Monday, 15 December 2014

Have your say on the proposals for a Combined Authority

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council have provided the following information about the public consultation on the proposal for a Combined Authority:

Five local councils (Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees) are asking for your views on proposals to form a Combined Authority for the area covered by the above Councils. There is a package of information available on the Councils website which is available by clicking on here.

This includes:

·           A consultation document
·           Some frequently asked questions
·           A draft governance review
·           A copy of the 9th December 2014 Cabinet report
·           Press releases
·           Video

This sets out what the Combined Authority would do and what the local councils would continue to do. In summary, the Combined Authority would focus on economic growth and our ambition to create 25,000 new jobs for the area and would NOT recreate the former Cleveland County Council. We would like to hear your views on our proposal. So, please complete online questionnaire by no later than 31st January 2015. There is space for your own wording too. Alternatively, you can complete the survey online:

Once the consultation period has closed we will report the conclusions of the consultation to all five councils no later than March 2015. If feedback is supportive, we intend to formally ask each Borough Council to approve our ‘scheme’ in March, which is when we have to submit our proposal to the Secretary of State.

The Secretary of State will then carry out further consultation before placing an ‘Order’ before both Houses of Parliament. Because of the General Election in May 2015, this is likely to mean that the earliest chance to have the Order approved before both Houses of Parliament would be Autumn 2015.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Ian Swales MP secures flooding meeting for Residents

Following the devastating flooding around the Borough of Redcar and Cleveland in September 2013, Redcar MP Ian Swales has been pushing hard for residents to get answers from the responsible authorities.

Since the flooding, the council has been promising the take action to reduce the risk of future flooding. Northumbrian Water, SSI, the Environment Agency and local social housing providers also have a part to play.

A meeting has been arranged for Thursday 11 December from 6.30pm at Sacred Heart School, Redcar. All authorities will be represented and will be telling residents about the work they’ve been doing and their plans for the future.

All residents are welcome.

Commenting, Ian Swales said:

“It has been 10 months since I last arranged a public meeting and since then I have been pushing the authorities to take action and come up with a long term plan.

“The council has been promising the results of a hydrology study since March and it’s now time that they report the findings back to residents. I’ve been saying since day one that this will require drastic action and I now want to see it happen.”

Liberal Democrat Deputy Council Group Leader and Parliamentary Candidate for Redcar Constituency, Councillor Josh Mason said:

“Despite pressure from myself and Ian the council seem to have made little progress and seem to be hoping people will forget about the flooding last year.

“I have seen first-hand the devastating effects of the flooding on local residents and now want to see the relevant authorities come forward with a long-term plan that will reduce the risk of us ever having to experience anything like that again.”

Pictured: Ian Swales (left) and Josh Mason (right) in Marske visiting residents affected by flooding.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Ian Swales encourages community to have their say on the future of Redcar Post Office

MP for Redcar, Ian Swales is urging local people to get involved with the consultation to decide the future of Redcar’s Crown Post Office. Proposals put forward by the Post Office recommend relocation into WHSmith on Redcar High Street.

Alongside the six week consultation, a public meeting will take place on Wednesday 3rd December from 4-8pm at TunedIn, Majuba Road, Redcar. At the event, representatives from the Post Office will be available to discuss the proposals and the consultation process. Only about a third of the current building on Cleveland Street is occupied, forcing the Post Office to look for a more cost-effective alternative location.
Ian Swales commented:

“It’s vitally important that local people have their say on such important changes in the community. I have been contacted by a number of residents who are concerned about the proposed move and I am encouraging each and every one of them to get involved in the consultation to make their feelings known.

“I have a number of concerns about the proposed move which I will raise personally, and I would encourage local people to do the same.

“I will continue to work with Post Office management to ensure that vital services are protected and we get the best possible outcome for the town.”

Friday, 14 November 2014

Time to cut Council Tax, say Redcar Lib Dems

Figures uncovered by Liberal Democrats in the Borough of  Redcar and Cleveland suggest that there is enough spare cash in the council’s coffers to give residents a council tax cut in this year’s budget.

For the last three years, the council has turned down extra government grant to freeze council tax, instead hiking tax for local people. To make up for raising the tax in previous years, Liberal Democrats are calling on the Labour administration to use surplus reserves to give a tax cut this year – and still benefit from more than £600,000 a year in extra grant funding from the government.

