Saturday, 14 December 2013

Scandal of the Redcar Beacon and the visitors to the toilet

Talking up Redcar by using figures that are based on a lie is dishonest and is counterproductive. It eventually gets found out as it did thanks to Councillor Steve Kay.

To sneer at someone for revealing the truth is a disgrace. All summer long the Council has been reporting visitor figures to the Redcar Beacon that nobody believed were true. There was even a big fuss for 'the 100,000th visitor' without ever saying they were including people who were only there to use the toilet. Thanks to Steve Kay we now know the truth. This is not evidence of increased visitor figures. That many people used the perfectly good toilets that were demolished to make way for this eyesore every year.

Interesting that Labour people are claiming the Evening Gazette should not be reporting this but concentrating on the fact that the Council has agreed to retain the Cabinet system which allows it to ignore residents views and keep us in the dark about the real cost of things.

It is a scandal that these figures were used so much over the summer without explaining that most people were only there to use the toilet. It is a scandal too that we were told the cost of the building was £1.6 million when it is more than £3 million. The public said they didn't want it and were ignored. They will not be happy that the cost is more than double what was claimed.

A pier for Redcar is achievable if the Council, as the development authority, produces a plan and facilitates it. But not if, as appears to be happening with the campaign group, you get grandiose ideas about structures on the end of it and appear willing to accept fake figures produced by the Council as the basis for attracting funding. That is treating the grant providers as idiots and they are not. Nor will the public continue to support a pier if they find the Council's contribution and this could be as much as half, will be endless millions.

A simple pier based on the one at Saltburn is achievable for around £6 million and the Council's contribution to this will be a reasonable amount spread over a long period. With the help of our MP that can happen. If you start producing plans for grandiose schemes Redcar people will say no and people outside the town will be up in arms.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Lowest unemployment since 2009

Liberal Democrats in Redcar and Cleveland Borough are delighted that unemployment in the Area is at its lowest since April 2009, following another fall in October.
Research also shows that unemployment in the area fell each month since February this year.
Lib Dem Council Group Leader Glyn Nightingale said:
“It is great to end the year with some good news like this. The fall in unemployment across the year means a happier Christmas for many local families. I am sure that the economic recovery will continue next year.
“There is still more to do, but it shows that the Government’s policies are working to provide growth, prosperity and jobs to our area.
“I am particularly pleased that Wilton-based Applied Graphene Materials are planning to increase their workforce from 10 to over 30 in the near future."

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Lib Dems demand a pier at Redcar

Liberal Democrats are asking Redcar and Cleveland Council’s Labour bosses to back local residents who want a pier at Redcar.
At the meeting of the Council on 12 December, Lib Dem Councillor Chris Abbott will ask the Labour Cabinet Member to agree for a  pier to be included in the Local Plan.
Councillor Chris Abbott, who represents Newcomen Ward, said:
“Councillors have been inundated with emails from local residents pressing for a pier to be included in the Local Plan.
“The Council needs to show it is listening.”
Lib Dem Group Leader Glyn Nightingale added:
“Ian Swales MP says that the Council needs to produce a plan for a pier so that he can press the Government for grant funding.
“The Council can help to facilitate this but nothing will happen unless they show some commitment.”
Councillor Josie Crawford, who represents the coastal ward of Coatham, said:
"A  pier will further regenerate Redcar by adding an extra tourist attraction. This will bring more people from outside into the town.
"I know from talking to people in my ward how popular it would be for Redcar to have a pier again."

Pictured left to right Lib Dem Councillors Mary Ovens, Irene Nightingale, Josh Mason, Chris Abbott, Josie Crawford, Ron Harrison, John Earl, Glyn Nightingale.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Ian Swales MP to host second public flooding meeting in Redcar this week

Member of Parliament for Redcar Constituency, Ian Swales MP, has arranged the second public meeting in Redcar for residents to be updated on the findings of Northumbrian Water and Redcar and Cleveland Council following the severe flooding experienced in September.
Ian met both parties recently and was assured that their draft report would soon be made available to the public. At the meeting this week, the main findings and a plan of action for the future will be discussed and the report should be made available following this.
Commenting Ian said:
"It's really important that we have a proper plan in place to ensure that there can be no repeat of the devastation caused on September 6.
"Although the report is long overdue, I hope the Council and Northumbrian Water will now be prepared to make strong commitments and provide the answers people need.
"I will certainly not give up campaigning on this issue until I'm satisfied that everything possible is being done to prevent future flooding."
Ian has written to all constituents who have made contact about the flooding to invite them to the meeting which will take place at Redcar Academy on Thursday 12th December at 6pm. All are welcome to attend.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Lib Dems fight for a real pier at Redcar

Liberal Democrats are asking Redcar and Cleveland Council to include building a proper pier in its Local Plan.

