Tourism.
Cllr Mason said:
“A BMX track is a great facility for young people.
“But I am very concerned it cannot be used due to design problems.
“Local people have a right to know why the Council has handled this so badly, and why they turned down free expert advice from specialist architects.
“This is another example of the Labour Council not getting the basics right, and wasting public money in the process."

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Bye, bye Mr Chairman goodbye I’m in a coma with this TOMA

Over the years I have heard some excellent football songs but this new one by Mark Duffy Music is the best topical football song I have ever heard. 

Click here to hear the song. 

The song is about Leeds chairman Ken Bates and the impatience of fans waiting for him to sell up and clear off, which might in fact happen quite soon now. Rumours have it that the parties are gathered in Monacco to finally complete the sale to Dubai-based GFH Capital.  I just hope the chorus takes off at Elland Road later today when we face Southampton in the Capital One Cup.

Here are the words:

A long long time ago I can still remember how the football used to make me smile. 
And I knew if we had some luck we would soon be going up.
Maybe we‘d be happy for a while.
But the transfer window makes me shudder.
For Christ sake please don’t sell another.
Bad news on the website,
I can’t take no more shite.
I can’t remember if I cried when Norwich said your Captain’s signed.
Something touched me deep inside, it’s time to wave goodbye

Bye, bye Mr Chairman goodbye I’m in a coma with this TOMA*, there’s a tear in my eye, I’m sick and tired of you telling lies, it’s time for you to swallow your pride, time for you to wave goodbye.

Did you write the programme notes and have a go at us moron folks?
Did your conscience prick at all?
Do you believe in what you say?
Do loan deals really save the day?
Can you teach me how that cash really flows?
Well someone must be dipping in. There’s nothing in our transfer tin.
We just don’t like to lose. Man we’ve got those TOMA blues.
We used to be a top flight team and we were held in high esteem,
But we won’t let you kill our dream. It’s time to wave goodbye.

Bye, bye Mr Chairman goodbye I’m in a coma with this TOMA, there’s a tear in my eye, I’m sick and tired of you telling lies, it’s time for you to swallow your pride, time for you to wave goodbye.

For nearly eight years you have owned, our club, our hearts, and our collective souls.
But that’s not how it’s going to be.
Well LUST try hard to keep in touch but even they can’t take too much.
At least they keep their dignity.
So is the deal still going through? Please tell the truth I beg of you.
We just want brand new owners. So sign those papers won’t you?
While smaller clubs were going up we were losing in the Johnstone’s Cup.
It’s time to go so please sell up. It’s time to wave goodbye.

You’ve got me singing bye, bye Mr Chairman goodbye I’m in a coma with this TOMA, there’s a tear in my eye, I’m sick and tired of you telling lies, it’s time for you to swallow your pride, time for you to wave goodbye.

Oh bye, bye Mr Chairman goodbye I’m in a coma with this TOMA, there’s a tear in my eye, I’m sick and tired of you telling lies, it’s time for you to swallow your pride, time for you to wave goodbye.

*TOMA stands for Take Over My Ar*e.

Monday, 29 October 2012

The Closes redevelopment update

Coast and Country Housing have issued the following update on the Closes redevelopment:

October 2012

Dear Resident

We would like to update you on our progress to redevelop The Closes estate.

We have been working hard to ensure that the empty properties are stripped internally, utilities are disconnected and gardens are cleared. Your safety, the cleanliness of the estate and the welfare of the residents waiting to be relocated is our priority In Spring we strengthened the site based regeneration team and we are already seeing a positive impact from the additional caretakers on the estate.

Also we have listened and acted upon feedback from local ward councillors, Cleveland Fire Brigade, Cleveland Police, and other stakeholders to ensure that any concerns are being addressed.

We will be working with a contractor to start the demolition of Phase 1 over the next few months. Phase 1 includes the following addresses:

• Kent Close (1-16, 52-67)
• Mersey Road (133-191 odds)
• Roseberry Road (84 – 106 evens)
• The Meadows (1-32)

Who do I contact if I have an enquiry?