Liberal Democrat Deputy Group Leader and prospective MP for the Redcar Constituency, Cllr Josh Mason commented:

“The council has easily enough funds in reserve to offer hardworking people a cut in council tax this year.

“For the last three years they’ve turned down free government money for freezing council tax, choosing to increase the burden on local householders instead.

“In tough financial times, when the government is cutting income tax and reducing fuel bills, it’s right that Labour should be doing more to help hard-pressed local people, not hiking up the cost of living.”

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Redcar Lib Dems demand an end to Labour budget gobbledegook

Liberal Democrats have slammed Labour Council bosses after it emerged that Redcar and Cleveland Council’s budget reports are by far the hardest to understand in the country.

The study by the Manchester Evening News declared the Council’s budget report more complex than Professor Steven Hawking’s ‘A Brief History of Time’.

According to a recent analysis which used four different measures to determine how difficult the budget report was to read, someone would need 22.5 years of education to understand the council’s papers, making it the equivalent of a university doctorate level text.

Steve Jenner from the Plain English Campaign described the contents as ‘gobbledygook’. Lib Dem Council Group Leader and Finance Spokesman, Councillor Glyn Nightingale, said:

“Professor Hawking will be relieved that his book is less taxing. "I knew something was wrong when, after I had read the budget reports, I picked up a book on nuclear physics for a bit of light relief!

“But there is a serious side to this. It is undemocratic. People should be able to understand what is being done by their elected councillors. Explaining things in a more complicated way than necessary excludes people.

“Labour’s Council bosses really need to get themselves on a Plain English course.

"Or is there some financial mismanagement that they want to hide?"

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Plans to build 320 houses in Ormesby refused

The Council’s Regulatory Committee by 6 votes to five has refused planning permission for 320 houses to be built on the Longbank Farm site in Ormesby.

Only Labour Councillors supported the application.

It’s a victory for the campaign by local residents and Lib Dem Councillors to protect green areas.
The Committee only gave three local residents and three councillors three minutes each to support refusal while the case in favour took 45 minutes.

Ormesby Councillor and Lib Dem Group Leader Glyn Nightingale said:

“It’s great that our efforts working local residents has kept our area’s open spaces free from totally inappropriate development. The impact on traffic, local schools and local amenities would have been devastating.”

Prospective Lib Dem MP for the Redcar Constituency Josh Mason commented:

“The Longbank Farm site is just one of the Labour Council’s favoured areas for house building on local green field sites. Residents don’t want this. The Liberal Democrats don’t want this. And I shall work with local residents to make sure this doesn’t happen. The Council should be protecting green field sites not ruining them.”

Pictured left to right: Councillor Ann Wilson, Councillor Irene Nightingasle, Councillor Josh Mason, Councillor Gluyn Nightingale.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Redcar Liberal Democrats select local man Josh Mason as successor to Ian Swales

During a hustings event in Redcar last night, Cllr Josh Mason was selected to take the reins from Redcar’s Liberal Democrat MP Ian Swales to stand for MP in the 2015 General Election.

Local man Josh, who is chair of the party, has worked very closely with Ian for the past 4 years supporting his campaigns for jobs, on flooding, against intrusive wind turbines, saving post offices and for better use of Redcar Hospital. 

Josh also sits on the board of Coast and Country Housing, is a local school governor, and represents Redcar’s Zetland Ward as deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats on Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. 

Josh has spent the last four years campaigning hard against council waste. He has led calls to freeze council tax for the last three years and called for George Dunning’s resignation. Josh strongly opposed the council’s Draft Local Plan and has repeatedly campaigned for action to be taken on TunedIn, the council’s failing new youth facility.

Commenting on the announcement sitting MP, Ian Swales said:

“I am delighted that Josh Mason has been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the next General Election. I worked with Josh for over four years and it's no wonder that local politicians of all parties see him as the outstanding talent of the next generation. I will give him my full backing and think he can do an excellent job as our local MP.

“Our area is benefiting by having MPs with strong roots in the area. We can't go back to having Labour MPs dropped in from other parts of the country.”
After his selection Josh Mason commented:

“I’m thrilled to have been selected to stand in place of Ian Swales who has been a popular and hardworking MP.

“He will certainly be a hard act to follow but after working with him so closely over the years, I’m well aware of the constituency’s needs and feel well equipped to speak up for us locally and in Parliament.

“I grew up here, my family live here and I care deeply about the area’s future. I want to be an approachable, hardworking local MP and I will fight as hard as I can to ensure the best for our area.”