The Labour run council says that “the Local Plan sets out a vision for improving the quality of life in the borough as a place to live and work and will determine how much development will take place and where it will be located.”

However, the draft version of the Local Plan makes no mention of a pier in Redcar .
Liberal Democrats Councillor Chris Abbott said:

“One thing missing from the Labour Council’s draft plan is a pier for Redcar and Lib Dems are asking residents to support the campaign to have a pier included in the Local Plan.

“It would show a commitment that the Council is listening to what people in Redcar want.”

Local Lib Dem MP Ian Swales added: 

“I have told the Council officials that I will fight for Government money to help build a proper pier at Redcar . But if a pier is not included in the Local Plan then there is no chance.”

Redcar Lib Dem councillors oppose Draft Local Plan

Liberal Democrats on Redcar and Cleveland Council backed a motion opposing the Labour Council’s draft Local Plan.

Liberal Democrats together with other opposition councillors produced the closest vote ever seen at the Council when the Labour Mayor, Marske Councillor Vic Jeffries used his casting vote to push through the Plan. 

The draft Local Plan proposes to build major developments on green field sites around the Borough. All around the area people fear losing their green spaces, from Ormesby to Redcar and Marske. 

Lib Dems are also concerned that flooding risks and massively increased traffic flows have not been properly taken into account on the sites earmarked for housing, especially in Redcar, Marske and Nunthorpe. Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Councillor Glyn Nightingale, said: 

“The Borough needs a Local Plan, but not this one. The Plan claims to protect local green spaces, but proposes building on them. It claims to take into account the impact of development, but fails to deal with flooding and traffic problems it will make worse. Labour has reneged on its manifesto commitment to protect green spaces. The population of the Borough is falling, but the Council has to meet house-building targets set by the previous Labour Government.” 

“The Council should be looking at developing brownfield sites first.” 

“It’s staggering that such a crucial Plan has to rely on the casting vote of the Labour Mayor from Marske when all councillors should be working together to make sure we get a better vision for the future of the Borough.”

Redcar and Cleveland Council shamed as worst for fly-tipping

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has been named and shamed as the worst borough in the Tees Valley for fly-tipping.
Official figures published last month show that 2,424 incidents of dumped rubbish were recorded in the borough in 2012/13, putting Redcar and Cleveland Council at the wrong end of the region’s fly-tipping league table. This is the worst in the Tees Valley, and sixth worst in the whole of the North-East.
The figures reveal a decline in the cleanliness of the borough, with an increase of nearly 500 incidents compared to the previous year.
The Labour Council closed Warrenby Household Waste Centre in April 2012, which has undoubtedly worsened the problem.
Liberal Democrat councillors say the Labour-run council needs to get a grip on fly-tipping and take control of the situation before the area hits the top of the table nationally.
Commenting, Liberal Democrats’ Environment spokesperson Councillor John Earl said:
“These figures confirm what many local residents already know – fly-tipping is a blight on our borough and a problem that is only getting worse.”
“The first job of a council should be getting the basics right on things like street cleaning.”
“The Council’s Labour bosses need to take this problem seriously otherwise soon Redcar and Cleveland Council will end up as the very worst borough in the country.”

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Redcar Lib Dems call on Council to protect green spaces

Ian Swales, Liberal Democrat MP for Redcar, is today calling on Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council to ensure that green spaces are protected from over development.
The council has fallen behind with new homes targets in recent years and has not put in place a long-term plan for housing, leaving green spaces everywhere open to development. Under the Labour government's
2004 Planning Act R&C Council was forced to build 300 new houses every year, regardless of population - the target was only met in two of the past eight years.
The recently overturned planning decision on the Galley Hill development at Guisborough has concerned Ian Swales and his colleagues in the Lib Dems locally who believe that the Council's lack of forward planning has caused a land-grabbing free-for-all.
Redcar MP, Ian Swales commented:
"Residents of Redcar and Cleveland are living in fear of losing their green areas because the ruling group on the council has failed to meet the targets set by the last Labour Government and has never had a sustainable long-term plan.
"Because of this failure the development limits set by the local authority can be bypassed by developers. The top of Windy Hill Lane in Marske is already under threat and I'm afraid more and more of our beautiful green wedges could fall victim to the council's incompetence."
Cllr Chris Abbott, Lib Dem spokesperson for housing commented on proposed developments on green space in Redcar:
"Plans to build a limited number of houses on the perimeter of Newcomen Primary School Playing field, in Mersey Road, has been quietly increased without proper consultation. Plans for housing on Sacred Heart playing field, also in Mersey Road, are also being drawn up, despite the area being prone to serious and well publicised flooding.
"Legal planning conditions on both these sites were made to allow community use of school playing fields in exchange for building new primary and secondary schools in Mersey Road at Redcar. Once planning permission was granted the conditions, agreed with Sport England have simply been ignored."