 If you are a Coast and Country Tenant:
 Gail Atkinson 01642 837226
Steph Pew /Angela Blake 01642 771336 or  

If you are an owner occupier, private landlord or private tenant: Ben Briggs 01642 771377

FA lets Dave Jones off with a caution - well what do you expect - we are Leeds

The Football Association has replied to my complaint about Dave Jones's slanderous remarks accusing Leeds fans in general of being "vile animals." It appears that Jones has been spoken to and let off with some words of advice and a caution:

Dear Mr Abbott,

Thank you for contacting The Football Association.

Sheffield Wednesday Manager, Dave Jones, has been reminded of his responsibilities and advised to exercise caution and warned that any further comments could result in disciplinary action.

We do appreciate all of the feedback we receive from supporters. This feedback is collated and used to build a picture of public opinion and is subsequently fed back internally within the organisation. Please rest assured your comments will form part of this feedback process.

Kind regards,

Adele Sannie-Lamptey| Customer Relations
Communications Division

At least it is something I suppose, after all we are Leeds and can't expect much help form anyone outside the club.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Redcar Athletic Fundraising Campaign

To try and raise funds to pay for the final  works on the Floodlights and for additional work around the ground, Redcar Athletic's Wearside League team has organised a series of events starting with -

Saturday 3rd November
Halloween Party at the club
Tickets £2 
Fancy Dress with prizes
Saturday 17th Nov 2012
Ladies only Pamper Night at the club
A Special night for ladies only
Eyebrows Tinting/ Waxing/ Shaping Lashes etc
Also Party Lite candles for sale
Free entry,
Drinks available

Saturday  Dec 1st 2012
Race Nite
1st Race 8pm
£2 a ticket
Horse owners required £2 a horse
Race sponsors required £20

Saturday December 22nd 2012
Redcar Athletic Xmas Party
New Marske Institute Club
Featuring Showband
Tickets £5

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

This is what happened at Hillsborough on Friday line by line

This is my view of what happened at the Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds United game at Hillsborough on Friday line by line: 

I make no judgements but I do wish to show that the behaviour of a minority of SWFC fans was just as bad as that of a minority of LUFC fans.

The Leeds fans were situated in the Leppings Lane end and I attended with my 8 years old grandson, Daniel. The picture right shows the view we had.

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 1 (Bothroyd 43), LEEDS 1 (Tonge 76)
Sheffield Wednesday: Kirkland, Buxton, Gardner, Corry (Mayor 84) Llera, Semedo, Antonio, Jones,Barkley, O'Grady (Madine 84), Bothroyd. Subs: Bywater, Taylor, PecnikJohnsonRodri
Leeds: Kenny, Peltier (Varney 68), Lees, Pearce, White, Austin (Norris 46)Brown,Tonge, Byram,Becchio, Diouf. Subs: Ashdown, Drury, GreenGray, Hall
Referee:  E Ilderton
Booked: Jones, Gardner (Weds)
KO 7.45. Att: 28,582 (5,300 Leeds)

Up until the SWFC started abusing Leeds Manager Neil Warnock the LUFC fans were quite happy chanting the usual "we are Leeds," and singing MOT. 

There was a prearranged marathon burst of WACCOE which started on 15 minutes. 

About 1000 SWFC fans sang Warnock is a “w*****. 

About 1000 LUFC fans responded with Dave Jones is a “p*********,” 

About 1000 SWFC fans, referring to Jimmy Saville coming from Leeds, began chanting "Leeds is a town full of paedophiles."

About 1000 LUFC fans, as they always do in response to “dirty Leeds” and "your not famous anymore" responded louder and began to sing in praise of Jimmy Saville.

My grandson Daniel (8), who was at the match with me, 
then said to me 'who's Jimmy Saville? He thought he was a new signing. 

About 1000 SWFC fans sang: “Always look out for Turks carrying knifes dudududud etc” 
(This is a reference to Leeds fans Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight murdered in Turkey).

All 5300 LUFC fans booed and jeered. The noise nearly took the roof off.

A handful of both SWFC and LUFC fans threw coins and plastic coke bottles.

One or more LUFC fans tore an advertising hoarding down 

Half a dozen fans, including Aaron Cawley, the one who pushed the goalie, ran on the pitch as Leeds scored.

Within five minutes of the incident a number of LUFC fans publicly identified Cawley on Twitter using the #LUFC hashtag.