Friday, 5 September 2014

Ian Swales MP supports reform of “Bedroom Tax”

MP for Redcar Constituency Ian Swales has today supported his Liberal Democrat colleague’s private members bill calling for further reform of the spare room subsidy, more commonly referred to as the ‘bedroom tax’.

The bill, put forward by Andrew George MP, proposed that those who are willing to move but cannot be found a smaller home would be exempt, as would disabled people who live in adapted properties or who need a spare bedroom.

The bill received a majority of support from MPs with 306 votes to 231. The bill will now progress to committee stage.

Commenting after the vote, Ian said:

“I voted against the so called bedroom tax when the legislation originally passed through the house. This wasn’t because I think taxpayers should continue to pay for spare bedrooms or because I ignored the needs of the millions of people on housing waiting lists or living in overcrowded accommodation as the Labour party seem to do. It was simply because I knew that in my constituency we did not have enough 1 and 2 bedroom properties to cope with the change.

“There were of course other issues with the policy and I have personally fought for the changes already made for disabled children, service personnel and foster carers. Today's Bill covers two major remaining groups, disabled adults needing an extra room and those willing to move who can't be offered a suitable alternative. Both of which are problems in my constituency.

“I was therefore pleased to support the Bill and congratulated my Liberal Democrat colleague, Andrew George, on bringing it forward. Whilst the Conservatives and Labour take opposite sides on this issue, the Liberal Democrats are the only party trying to achieve a fairer system for everyone.”

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Send a Missive2M&S campaign - email to Marks and Spencer

My reply to David Leach Government Affairs Manager at Marks and Spencer:

Send a Missive2M&S campaign

Thank you for your reply but you are simply repeating what I already know.

My point in writing was to say to Mr Bolland think again you have made the wrong decision. There is still time to change this round and do something to make your customers happy for once by staying loyal to Redcar. Letting Redcar down by closing the store may well lead to local customers closing online accounts with Marks & Spencer. Out of sight out of mind.

The weak performance of M&S is more likely to be down to your current range of women's clothing from what I learn from talking to local people. I fear you are making a dreadful mistake and I must urge the company once more to think again.

A final thought Yorkshire Trading Company took over from FW Woolworth and they are thriving in the town who will take over from M&S? Out of sight out of mind.


Chris Abbott

Councillor Chris Abbott
Newcomen Ward - Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council
3 Rydal Avenue
TS10 1JB

01642 487557


Send a Missive2M&S campaign - reply from Marks and Spencer

I have received the following response from David Leach Government Affairs Manager at Marks and Spencer:

Dear Cllr Abbott,

Thank you for your email to M&S Chief Executive Marc Bolland regarding the closure of the M&S Outlet store on Redcar High Street. I have been asked to reply on his behalf.

You may be aware that we informed Ian Swales MP and senior officials from Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council on 11th July that the consultation process had ended and that we would be proceeding with the closure of the store.

Unfortunately, the store is no longer commercially viable due to a combination of weak performance and the fact that significant investment is required to modernise the store. We are now continuing to discuss the closure with the store’s 44 employees, all of whom have been offered redeployment. The final day of trading will be Saturday 27th September.

We recognise you will be disappointed by this outcome but it’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly. We hope our customers in Redcar will continue to shop with us at nearby M&S stores and online at the M& website.

Please contact me if you would like further information.

Kind regards,


David Leach
Government Affairs Manager
Marks and Spencer
Waterside House
35 North Wharf Road
London W2 1NW

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Send a Missive2M&S they need to think again about closing their Redcar store

I have launched a campaign urging local people to inundate Marc Bolland the Chief Executive of Marks and Spencer with letters and emails asking them ‘think again’ about closing their Redcar store.

Marks and Spencer is vital to Redcar town centre. People come into the town specially to go to Marks and Spencer. The decision to close the store has been a massive blow. It does not make sense at all at a time when the economy in on the up and we get the steel works back. The town really needs top stores to start coming in not closing down.

It is not to late, even though they have said the store will close on Saturday 27th September, there is still time for them to think again. They still have a ten year lease on the store. I am urging residents from far and wide to send a Missive2M&S by writing a few words to Marc Bolland Chief Executive of Marks and Spencer either by email or letter. We need to do everything we can to ensure town centre begins thrive again and it will not do that if we lose stores like M&S.