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Lib Dems vote for new leadership at Redcar and Cleveland Council

Liberal Democrats today proposed a motion of no-confidence in the Labour leadership at Redcar and Cleveland Council.
Labour leader George Dunning survived the no-confidence vote by 27 votes to 13. All the Liberal Democrat members present voted for the motion, but received little support from the other opposition parties.
Lib Dem Council Group Leader Glyn Nightingale, who proposed the motion, said:
“This is not about Cllr Dunning as an individual, it’s the Labour administration that he leads. They are just not listening to the people and have no clear direction for the future of the borough.
“After the wasting of £1.6 million on a vertical pier that no-one wants, the highest council tax increase in the country when most others had a freeze, £125,000 spent refurbishing a Town Hall just before it was demolished and the fiasco of parking charges in Saltburn, surely there is enough reason for Labour to be made to stand aside.
“I am very disappointed that only one Conservative and only one Independent voted to change the administration."
A recorded vote took place and will be published in the minutes of the meeting. 
Whilst Labour Councillors were whipped to vote against the motion on no-confidence in the Leader, it was interesting to see some of the Labour members falling out amongst themselves during the debate and hear others criticise their own administration.

The vote of no-confidence in the Leader was the only way to change the Leadership of the Council after Labour had lost its overall majority following the defection of two Labour Councillors to Independent. Clearly only the Liberal Democrats were prepared to take on the challenge of running the Council after the Conservatives and Independents failed to answer the call to take responsibility and help make the Council more stable, effective and responsive to the public.

UPDATE 06/09/2013:

The recorded vote for the vote of no confidence was as follows:

For: Cllrs Abbott (Lib Dem), Carling (Lib Dem), Curr (Lib Dem), Earl (Lib Dem), Harrison (Lib Dem), Howden (Lib Dem), Kay (Ind), Mason (Lib Dem), Moses (Lib Dem), G Nightingale (Lib Dem), I Nightingale (Lib Dem), Ovens (Lib Dem) and Thomson (Con). Total = 13

Against: Cllrs Ayre (Lab), Bunn (Lab), Clarke (Lab), Dunlop (Lab), Dunning (Lab), Forster (Lab), Goddard (Lab), Goldswain (Lab), Guy (Lab), JP Hannon (IND), M Hannon (Lab), Hunt (IND), Jackson (Lab), S Jeffrey (Lab), V Jeffries (Lab), Lanigan (IND), Massey (Lab), McLuckie (Lab), Pallister (Lab), Peters (Lab), Pickthall (Lab), Reyer (IND), Rudland (Lab), Simms (Lab), Wall (Lab), Walsh (Lab) and Williams (IND). Total = 27

Abstain: Cllrs Fitzpatrick (Ind), Halton (Con), C Jeffery (Con), G Jeffery (Con), I Jeffrey (Lab), Pryce (IND), Quigley (Lab), Spencer (Con) and Szintai (Lab). Total = 9

Absent: The Councillors who were not there to vote were: Cllrs Briggs (Lab), Cooney (Con), Crawford (Lib Dem), Helm (Ind), Hogg (Lab), Keenan (Lab), Learoyd (IND), Smith (IND), Suthers (Lab) and Wilson (Lib Dem). Total = 10

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Redcar Lib Dems welcome new jobs

Liberal Democrats on Redcar & Cleveland Council have welcomed the news that over 500 jobs were created in the sub region in July 2013.
Lib Dems are particularly pleased that most of the new jobs are in engineering, technology and manufacturing, including a forecast of 40 new posts with CPI in Redcar.
Also welcome is the news that unemployment in the area fell during July and is now at its lowest rate since autumn 2011.
Lib Dem Council Group Leader Glyn Nightingale said:
“This is excellent news and shows that the similarly good figures for April, May and June were no flash in the pan.
“The recovery is clearly under way, although there is a long way to go. Jobs are the only thing that can really regenerate an area.

“Lib Dem influence in Government means that we are giving employers £2000 cash back on the tax they pay on their employees. This is a real incentive to create the jobs that Redcar & Cleveland needs.”

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

It's time for Labour to go - Lib Dems propose vote of no confidence in George Dunning's Labour Party.

Redcar and Cleveland Council’s Liberal Democrats propose a Council motion of “No Confidence” in Council Leader George Dunning (pictured right).