Of course Daniel and I see the goalie laid out and ask each other what had happened. We were too busy celebrating the goal.

In 2010 SWFC fans ran on the pitch and attacked Crystal Palace’s Clint Hill, who took several punches, at the end of a match with Crystal Palace. Palace manager at the time was Neil Warnock.

Neil Warnock is reviled by SWFC fans as he was a long serving Sheffield United manager.

I can’t find what punishment SWFC got if any, after the FA inquiry, but I would wager that LUFC will get pasted again by the FA. Clearly SWFC where just as much to blame.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Complaint sent to Football Association

Copy of a letter sent today to the FA, LUFC and SWFC:

Dear FA,

I write to complain in the strongest possible terms about the slanderous remarks made by the Sheffield Wednesday Manager, Dave Jones, in an interview following the match with Leeds United at Hillsborough on Friday 19th October 2012.

I attended the match with my 8 years old grandson Daniel Abbott and we watched the game from the Leppings Lane end with around 5300 other Leeds United supporters. I enclose a photograph of Daniel applauding the players, at the end of the match, who in turn were applauding us. It is part of the match day experience/ritual that Daniel enjoys. Imagine our surprise, when we heard on the car radio on the way home, Dave Jones criticising the Leeds Manager, Neil Warnock, for encouraging his players to applaud the Leeds fans. In doing so he clearly said the Leeds fans were “vile animals” in such a way that it can only be construed that he meant all Leeds fans. We did nothing to warrant such a smear and take strong exception to it.

This is clearly actionable and it surely brings the game into disrepute. Daniel and I live in Redcar and many of his school friends are Middlesbrough supporters. I do not want him to be taunted by this smear and I call on the Football Association to take action to ensure that Mr Jones withdraws his remarks about Leeds United fans in general and apologises without delay.

Yours sincerely
Chris Abbott

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Dave Jones should apologise for his slanderous comments about Leeds fans

Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones should apologise for his slanderous comments about Leeds fans at Sheffield Wednesday last night or face a charge of bringing the game into disrepute. No Leeds fan is excusing what one mindless idiot did but my grandson Daniel (8) applauding the players after the match is not a vile animal as Jones would have us believe.

After the match at Sheffield Wednesday last night Daniel and I stopped for a minute to pay our respects to the Hillsborough 96.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Why are we called anything but Redcar?

I cannot believe the stupidity of calling the new health centre in Redcar the Langbaurgh NHS Medical Centre. It just does not make sense. What on earth possessed them to call it Langbaurgh?

Have they no better imagination than to name it after the silly title given to the local Council that was abolished in 1996? Since 1968 there have been eight names for local government in Redcar:

Redcar Borough Council
North Riding County Council
Teesside County Borough
Cleveland County Council
Langbaurgh District Council
Langbaurgh Borough Council
Langbaurgh on Tees Borough Council
Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council

Each time other organisations named themselves after the name of the Council and we were referred to as the people of the Council name. Not the people of Redcar. We are whatever name is dreamt up for the local Council and some damn silly ones there have been.

Not long before the abolition of Langbaurgh Council, it was decided to add the words "on Tees" because a Councillor had gone to a conference and had been asked if Langbaurgh was somewhere in Wales.

In addition, depending on the vested interest of whoever it is saying it, we are also referred to as the people of Teesside, Tees Valley, East Cleveland, Cleveland or even the north east, anything but Redcar.

As far as I am concerned we are Redcar, Yorkshire and I accept nothing else. 

It is so bad that major towns like Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar are only signposted when you arrive at the town. We are all lumped together as Teesside. This is because the Highways Agency have not changed their signing policy since Teesside County Borough was in existence. It was abolished in 1974. Small towns like Thirsk, Northallerton and Wetherby are well signposted but not Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar. About 15 years ago they promised to add these towns to road signs on the A19 as and when the existing signs are replaced but have not kept that promise.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Lib Dems welcome Council Tax freeze