Dear Mr Bolland,


Redcar people have been loyal to Marks and Spencer for many decades. Major investment has just been made along the sea front, the steel works are back up and running, unemployment is falling and the economy is on the up.  Please think again about the decision to close the Redcar store.

Yours sincerely


Mr Marc Bolland
Chief Executive
Marks & Spencer
Waterside House
35 North Wharf Road
W2 1NW

Friday, 1 August 2014

Yorkshire Day success at Redcar

Redcar High Street was packed today when Yorkshire Day fell on Market Day but this resulted in a bumper turnout for the annual reading of the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity.

Actor/writer Chris Foote Wood appeared as Captain Cook to lead the proceedings. He was supported by Redcar’s John Curr as mighty Viking Sicga Draugluin who read the Declaration in Old Norse, one of the four languages used in the area since the earliest known written reference to the Ridings of York in the Anglo Saxon Chronicles of 876. The others are Latin Old English and Modern English.

Mr Foote Wood read the Declaration in modern English to loud cheers from the assembled crowd.

The Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland, Councillor Carole Simms, attended the ceremony and said “Yorkshire Day can be celebrated in any way you see fit. You don’t have to be Yorkshire born to appreciate the county and to join in.”

As a tribute to the Tour de France in Yorkshire local Sustran Ranger Coordinator Keith Duncan rode in from Saltburn carrying the Yorkshire flag along with Phil Chisholm of Redcar. Steven Abbott and his son Matthew Abbott (17) rode in from Grangetown.

Ridings Society members with the aid of ladies from Redcar Ladies Lifeboat Guild raised £203.70 for Redcar Lifeboat from the sales of white roses. The Ridings Society raised £230.40 for its campaign fund from the tombola and £32 was raised for Yorkshire Air Ambulance from a cake raffle. Mrs Kelly Seaman (left) and Councillor Irene Curr are pictured with the locally made cakes which were donated.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Yorkshire Day at York Friday 1st August 2014

Members of the Yorkshire Ridings Society (YRS) will meet at Micklegate Bar at 11.15 am to lead the annual walk around the ‘Bar Walls’ of York carrying the Yorkshire flag.
The Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity will be read at the 4 Bars (Gate) starting at Micklegate Bar (West Riding) 11.39 followed by Bootham Bar (North Riding) Monk Bar (City) and Walmgate Bar (East Riding).
The time 11.39 am for the first reading coincides with the number of years since the first written reference to the Ridings of York in the Anglo Saxon Chronicles. Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity will be read in the four languages used in the area since that time. Latin, Old Norse, Old English, and Modern English.
The ceremonial party then moves on to St Helen’s Square for an afternoon of entertainment in cooperation with City of York Council. The Deputy Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Julie Gunnell, will read the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity in Modern English at 1pm and there will be a reading of Doreen Brigham’s popular poem A Song for Yorkshire by Mrs Judith Preston Anderson, President of YRS and YRS York member Mr Peter Hindle.
At 4 pm the Declaration will be made again by Henry Cryer (pictured above) the well-known Town Crier of Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham, who makes a special guest appearance.
The Yorkshire Flag presented to the City of York by the Yorkshire Ridings Society after it was registered by them in 2008 will be flown from the Mansion House on Yorkshire Day.
Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity 2014

Your attention please:

I, (reader’s name) being a (native of) and resident in the East/North/West Riding of Yorkshire
(City of York if within the walls) declare:

  • that Yorkshire is three Ridings and the City of York with these boundaries of one
    thousand, one hundred and thirty nine 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 Yorkshire
    men 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 2014

                           YORKSHIRE FOREVER!

                           GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!

Monday, 28 July 2014

Actor Chris happy to play his distant relative Captain Cook at Redcar

Writer and actor Chris Foote Wood, brother of top comedienne Victoria Wood, will be reading the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity at Redcar Town Clock this Friday, August 1st, Yorkshire Day at 11.39am. Mr Foote Wood plays a different character each year.

This is the fourth year in succession that Chris as led the Yorkshire Day celebrations at Redcar. Last year he was Charles Dickens, and this year it is the famous Yorkshire navigator and explorer, Captain James Cook.

“Research at the family history centre in Whitby shows that I am very distantly related to Captain Cook,” said Mr Foote Wood, “Cook, who was born in Marton, Middlesbrough, has no direct descendants as all his children died without issue.