Calling on George Dunning to step down as Council Leader, the Lib Dem motion to the Council says “That the Council has no confidence in George Dunning as Leader of the Council.”

Commenting Lib Dem Group Leader Glyn Nightingale (pictured below) who is proposing the motion said, “It is time for Labour to go. George Dunning’s Labour Group has lost the confidence of the public and he has lost the support of his own party and of local Councillors  and, more importantly, of local people. No wonder George Dunning has lost his majority on the Council.

“It's time to stop Labour wasting public money on unessentials. It's time to give top priority to getting the basics right, like freezing Council Tax, making the area cleaner and green and attracting more jobs and  business into the area. The Council needs greater stability and the confidence of local people.

 “That's the Liberal Democrats' top priority both locally and in Government.”

Seconding the motion, Councillor Josh Mason, Lib Dem Constituency Chairman, said, “After a series bungled Labour policies on raising Council Tax, parking charges in Saltburn and saying ‘No’ to a theatre in Guisborough, it is clear that Councillor Dunning is bad for Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council.”

“The Liberal Democrats call for him to resign immediately.”

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

It's not just George Dunning that's the problem - say Liberal Democrats

Responding to Redcar and Cleveland Council Leader George Dunning’s “I won’t resign” statement, the local Liberal Democrats believe the Labour party is making him a scapegoat for losing its Council majority.

Lib Dem Group Leader Glyn Nightingale said: “Labour’s internal squabbling and call for George Dunning’s resignation disguises what’s wrong with the way Labour run our area. George Dunning isn’t the problem. It’s the Labour party itself. He’s just their front man.

"Labour keeps wasting public money on schemes few people want like the vertical pier. They neglect essential work needed to make the area clean, green and tidy.

"Typical is the Labour’s decision – kept confidential – to sell of 88 Westgate to a pub chain. They put profit before community interest. Labour councillors could have defied the Labour whip and joined Lib Dems and others to stop the sell off. But for Labour councillors keeping the whip beats the public interest. It’s the way they are.

“On top of all this, Labour is launching yet another reorganisation of the Council’s administration. There’s no guarantee top heavy management will end.

“And just as bad, Labour wants to change the way the Council is run to give even more power to Councillor Dunning and his Cabinet. All this while being a minority in Council.

 “Local people need a Council that represents their needs, listens to what the public say and stops wasting their money. It’s time to get the basics right.”

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Lib Dems call for a united opposition to Labour on Redcar and Cleveland Council

As the largest opposition group on Redcar & Cleveland Council, Liberal Democrats are concerned that the insecurity of Labour’s grip on power caused by recent defections will be disastrous for the borough. Labour have now lost their overall majority.

Lib Dem Group Leader Councillor Glyn Nightingale (pictured), said:

“The Liberal Democrats are opening talks with other opposition councillors to explore ways of steering the Council to more stable ground. The Council should be listening to what the public say and putting people’s needs before politics.

 “I hope that opposition groups can come to an agreement which will work for the benefit of the wider community.”

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Ian Swales MP to chair Coroner committee

It has been announced that Ian Swales, Liberal Democrat MP for Redcar, will chair a new group tasked with overseeing the streamlining and modernisation of Cleveland's ailing coroner service.

Ian has attended meetings with all interested parties - the police, coroner's office and councils - to come up with a solution. Together, they launched a review which has revealed some administrative problems holding back progress in the coroner's office, leading to some of the worst backlogs in the country.

Ian Swales is now to chair the group tasked with implementing the review to streamline and modernise the coroner's service in Cleveland.

Ian commented:

"It's totally unacceptable that local families have to wait so long for verdicts at what is already a very difficult time.

"I'm looking forward to working with all concerned parties towards a positive outcome for all.

"Our aim is to move from having one of the worst coroner's departments in the country to one of the best."

Monday, 29 July 2013

Yorkshire Day at Redcar on Thursday 1st August 2013

The annual Reading of the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity, at 11.38am, at Redcar Town Clock.

This year it will be read by Charles Dickens (Chris Foote-Wood, right) in modern English but there is also a mighty Viking (John Curr, below) who will read it in Old Norse. Silk white roses will be on sale at £1 and all proceeds go to Redcar Lifeboat.

The event will also be attended by His Worship the Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland, Councillor Vic Jeffries.

There will be stalls and attractions for all.

We’re part of the ring of roses around Yorkshire

There will be a ring of roses around Yorkshire on Thursday. The Yorkshire Ridings Society has sent out well over a hundred Yorkshire white rose flags in an attempt to ensure they are flown on Thursday in every settlement on or close to the real Yorkshire boundaries.