The Liberal Democrat Group on Redcar & Cleveland Council is urging the Council’s Labour bosses to accept a freeze in Council Tax next year if it is offered.
This year Labour raised Council Tax by 3.5%, the highest in the country.
This came despite the Government’s offer of £1.4 million to the Council if it had frozen its council tax in 2012-13.
At the Conservative Party conference last week, the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, announced that councils which wish to increase Council Tax by more than 2% will have to hold a referendum.
He also announced that £450m would be available for councils to help offset the freeze, an amount equivalent to a 1% Council Tax increase for local authorities.
Councillor Glyn Nightingale said:
“Local people are facing higher bills, but few are receiving higher incomes. Council Tax is already an unfair tax and any attempt to increase it in Redcar & Cleveland would just magnify the unfairness.
“Labour didn’t accept the Council Tax Freeze last year but we hope that this year they will see sense. Labour Party bosses need to pay attention to peoples’ wishes and circumstances.
“Recent internal and external audits of the Council’s finances have revealed poor economic management – it is not acceptable to make working people pay for the Council’s financial incompetence.”

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Labour wasting our waste say Lib Dems

Liberal Democrats in Redcar & Cleveland are asking why the Labour council gives away the cardboard and plastic it collects whilst other councils manage to sell it.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Chris Abbott asked a question about this in July’s council meeting. He was told that the Council gets no money for the plastic and cardboard collected from households in the borough.
It costs the Council £245,950 a year to collect these items. It is then handed over free to a firm in Hartlepool who process and sell it, with no income at all coming back to the Council.
However, the Council has today admitted that other authorities do manage to sell waste cardboard and plastic.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Chris Abbott commented:
“It is ridiculous to give cardboard and plastics away free if they can be processed and sold.
“Once again Labour is wasting taxpayers’ money.
“This year Labour gave local people the highest council tax rise in the land.
“That surely gives them an obligation to use resources in the most effective way possible.
“This is yet another slap in the face to hard working taxpayers.
“Labour clearly finds it easier to just put up council tax rather than run services more efficiently.”

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Lib Dems condemn Mayor’s furniture waste

Liberal Democrats  have condemned the spending of over £4000 on new furniture for the Mayor’s Parlour.
Since the council moved out of the old Redcar and Cleveland Town Hall earlier this year the Mayor’s Parlour has been moved to Kirkleatham Museum.
But figures uncovered by Liberal Democrat Councillor Chris Abbott show that rather than use the perfectly good furniture from the old Mayor’s Parlour, the council’s Labour bosses have seen fit to spend £4,319 on replacing it.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Chris Abbott commented:
“This is sheer waste of taxpayers’ money.
Kirkleatham Museum already houses quality furniture which used to be in the Mayor’s Parlour at Redcar. We want to know what has happened to the furniture at the former Eston Town Hall.
“It’s another example of Labour making cuts where it matters and spending where it doesn’t.
“At a time of austerity, this sends out totally the wrong message to the people the council serves.”

Monday, 3 September 2012

Police and Crime Panel members required.

On 15 November, the Cleveland Force Area will be electing its first police and crime commissioner.

This post will be responsible for setting the priorities and resources for Cleveland Police, as well as supporting broader community safety activities across the region.

In addition, a police and crime panel will also be established to scrutinise the work of the Commissioner. The panel will consist of representatives from each of the four local authorities in the Force area and two independent co-opted members.

The panel is looking for at least two committed people who either live or work in the Cleveland Force area to serve as co-opted independent members from autumn 2012 for a four year term. The role of a panel member is a demanding one and will require a commitment of an average of one day every two months.

Meetings will generally be held late afternoon or early evening at varying locations throughout the Force area. Panel members will be able to claim reasonable expenses and will receive induction and other appropriate training.

The closing date for applications is 28 September 2012. For a copy of the application pack, please telephone (01642) 527060 or (01642) 528173.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Get into sport in Redcar

Have you been inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games?

If so, a special event to highlight the local sport and physical activity opportunities in Redcar will take place on Thursday, August 30.

As well as finding out about local clubs there will be a range of free activities available for you to take part in, including; volleyball, orienteering, archery, hockey and Tees Valley Leisure will be operating a leisure challenge!

Local sports clubs will be also be on hand to promote their club and the activities available. The event is being held at Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar between 3pm - 6pm. For more information, please contact Sports Development on 01642 496430.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

#Pen4Ken Campaign

I have sent Ken Bates a pen in the hope it will encourage him to sign the agreement for new cash investment into Leeds United FC.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Massive backing for Recycling Pilot – 91% support for third bin

An overwhelming 91% are in favour of Redcar & Cleveland Council’s pilot using three bins, according to the local Liberal Democrats’ survey in Nunthorpe.