“I am doubly pleased to be playing Capt Cook, who learned his trade at Whitby, as two of my direct ancestors, my great great and great great great grandfathers were both Whitby sea captains, a very prestigious position in the town. Each commanded a three-masted bark, exactly like HM Bark Endeavour in which Cook made the first of his round the world voyages.

“These ships, known as Whitby Cats, were originally built for the coal trade. They were strong and wide with a shallow draught, and ideal for close inshore work as well as sailing the oceans. I am so pleased a full-size replica of the Endeavour is berthed at Stockton.

“My only problem is that I am shortly to play Charles Dickens in my one-man show at the Edinburgh Fringe with a beard, so Capt Cook, who is usually depicted as clean shaven, will have to be bearded on this occasion.”

6’8” John Curr of Redcar will appear as a mighty Viking and will read the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity in Old Norse. Silk white roses will be on sale at £1 and all proceeds go to Redcar Lifeboat. This year the event will also be attended by the Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland, Councillor Carole Simms. There will be stalls and attractions for all.

As a tribute to the Tour de France people will be cycling in from neighbouring towns carrying the Yorkshire flag.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Ian Swales Hails Economic Recovery

Liberal Democrats have helped to restore the UK economy to pre-crash levels, figures released today show.

The UK economy has grown by 0.8% over the last quarter, ensuring that the UK economy has now returned to the same level it had before the banking crisis in 2008.

Commenting, MP for Redcar, Ian Swales said:

“Today is a big day for Britain. The rescue is working and Britain’s economy is the same size as it was before the crash. This is fantastic news for local people. Things continue to improve and good news keeps on coming.

“Delivering this recovery is why Liberal Democrats took the brave decision to enter coalition in 2010 and I am proud that we have helped rescue the British economy and get it growing at the fastest rate of any major economy.

“Our area has received over five times more government investment per year than under the previous government and I remain focussed on pushing for more and continuing to build a stronger economy and a fairer society for my constituents. Things are really on the up!”

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Yorkshire Day at Redcar on Friday 1st August 2014

Captain James Cook will read the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity at Redcar on Yorkshire Day.

The Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity is a statement of allegiance to Yorkshire. It is read at each of the three Bars (gates) of York, to represent the Three Ridings of Yorkshire and once within the City of York. The ceremony has been held around the walls of York every Yorkshire Day since 1975. The Declaration has been read at Redcar each year since 1997. Chris Foote-Wood, brother of Comedienne, Victoria Wood, who last year led the proceedings as Charles Dickens, will this year appear as Captain Cook. Chris is pictured, right, on Yorkshire Day 2012 in his Town Crier outfit.

Fun for all the family

The annual Reading of the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity, at Redcar takes place at 11.39am, on Yorkshire Day, Friday 1st August 2014 at Redcar Town Clock.

This year it will be read by Captain Cook (Chris Foote-Wood) in modern English but there is also a mighty Viking (John Curr) who will read it in Old Norse. Silk white roses will be on sale at £1 and all proceeds go to Redcar Lifeboat. This year the event will also be attended by Her Worship the Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland, Councillor Carole Simms. A number of local organisations will have stalls and there will be attractions for all, including a band, puppets and tombola. A special cake will be raffled.

The declaration is read this year at 11.39 as this represent 1139 years since the earliest known written reference to the Ridings of York in the Anglo Saxon Chronicles of 876. This takes account of changes to the calendar. Next year it is read at 11.40.

Cycle in with the Yorkshire flag
In order to pay tribute to the Tour de France being held in Yorkshire this year,  the Yorkshire Ridings Society is hoping that people from neighbouring towns will cycle in with the Yorkshire flag in time to present it prior to the 11.39 am start and represent their town or village at the ceremony. Participants are free to arrange sponsorship for any charity of their choice. Those wishing to take part should contact Councillor Chris Abbott on 01642 487557  or email. They would need to carry out their own risk assessment but YRS would be happy to supply a Yorkshire flag.
Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity 2014

Those residents unable to attend the ceremony at Redcar may wish to arrange a reading of the Declaration of Integrity in their area.

"I, (Your Name) standing here in the North Riding of Yorkshire declare:

That Yorkshire is three Ridings and the City of York, with these Boundaries of 1139 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 2014.

Yorkshire forever, God Save the Queen!”

 Celebrate Yorkshire on Yorkshire Day

Yorkshire Day can be celebrated by wearing a white rose, flying the Yorkshire flag or having a special Yorkshire Day meal. Above all it is a day to show your pride in the Britain's largest County.  The Association of British Counties describes our County heritage as “something to be treasured and nurtured by society, not tossed aside simply because the Counties are no longer considered suitable as a basis for administration.”