If you have a Yorkshire Flag please fly it on Thursday.

Thanks to all those people who have agreed to take part in the Ring of Roses.

Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity 2013

"I, Chris Foote-Wood standing here in the North Riding of Yorkshire declare:

That Yorkshire is three Ridings and the City of York, with these Boundaries of 1138 years standing;

That the address of all places in these Ridings is Yorkshire;

That all persons born therein or resident therein and loyal to the Ridings are Yorkshiremen and women;

That any person or corporate body which deliberately ignores or denies the aforementioned shall forfeit all claim to Yorkshire status.

These declarations made this Yorkshire Day 2013.

Yorkshire forever, God Save the Queen!”

The Yorkshire Ring of Roses is almost complete.

There will be A Ring of Roses round Yorkshire on Thursday.
The Yorkshire Ridings Society has sent out well over a hundred flags so far and these, in addition to many others which are due to be flown on Thursday. Orders are still arriving and members are delivering the last few flags.
 So great has been the interest that the society has had to order more flags.
Hopefully, all the flags which have been ordered will be  flown on Yorkshire Day.
If you have a Yorkshire Flag please fly it on Thursday.
Thanks to all those people who have agreed to take part in the Ring of Roses.
Pictured: Ian Swales MP for Redcar with the Yorkshire flag.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

A Ring, A Ring of Yorkshire Roses For Yorkshire Day

The Ring of Roses is Yorkshire Ridings Society's biggest and most exciting Yorkshire Day project yet.

The Yorkshire Ridings Society (YRS) would like to arrange for a Yorkshire Flag to be flown in all the settlements on, or very close to the Yorkshire Boundary, on Yorkshire Day.

The Yorkshire Ridings Society will provide the flags and post them out free, but need someone in every settlement, on or very near the boundary, to display the flags on 1st August. Will you help?

All YRS need is the name and address of someone living in each settlement to whom we can send a flag to be flown or displayed, preferably in a public place, on Yorkshire Day.

To obtain a flag to fly as part of the Ring of Roses, please click on the link and email the address to which the flag should be sent to.

They will be sent out in July to arrive to arrive in time for Yorkshire Day .

Roger Sewell, Chairman Yorkshire Ridings Society said:

"Please help to make Yorkshire Day even more special this year. If you do not feel you can help us, please can you pass on this message to someone in your community who might like to help?"

Flagging up the boundary - Settlements on or very close to the Yorkshire Boundary.

Filey, Gristhorpe, Leberston, Osgoby, Scarborough, Burniston, Cloughton, Ravenscar, Robin Hood’s Bay, Hawsker, Whitby, Sandsend, Runswick Bay, Hinderwell, Staithes, Easington, Loftus, Skinningrove, Brotton, Saltburn, Marske, Redcar, Middlesbrough, Thornaby-on-Tees, Yarm, Worsall, Over Dinsdale, Girsby, Hornsby, Great Smeaton, Dalton-on-Tees, Croft-on-Tees, Stapleton, Cleasby, Manfield, Cliffe, Eppleby, Ovington, Hutton Magna, Greta Bridge, Boldron, Startforth, Lartington, Cotherstone, Romaldkirk, Mickleton, Holwick, Bowes, Keld, Angram, Thwaite, Hawes, Garsdale, Sedberg, Gawthrop, Dent, Ingleton, High Bentham, Low Bentham, Slaidburn, Newton in Bowland, Dunsop Bridge, Whitewell, Great Mitten,Waddington, West Bradford, Grindleton, Rimington, Newby, Howgill, Barnoldswick, Salterforth, Kelbrook, Cowling, Laycock, Oakworth, Oldfield, Stanbury, Oxenhope, Peckett Well, Slack, Blackshaw Head, Todmorden, Mytholmroyd, Cragg Vale, Denshaw, Grains Bar, Delph, Thurston Clough, Scouthead, Austerlands, Grotton, Park Bridge, Mossley, Greenfield, Holme, Ringinglow, Abbeydale, Sheffield, Rotherham, Rother Valley Country Park, Woodall, Harthill, Firbeck, Tickhill, Bawtry, Austerfield, Robin Hood Airport, Auckley, Finningly, Blaxton, Eastoft, Fockerby, Adlingfleet, Broomfleet, Elleker, Elloughton, Brough, Welton, North Ferriby, Hessle, Hull, Paull,

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Lib Dem slams erection of "bonkers" ward boundary sign in Redcar:

A Liberal Democrat Councillor has branded an expensive boundary sign for a Council Ward as bonkers, and a shocking waste of public money:

Councillor Chris Abbott as hit out at the erection of a Millstone wheel, with a Kirkleatham Ward sign attached it, at the junction of West Dyke Road and Kirkleatham Lane.