But residents, by more than four to one, would oppose being charged £20 by the council for the third bin. In addition, eight out of 10 residents say they would not be prepared to have a plastic bag for green waste which has been piloted in part of Guisborough.
The pilot involved using one bin for refuse, one for green waste and the third for recycling materials. 
The local Lib Dem Team thanks those who responded to the doorstep survey or by post - that’s nearly 150 households.
Typical comments from residents included...
“...a much more convenient way to recycle. Having one bin eliminates the hassle...”
“Excellent - one bin for all the recycling - much easier”
“Very Good, should be a permanent feature.”
“Much better idea - cleaner, tidier and much more convenient.”
“...the pilot scheme is good, because when the weather is inclement the paper isn’t exposed and the bottles and cardboard box don’t fill with water and leaves.”
“The more recycling that is done in any town the better for the environment.”
“I like the multi-bin - it saves time having to separate items. I also like a bin for green waste because the bags would be heavy and split easily.”
Only two people were openly hostile to the extra bin. Those who opposed the idea were concerned about insufficient storage space or the unsightly appearance of bins outside their homes.
Liberal Democrat Group Leader and ward councillor Glyn Nightingale commented:
“The Lib Dems believe recycling is absolutely vital. We are extremely pleased that residents were so positive about the pilot scheme in Nunthorpe. Their co-operation is crucial to making recycling a success.
"But it is clear from our survey that residents are far less willing to pay to help the Council with recycling, if the Labour council tries to extend its current charging policy from plastic bags to the third bin or to use plastic bags for green waste.”
"Overall, I welcome the Council’s decision to extend the pilot scheme used in Nunthorpe."

Friday, 10 August 2012

Views sought on Redcar junction improvements

Public views are being sought on plans to remove an existing roundabout at the junction of West Dyke, Corporation and Thrush Road in Redcar and replace it with traffic signals.

The planned improvements were highlighted as part of the Tees Valley Bus Network improvement scheme which looks at ways of easing traffic congestion in the area.

A public engagement event will be held in a trailer adjacent to the roundabout on Monday 20 August and Tuesday 21 August and a display will be situated in Redcar Library from 20 – 24 August. The public can also provide their comments by contacting the Engineering Section at Redcar and Cleveland Council on  01642 774774, by email, or by writing to:

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council
Area Management Directorate
Engineering Section
Redcar and Cleveland House
Kirkleatham Street
TS10 1RT

Deadline for comments is 31 August 2012.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Yorkshire Day at Redcar in pictures

There was an excellent attendance at Redcar Town Clock  this morning for the annual reading of the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity. 

Former Bishop Auckland Town Crier and former Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of Middlesbrough, Chris Foote-Wood led the proceedings encouraging people to attend the ceremony and promoting the sale of white roses to raise funds for Redcar Lifeboat. 

After a short speech of welcome by Ian Swales MP, who said he was proud to call himself a Yorkshire MP, Chris Foote-Wood read the Declaration on the stroke of 11.37 am, which is exactly 1137 years since the first recorded reference to the Ridings of Yorkshire in the Anglo Saxon Chronicles of the year 876. A huge cheer followed the words Yorkshire forever. 

The rose girls raising funds for Redcar Lifeboat

Chris Foote-Wood draws the crowds 

Chris Foote-Wood reads the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity 
watched by Redcar MP Ian Swales.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Happy Yorkshire Day

Today is Yorkshire Day and the Yorkshire Ridings Society's annual reading of the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity will take place at Redcar Town Clock at 11.37 a.m.

This year the declaration will be read by Chris Foote-Wood (pictured above).

Chris is the former Town Crier of Bishop Auckland and former LibDem candidate for Mayor of Middlesbrough. He is directly descended from two Whitby sea captains related to Captain Cook.

The Ridings Society's North Riding Group is donating all proceeds from their sales of white roses (£1 each) to Redcar Lifeboat. Each year since 1997 the North Riding Group has raised thousands of pounds for local charities from the sales of white roses on Yorkshire Day.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Summer Schools open in Redcar – Ian Swales MP

In the Redcar Constituency, six of schools will be opening their doors this summer to help some of the most disadvantaged pupils in our area with the big step up from primary to secondary school.