Monday, 30 June 2014

Redcar Lib Dems welcome extra money to fix potholes

Liberal Democrats on Redcar & Cleveland Council are delighted that the Council is to receive over £300,000 to fix potholes.
The Government has just announced extra funding for councils up and down the country to deal with the problem.
Redcar & Cleveland is set to get £301,123. The Government estimates that each pothole costs £53 to fix on average.
This means that over 5,000 holes can be repaired in the borough.
Lib Dem Highways spokesman, Councillor Mike Carling (pictured right), welcomed the extra money saying:
“This is excellent news for our area.
"Potholes affect all areas of our borough. They damage cars and cause injury to pedestrians and cyclists. It’s an issue that concerns many people and that is why Liberal Democrats in Redcar have campaigned for improvements for many years.
“I am pleased to see that the Coalition Government is taking the issue seriously and providing this much-needed extra funding.”
Lib Dem Group Leader Glyn Nightingale added:

“The Labour Council puts up Council Tax every year yet fails to get the basics right. Now, thanks to the Coalition Government, they have no excuse for failing to fix our roads.”

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Exclusive Guest Post: Daniel Abbott interviews Leeds United stars with pictures.

Today I went with my Grandad to the opening of the newly refurbished Leeds United superstore at Elland Road to get my new all white strip for the coming season.

All the players were in the store along with the new Head Coach, Dave Hockaday, and his assistant Junior Lewis.

I got the chance to talk to some of the team and here are my exclusive interviews with the new boss and some of my favourite players:

I shook hands with Dave Hockaday and I asked him if he was going to play the long ball or the passing game. His reply was the one I was hoping for, he said: "The passing game."

Next, I spoke to our Captain Ross McCormack and I asked him how he felt when he heard that Brian McDermott had been sacked? He said: "That's football though isn't it lad. You are not wearing a wire are you."

I spoke to Sam Byram and I told him that my cousin Charlotte Seaman had a crush on him. Here is a picture of Charlotte meeting Sam.

I asked Matt Smith, what did it feel like to get sent off at Sheffield Wednesday last season and he replied "dreadful."

I saw Michael Tonge score a 25 yard volley at Sheffield Wednesday, the season before last and I asked him how he felt scoring that special goal? His reply was "Cracking, the best goal I have scored for Leeds."

When I asked Zac Thompson how he felt when he got a straight red card at Reading he was quick to assure me: "That's not how I play football normally."

I told Chris Dawson he was fast on the ball and I asked him if he was hoping to get a run in the team this season? He said: "Hopefully I will get a game."

Pictures above from the top: Daniel with Ross McCormack, Daniel in the new kit, Charlotte with Sam Byram. Pictures below from the top: Daniel with Matt Smith as Ross McCormack listens intently, Daniel chatting with Zac Thompson and Daniel listening to Chris Dawson.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Vehices hitting bollards in Redcar's Roseberry Shopping Centre is costing drivers £1000s each year

Last August bollards in Redcar’s popular but privately owned Roseberry Shopping Centre on Roseberry Road, were given a coat of yellow and black hooped paint, by the Centre’s Management Company, Knight Frank. 

This was to make them stand out more as drivers were shunting into them frequently.

Since then thousands of pounds of damage has been done to vehicles and the evidence is clear on every bollard.

! took this up with Knight Frank last August and was informed the bollards and speed humps were installed when the centre was constructed as part of the planning requirements for traffic management around the site: 

The company could not understand why people could not see them.

Even though they are clearly marked they cannot be seen when you are manoeuvring in the car park and every single one is marked by people shunting into them. It is easy to forget they are there and you cannot see them when you are sat in a car close up to them. There are none of these in the Council’s car parks.

People keep complaining to me about it and grumbling about the damage done to their vehicles.

The shopping experience at this excellent facility can be improved 100% if these pointless bollards, that appear to serve no real purpose, were removed together with the dreadful road humps which also annoy everyone so much. These do not work as safety measures because people weave about to avoid them. Half were removed last year but the rest still remain.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Lib Dems could sink the Daily Mail if they would only stop buying it

Mark Pack has posted an interesting piece on Liberal Democrat Voice about the "newspaper readership habits of Liberal Democrat voters," using figures that have been calculated from the data provided in The British General Election of 2010.  