Councillor Abbott (pictured at the sign) said:

“Council Wards are not places to be marked by boundary signs. They are there for electoral and demographic purposes only. They are subject to change every ten years. Spending money on installing expensive millstone wheels is a shocking waste of public money.” Where will it end? There are enough signs as it is without starting to mark council ward boundaries as well.

“There are 22 wards in the Borough and the names often don’t match the area they cover. Kirkleatham Ward does not actually include Kirkleatham village and my Ward Newcomen is the name of a former landowner not a place.

“The sign should be removed at once. It is totally bonkers. It is as if they are ashamed of Redcar and want to rename the town. It will only cause confusion.”

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Last ditch bid to save one-bedroomed bungalows

Bungalows on the perimeter of the Closes Estate at Redcar have been boarded up but Ward Councillor Chris Abbott has called on Coast and Country Housing to reconsider the decision to demolish them, which was taken before the removal of the spare bedroom subsidy.

Chris Abbott raised the issue at a meeting on Redcar and Cleveland Council on 30th May and has since written to Iain Sim, Chief Executive of Coast and Country Housing

Cllr Abbott said:

“If Coast and Country Housing is finding it so difficult to assist people to downsize as a result of the removal of the spare bedroom subsidy, why are they not changing the property specification for the new homes planned on the Closes estate?

“Why not abandon the plan to demolish the popular one-bed bungalows on the perimeter of the Closes and re-let these popular properties?

“To me it does not make sense replacing them with two-bed flats when these were made more secure and were fully renovated during the first phase of modernisation on the estate, which cost £40,000 per property.”

There are still 28 bungalows left, of which around 20 are due to be demolished.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Redcar and Cleveland Council's Labour Leader should explain walk-out

Labour Council Leader George Dunning walked out of a vital meeting with Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, yesterday.

He claims he had another meeting to go to. It is inconceivable that the Leader of a Council that desperately needs to attract business and get more jobs for its people could have a more important event to attend.

“Cllr Dunning needs to justify his behaviour and unwillingness to use this key opportunity to promote the Borough of Redcar and Cleveland to the Government.

“The Minister has already shown that the Government is prepared to help local business to bring jobs to Teesside and announce major assistance to a North East company yesterday.

“If Cllr Dunning is not prepared to bang the drum for our area, he should move over and let someone else do the job.”

Friday, 19 April 2013

Redcar Lib Dems urge visitors not to get caught short in the town

At yesterday’s meeting of the Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, Lib Dem Councillor Mary Ovens highlighted a serious flaw in the Council’s tourist plan for Redcar.
Questioning the Labour Cabinet Member Olwyn Peters, Cllr Ovens criticised the shortage of public toilets available or planned in Redcar.The great need is at the west end of the beach in the area of Majuba Car Park.
Cllr Ovens’ comments come after a sustained campaign by Coatham ward Lib Dem councillors Irene Curr and Josie Crawford.
Councillor Mary Ovens said:
"The oversight of Labour in Redcar is appalling. There is a clear need for additional facilities.
Redcar Lib Dem Councillor Josh Mason added:
Last week I heard of a pregnant woman being refused access to toilets in the “Vertical Pier” because she was not using other parts of the facility. This is nothing short of scandalous.”

Friday, 15 March 2013

Admin error in Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council Tax bills

Mr John Sampson, Head of Corporate Financial Services at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has sent the following note to Councillors: 

"The Council Tax bills that have just gone out to residents this week contain an error on the unique reference number and associated bar code. We are in the process of contacting all residents, by letter, who are likely to be affected by this, circa 27,000 

"The error is down to our partner Liberata and their validation prior to the printing of the bill, this error will be explained to residents. All costs associated with this error are being covered by a combination of liberata and their printers. 

"The letter to residents will go out on Friday (15th March), which will provide an apology from Liberata, along with a corrected reference number and bar code. 

"I can confirm, that this only impacts on those residents who pay their Council Tax via cash/card at post offices and similar counter services. Any direct contact with the Council to pay or payment via Direct Debit will be unaffected."

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Labour dodging democracy on Council Tax say Redcar Lib Dems

Redcar and Cleveland Liberal Democrats have condemned the Labour Council for proposing for a 1.97% increase in Council Tax.