Many pupils find the move to a bigger school and a more challenging curriculum daunting and this can lead to falling results and they often never catch up again. To help pupils who are especially vulnerable to falling behind, those on free school meals (FSM) or looked-after children, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg launched the first Summer Schools programme today.
Commenting, Ian Swales MP said:

“These Summer Schools can be the key to a child’s success in later life. The step from primary to secondary school can be a really daunting one for many children. If your confidence is knocked back at this stage, it is difficult to recover as a child progresses through the school.

“Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government have done the right thing by using these summer schools to prevent people from falling behind rather than trying to help pupils catch-up after the damage has been done.

“By helping children and familiarising them with how a secondary schools looks and works, many of the problems can be tackled and I will be working with schools to make sure pupils get the most out of the Summer School programme.”
Commenting further, Nick Clegg said:

“This is £50m worth of extra brain training giving tens of thousands of disadvantaged pupils a flying start at secondary school.

“It’s two weeks in the summer holidays where pupils can catch up on learning and get to grips with life in secondary school – in short, get in the starting blocks ready for the off in September.

“Those who struggle to make the transition are often among the poorest in society, but two weeks of activities can really help to bridge the gap.

“It’s good news for mums and dads too – no parent wants their child to be left out and fall behind. But not everyone has the luxury of taking long periods off work during the summer break.

“Summer schools will ensure pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds can start secondary school on an equal footing with their peers, setting them up to succeed.“

Redcar Athletic FC an appeal for support

Redcar Athletic FC based at Green Lane, Redcar finished runners up in the Wearside League last season just missing out on the promotion spot to the Northern League, with the ground now furnished with floodlights, this season we want to go one step further and gain that elusive place in the Northern League for the town of Redcar.

With the town of Redcar undergoing a major re- development programme we believe that Redcar Athletic Football Club can do its bit in attracting people to Redcar by putting the town on the Footballing map.

However despite the major works of the floodlights completed we still require financial support to complete the ground development to provide spectator provision, hardstanding and car park improvements.

We are appealing to the businesses in and around Redcar to help us achieve that dream by getting involved with the Club’s Sponsorship packages, we fully understand in the current economic climate that providing financial support is difficult but we have tailored our packages for maximum benefit for minimal outlay, we also have packages available from as little as £30. This is an ideal cheap opportunity to publicise your business details of the available packages are outlined below.

We would also like to encourage the people of Redcar to come along and enjoy the matchday experience at Green Lane, Redcar, entry is only £3 adults, £1 concessions with matchday programmes on sale, snacks and drinks it is a fantastic cheap way to spend your Saturday afternoons  or alternatively save yourself some money and buy a Redcar Athletic season ticket, priced at £50 Adults save £13 on the 21 Home League games plus get free entry into all the Home Cup games as well as one free entry into the club’s 200 club with the chance to win £100 every week . For those who want to attend the fixtures are provided on a monthly basis and updated on the clubs website

Home Fixtures for August are as follows –
 Weds 15th August v Wolviston 7.30pm ko
Sat 18th August v Hartlepool FC 2.30pm ko
Weds 22nd Aug v Harton & Westoe 7.30pm ko

200 Club
The club also has a relatively cheap way for everybody to support the Club off the pitch by joining the 200 Club for a £1 a week you will be allocated a number and a weekly draw will determine the winning number. Each week you will have the opportunity to win the weekly prize of up to £100, you can join the 100 club simply by e mailing and requesting your number or by following this link on the club website


Advertising boards placed around the perimeter of the pitch at a cost of:
6ft x 3ft £250 the first year and £150 per year after that
8ft x 3ft £275 the first year and £175 per year after that
10ft x 3ft £300 the first year and £200 per year after that

In addition receive a free link to your website on the Club’s Website click on the link to view example -, 2 free season tickets and 1 free entry into the 200 Club