It is interesting that the two papers which treat the Lib Dems with such contempt and bully us daily with nasty smears and exaggerations, the dreadful Daily Mail and The Sun, have the largest Lib Dem readership. Clearly if Lib Dems stopped buying these papers they would be in real trouble.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Time the anti Lib Dem press backed off

The media has stoked up this anti Lib Dem mood that currently exists in the country and it is time they backed off and started to treat us fairly. 

Too many people are brushing it off by saying it's what you expect when you are in Government or Labour has had a bad time from the Tory press for years. But not page after page day after day since 2010 as we have had from the likes of the dreadful Daily Mail, The Sun and even the Guardian which does it in a very subtle way. 

Prior to 2010 we were lucky if we could get a line in any of the Tory papers but now we are treated abysmally.

Millions of people see this every day. There is no good publicity to balance it up anywhere. Someone like Paddy Ashdown needs to tell them to back off. David Cameron should too. We have kept him in power and shielded him from a lot of the stuff we have taken directly on the chin for him. The Tory press are doing it because we have been a restraining influence on the Tory Government and the Labour press because we put the Tories in. They get away with it because we don't point out the unfairness of it and take 'em on.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

YRS offer to provide Historic North Riding of Yorkshire signs at bridges over River Tees

As Chairman of the Yorkshire Ridings Society (YRS), I have today emailed Councillor Bob Cook, Leader of Stockton Borough Council and Mr Neil Schneider, Chief Executive pointing out that YRS has offered to pay for traditional county signs to be erected at the bridges on the Yorkshire side of the River Tees in the Borough of Stockton.

This was in response to Stockton Labour Candidate, Louise Baldock's call for "Welcome to Yorkshire" signs on the bridges in the Borough of Stockton on Tees.

According to Saturday's Evening Gazette Stockton's Council Leader is willing to consider it following the overwhelming vote of Yarm residents in favour of 24% voted in the Yarm 4 Yorkshire poll last Tuesday 27th May 2014, 1465 'Yes' and 177 'No.' I like to think that they took note of my comments on BBC Tees on Wednesday when I suggested ways they could identify with Yorkshire without re-organising local government in the areas and my recent  blog on the subject.

I wrote to them as follows:

"The Yorkshire Ridings Society has offered to pay for signs to be erected on bridges on the Yorkshire side of the River Tees in the Borough of Stockton on Tees on numerous occasions over the past 10 years. We paid for seven signs to be erected in the Borough of Redcar and Cleveland.

"We are delighted the Leader of the Council is now prepared to consider this. We will be happy to discuss with the Council our offer to raise the money to pay for them."

Whilst I think "Welcome to Yorkshire" signs would be a little naff. I hope the Council would agree to have Historic North Riding of Yorkshire signs instead.

Pictured above is one of a number of Historic West Riding of Yorkshire signs erected on all roads on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border. These were provided by Yorkshire Ridings Society in partnership with Saddleworth White Rose Society and Friends of Real Lancashire. Former Labour MP Phil Woolas is in the foreground.

Below is a picture of the Lancashire signs which were provided on the opposite side of the road.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Time for the dreadful Daily Mail to BACK OFF

Since 2010 the dreadful Daily Mail has run the most vicious anti-Lib Dem campaign on page after page of the paper, day after day after day. 
Every columnist includes nasty remarks against individuals, stories are blown up well out of proportion. It cannot possibly be good for democracy if this is allowed to continue unchallenged.

1.7m people buy this paper. Millions more buy other Labour or Tory supporting titles that also target the Lib Dems each day albeit not as obsessively as the Daily Mail, It is bound to have an effect on those who read it and may well be at least partly responsible for the anti-Lib Dem mood in the country.
They clearly resent the fact 57 Lib Dem MPs have a moderating influence of the Conservatives and want to ensure we pay the price for it. They ignore totally the good things the Lib Dems have done in Government and can't admit the Conservatives cannot govern without us, or accept that we did it first and foremost for the good of the country at a time when the economy was in tatters. They ignored us completely for 80 years prior to 2010 now it is as if they aim to destroy us.
Members of Parliament, it appears to me, are afraid of taking on the press and telling them to back off but someone has to. They need to be held to account and be made to justify their vicious campaign.

The Daily Mail surely must be breach the journalist code of conduct. There is no balance at all. It cannot be fair by any stretch of the imagination but it goes unchallenged for want of someone with some clout to stand up and say “back off you have gone too far.”