If the rise was above 2% the Council would have to call a referendum in which the people would decide. The rise will give the Council an extra £1.1 million.
Central Government has offered the Council well over half a million pounds if it freezes Council Tax this year. This is the third time Labour bosses have refused Government money to help keep Council Tax frozen.
Last year Labour raised Council Tax by 3.5%, the highest in the country.
Despite this the Labour council has managed to spend: over £4,319 on new furniture for the Mayor’s Parlour; £168,000 hiring a temporary officer; £95,000 on equipment it already had; £37,600 on bird monitoring; £36k on a temporary civic building; £78,000 on a legal case it had no chance of winning and was prepared to spend £20,000 on hiring a consultant to find out what everybody already knew about opposition to parking charges in Saltburn!
The Government has offered councils the equivalent of a 1% Council Tax increase if they freeze Council Tax. Liberal Democrats say Redcar & Cleveland Council should accept this offer which amounts to £585,000. Lib Dems think the extra money the Council says it needs could be found through savings and, at last, making a real effort to eliminate inessential and wasteful expenditure.
Councillor Glyn Nightingale, Lib Dem Group Leader, said:
"I am appalled at Labour cynically keeping the Council Tax rise just below 2% to avoid a public referendum.
“The 1.97% rise will raise an extra £1.1 million. By freezing Council Tax the Government will give the Council £585,000. The gap of £579,000 exactly matches all the wasteful schemes Labour didn’t need to pour money into plus the £200k unspent from this year. There is plenty of wasted money spent on things they can scrap if they have the will to do it. It’s not difficult.
“But instead they seem to want to organise yet another raid on people’s wallets.
“If they want 2% more they should have the guts to say so and let the people decide.”

Saturday, 23 February 2013

An Historic night - Redcar Athletic's first floodlit match at Green Lane

Finally, after a years painstaking work littered with setbacks, Redcar Athletic FC are set to embark on an historic night for the town of Redcar with the first floodlit football game to take place in the town.

Redcar Athletic will take on current Wearside League Leaders Stockton Town on Tuesday 26th February 2013 in what will be an enthralling passionate derby game between the two sides.

Kick off is 7.30pm at Green Lane, Redcar, Yorkshire, TS10 4NF.

Athletic have switched the game from its usual Wednesday night slot to avoid a clash with the big FA Cup game Boro v Chelsea in in the hope that this will draw a big crowd for the game.

The club would like to publically thank several people for the hard work and long hours they put in to ensure that the floodlights were ready they include Paul Wilson, John Neesam, Ian Best ,Chris Dryden, Vince Peel, Wayne Burkill and Manager Nicky Ward.

Entry for the game on Tuesday is £2 adults £1 concessions a programme will be available at £1 and snacks and hot/cold drinks will be available.

The club will now try and embark on attempting to provide covered standing and seating accomodation at the ground. This would ensure that the set up meets Northern League approval. However, funds are now strictly limited and the club is appealing to anybody out there individuals, sponsors, companies to come forward and offer their support.

We can offer several packages so anybody with football in Redcar in their hearts please get in touch we would be delighted to hear from you. The last 12 months have been very difficult and frustrating for the club. But with financial support a keen and enthusiastic bunch of volunteers, plus an ambitious committee, we can eventually put football in Redcar on the map.

The club are hoping Redcar residents will turn out on Tuesday night to enjoy the football and support our local team

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Redcar and Cleveland Liberal Democrat Councillors call for a Council Tax freeze

Redcar and Cleveland Liberal Democrat Councillors are calling for a Council Tax freeze in response to the Labour controlled Council threatening to impose a 1.99% increase in what council taxpayers are being asked to pay.

Last 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.

This is the third time Labour bosses have refused the Government money to help keep Council Tax frozen. Since then, instead of spending all of this additional money on services, Labour has continued to waste taxpayers’ money on things like new furniture for the Mayor’s Parlour and alterations to the City Learning Centre.

The Council has also underspent in some areas. This proves they didn’t have to make local people pay such a massive increase last year, and as a result they should freeze the Council Tax this year.

The Government has offered councils the equivalent of a 1% Council Tax increase if they freeze Council Tax. Liberal Democrats say Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council should accept this offer which amounts to £585,000.

The Labour leadership can’t continually complain that the Council gets an unfair deal from government, then turn down Government money while hitting the pockets of local residents.

Councillor Glyn Nightingale, Lib Dem Group Leader, said:

"Labour in Redcar and Cleveland have shown that they are happy to waste Council Taxpayers money, whether it’s £1.5 million on a Vertical Pier that nobody wants, £37,600 on bird monitoring, and £125,000 doing up the Town Hall just before it was demolished.

"I am appalled at Labour's cynicism of keeping the Council Tax rise below 2% to avoid a public referendum.

"It is high time the Council’s Labour bosses started thinking about local residents."