Sponsor the away shirt at a cost of £400 we will brand the shirt with your company name or logo, in addition you will get a ½ page advert in the matchday programme, 1 x Season Ticket and 1 free entry into the 200 club
Sponsor one of our home games at a cost of £100 and receive 4 complimentary tickets for the game, pre match and post match buffet and drinks, advertisement in the match day programme and present the man of the match award after the game
Sponsor the match ball at one of home games for £40 and receive a free advert in the matchday programme
Sponsor a player for £30  per season, recognition of players sponsor on the squad list in the match day programme
Programme printed every home game
Full page advert £100 per season
½ page advert £75 per season
¼ page advert £50 per season

Leeds United win landmark case against charges for Policing outside Elland Road

Mighty Leeds United have won a landmark case against Police charging club the for policing outside of the ground.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Which local Labour MP wants to keep unelected Lords in a job for life?

Cleveland Police to get enquiry costs covered – Ian Swales MP

Ian Swales, Liberal Democrat MP for Redcar, is delighted with the news that the Government have agreed to cover the costs of Operation Sacristy in full.

The costs of this case have been mounting up and have now reached 1.6m, which would mean there would be a significant impact on the forces budget if they had to cover these costs themselves. 

Ian said: ‘I am delighted that the Home Office are paying for the costs of the enquiry of the alleged wrongdoing at Cleveland Police.  At a time when police budgets are under tremendous pressure, it would have been wrong to see the police having to make even bigger savings due to these one-off costs.

‘I have been campaigning hard in Parliament for this to happen and am pleased to have played a part in ensuring that local people continue to get the excellent service that they deserve.’

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Ian Swales MP dismayed at Green Howards decision

Ian Swales MP has expressed his dismay at the decision to scrap the 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) that was announced this morning.   The Green Howards have a historic link to the area and are very important to the generations of families whose lives are intertwined with the name. 
The unit can trace its beginnings back to the 17th Century, and retaining historic links is vital for the local community to feel a sense of belonging and purpose. 

Ian Swales MP commented:

"Sadly the Green Howards regiment was scrapped in 2006 under the previous Government but I was delighted when the name was preserved and attached to the 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards).  I hope that at the very least we can attach this historic name to a reserve battalion and I will be urging the minister to consider this.   
"The Green Howards have always had a very strong connection to our area.  I know a number of former Green Howards and they have the Freedom of the Borough.  It is always a fantastic sight to see them march through Redcar. 

"I will be challenging this decision in Parliament as our area remains a fertile ground for recruitment regardless of demographic projections, and it is important that we retain the distinct identity that the Green Howards have and their historic link to our area."

Eric Howden, Secretary of Redcar Branch, and Chairman of the Cleveland Group for the British Legion commented:

"I am really saddened to hear the news today.  This area has served the British Army with its sons and daughters for many years, and not too long ago granted the Green Howards freedom of the borough.

"My step-son, Darren, was killed whilst serving with the Green Howards before their amalgamation, and to lose it now will not only be a great loss personally but also a great loss to our communities."

Family links - Our eldest lad Steven Abbott served 9 years in the Green Howards Regiment

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Change of date for Ward Surgery

My Ward surgery, due to take place on Tuesday 3rd July, has been postponed and will now take place on Tuesday 10th July at Westmorland Road Day Centre, Westmorland Road, Redcar from 6pm to 7pm.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Labour Controlled Redcar and Cleveland Council in top 20 for Council Tax increases

Official reports have confirmed that no Liberal Democrat-run council in England has increased council tax for their residents. This is unlike both other major parties, many of which are increasing council tax by up to 3.5% this year.
Commenting on Labour and Conservative councils’ record on Council Tax, Liberal Democrat Party President, Tim Farron said:
“While Labour and the Tories fight over how many of their councils raised Council Tax, it’s clear that with the Liberal Democrats your money is safest: no Liberal Democrat-run council in England has raised Council Tax."
At every level of government, the Liberal Democrats are cutting taxes for low- and middle-earners and better targeting help to those that need it the most. It is a record of financial responsibility of which we can be proud.
Labour ruled Redcar and Cleveland Council, who once imposed the second highest Council Tax in the land on it's long suffering residents, are, as most would guess, one of those Council's in the top twenty for Council Tax increases this year.

Top 20 Council Tax Increases
No Overall Control
East Northamptonshire
Redcar & Cleveland
Tunbridge Wells
No Overall Control
Source: Local Government Chronicle