Redcar Lib Dems demand more democracy on health

Liberal Democrats in the Borough of Redcar and Cleveland are urging the Labour controlled Council to make an influential new committee more democratic. 

The Labour Cabinet is proposing to give only three places out of 17 on the new Health and Wellbeing Board to elected members. All of these will be Labour Cabinet Members. The rest would go to senior officials from health organisations in the area. 

However, at a recent Council Scrutiny Board meeting, Lib Dem Group Leader Glyn Nightingale proposed that a majority of members be councillors, selected in proportion to their parties’ strengths on the Council. This received support from Conservative, Independent and Labour Councillors. 

Lib Dem Councillor Glyn Nightingale said: 

“Transfering the powers of unelected Primary Care Trusts to the Counci by the Coalition Government was major step in improving local democracy But now the Labour hierarchy l seems to want to replace one unelected body with another.

“This is a very important committee. It will be responsible for making sure the health of the public in our area is protected and improved. The quality of life for thousands of local people will depend on it doing its job well. That is why it is so important that the committee is democratic and accountable. 

“I am pleased that the Scrutiny Board has challenged the Labour Cabinet on this. I hope they will think again.”

Monday, 18 February 2013

Another Marske Labour Councillor resigns from Redcar and Cleveland Council's Labour Group

Losing one Councillor from St Germains Ward might be considered unlucky but losing two is just careless of the not listening Redcar and Cleveland Council Labour Group:

The following email was sent today to all Councillors from Councillor Sean Pryce:

Dear George and Labour Group members,

I have a duty to do what is right for the residents I represent. I stood as a councillor so that I can represent the views and wishes of residents. The Labour leadership of this council and certain cabinet members are repeatedly and consistently refusing to listen to the views of residents. This could not have been more clearly proven by the response to more than 99% of residents opposing a parking scheme. The council has no mandate to introduce such a parking scheme, and to propose and support spending a further £20,000, just so the council can justify raising revenue by parking charges, is possibly illegal, and if not is certainly immoral.

Residents are also tired of the annual rounds of council tax rises, when other councils that already have lower council tax rates are again freezing theirs.

From a personal point of view, as an ex serving police officer I had enjoyed my roles involving Cleveland Police, but the group saw fit to remove my involvement in favour of yourself and Councillor Goddard, when neither of you have a fraction of the knowledge of policing or policing issues. The fact that this was a paid role was not my concern.

Hence, I think that I can better represent the interests of residents by continuing my councillor duties in opposition to the Labour group and so resign from the Labour Group and from Labour Party membership herewith.

I hope that you can turn round what many interpret as an arrogant and “we know what's best for you” attitude from the leadership and some of the cabinet for the benefit of the council and our residents. No problems with anyone personally, just the unwillingness of some to listen to the residents they are supposed to represent.

Cllr Sean Pryce

Sean Pryce
Labour & Cooperative Councillor
St Germains Ward
Marske by the Sea

Lib Dem Group Leader Glyn Nightingale commented:

"Sean Pryce's resignation from the Labour Party is hardly surprising. This is yet another in a series of Labour defections and resignations since 2011. To lose three Cabinet members is serious. But to see its majority whittled away by defections is calamitous for Labour.

“The only two gains Labour made in Redcar in Council elections in 2011 have now been lost to defections.

“Labour continue to take their local dominance and power for granted.

They shamelessly ignore common sense, waste taxpayers' money and disregard what local people want.

They have rejected the Government's money to freeze Council Tax; squandered money on a vertical pier and £20,000 on a consultation that ignores a popular petition protesting against parking charges in Saltburn. It’s typical of their incompetence in running a multi-million pound organisation. Clearly, Cllr Pryce shares our view on these key issues.

“No wonder sensible people are still turning their backs on Labour, just as they did in 2010 when they turfed them out of government and elected the first Liberal Democrat MP, Ian Swales, in the Borough. Now, it seems they can’t even keep support within their own party."

Friday, 15 February 2013


Motorists are being advised of potential disruption when a carriageway improvement scheme gets under way.

A six week programme of work on the A1085 Corporation Road / Locke Road / Mersey Road Junction begins on Monday 25th February. 

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

Works will include widening the junction to facilitate right turn movements for vehicles travelling from Corporation Road towards both Mersey Road and Locke Road.

The scheme also includes upgrading the existing traffic signals which will help to reduce delays for all road users and maximise capacity at the junction. Improved crossing facilities will be provided to assist both pedestrians and cyclists.

To ensure the safety of the public and workforce, Locke Road will be closed for the duration of the scheme and a diversion route will be clearly signposted. 

Lane closures at both Corporation Road and Mersey Road will also be in operation utilising three way temporary traffic signals.