Great Gutter Lane/Riplingham Road Kirkella ‘New A164 Roundabout’ – Trouble ahead???

When I was the Ward Councillor in Willerby & Kirkella up until 2015, I campaigned for a new roundabout at the junctions of Riplingham Road/Great Gutter Lane onto the A164.

These two junctions are an absolute nightmare to negotiate out onto the A164, particularly if you are turning right. There have been many accidents, including fatalities at these junctions, as motorists take their life in their hands to find a gap in the spending traffic.

So I welcome the recent announcement that finally East Riding Council have realised they have a problem and a bid has been put into Government to fund the building of another roundabout, but I have serious concerns at the possible implications for the whole village of Kirkella if this measure goes ahead without traffic calming the roads leading to the A164.

I also predicted the traffic chaos at the Waitrose roundabout once the Council gave planning permission to the large number of developments around the area without improving the roads; Beverley Road Kirkella, in particular.

These recent new developments include, the new Lidl supermarket, Wolfreton School and the 400 new houses planned on Great Gutter Lane West that are in the process of being built now!

This has lead to huge traffic jams and not only at peak periods and has meant that impatient drivers look to other ‘rat runs’ to avoid delays.

Already extra vehicles choose to enter the A164 from either Riplingham Road, Westella Road/Occupation Lane/Great Gutter Lane, or Tranby Lane Anlaby.

If this new roundabout is put in place to ease the access to the A164, this will mean that vastly increased numbers of vehicles will use this alternative quicker route to the road and many areas of the Village will notice much much greater numbers of, often speeding vehicles as a result, unless traffic calming is also introduced at the same time.

Many schoolchildren walk and cycle to local schools in the Village and the prospect of large numbers of extra impatient commuters is a serious concern to all residents.

I therefore call on the Parish Council and the  three local  Ward Councillors ( I use the word ‘local’ advisedly as one lives in Keyingham 25 miles away and another lives in Pocklngton 30 miles away) to ensure East Riding Council put proper measures in place before the roundabout opens!!

This means ‘chicanes’, static speed cameras, 20 mph zones around schools, and if absolutely necessary ‘the dreaded speed bumps too’!

 

East Riding Tory Group want the power to sack Non-Tory Councillors they don’t like!!!

At the Full Council meeting on Wednesday 10th January 2018,East Riding Council put on the agenda, the conduct of Pocklington’s Independent Ward Councillor Andy Strangeways, over one of his ‘photoons’ about the Council’s Chief Executive.

The ‘photoon’ itself was ill-advised and not up to Councillor Strangeways usual satirical standards, for which he has apologised. His previous twitter output “@AndyStrangeway” and his blog “andystrangewayindependent.com” has been a thorn in the side of the ruling elite in the East Riding Tory Group, so they have taken this opportunity to get their own back and attack him on this transgression!

Councillor Strangeways has chosen to attack what he sees as bullying and intimidation of himself and other Councillors over the areas where he believes the Council elite abuse their powers and fail to act in the best interests of the residents.

Others including myself have done this before and are continuing to do so outside the Council.

He naturally upsets the the ruling Tory elite by his actions and I for one commend his rebellious non-conformist stance, where he alone in the Council seeks to shine a light into the dark recesses of County Hall!

Indeed the Leader of East Riding Council wrote to all Councillors(not just the Conservatives) a few months ago, to urge them to complain about Councillor Strangeways, which as far as I know is unprecedented!

Like little lambs the supposed Opposition Labour, Liberal and I am not surprised to say Ukip Councillors, fell into line and did exactly that!

Yesterdays Full Council meeting was no different, with the expected ‘correographed’ speeches from the ruling elite, followed by similar criticisms from those that are expected to hold the ruling Group to account, laughingly known as ‘the opposition’

They too joined in the feeding frenzy to try to bully and intimidate Councillor Strangeways into silence.

I am appalled at such supine behaviour, but not as appalled as I was to hear that Councillor Felicity Temple said in Full Council “that she wished she had the power to sack Councillor Strangeways”!!!

I bet she does and I am not surprised to hear that she of all people would utter these words, given her and many others on the ruling Tory elite track record’s!

As far back as 2010 the Tory Party deselected 10 of the ruling elite including the Leader, for their bullying behaviour, only for them to be saved by the Local Tory MPs lobbying the National Tory Party on their behalf!!

Since then any Tory Councillor who has sought to question their behaviour has been ruthlessly persecuted and then deselected when the next election came around.

I myself and some of my colleagues, chose to leave the Tory Party over this precise issue in 2015.

The effect is that all internal questioning of the ruling elite Tory Group has completely ceased and now Councillor Temple wants the power to sack Councillors in other Parties she doesn’t like too!!

No wonder the euphemistically called ‘Opposition’ quake in their boots at the massed Tory ranks in front of them and meekly follow behind them!!

Well I can tell Councillor Temple that the only people who can sack Councillor Strangeways are the good residents of Pocklington at the next election in 2019 and I seriously doubt that will happen, because he is one of the most active Councillors in the East Riding.

He does things that many of the Tories would find a complete anathema, like hold surgeries, take action of behalf of his residents, hold others to account, and most of all, highlight waste and corruption where he sees it!

It is important for our democracy the he continues to do this because the necessary checks and balances with the Tory Group and the East Riding Tory Party are no longer there! The ‘whipping system’ and the threats to deselect  Tory Councillors who question the Leadership elite, means that almost absolute power rests in the hands of the few not the many! ( to misquote Comrade Corbyn slightly).

This is not just an East Riding Council problem but a  national issue in our broken system of Local Government. There are far too many ‘single Party States’ of both Labour and Conservative where no opposition, no questioning and no scrutiny exists. The Jay report into CSA in Rotherham highlighted similar concerns and the Grenfell Towers Enquiry is likely to look into similar issues there too??

We need Local Government reform as the system current systems are not working in the best interests of local residents, with a self serving elite benefiting with little or no accountability in far too many areas of the UK.

That will take time, but for now I hope our friend Andy Strangeways continues with his work and is not intimidated into silence.

I also hope that those who are supposed to be there to question the Tory elite actually do so for once, rather than meekly join in with the bullies when the are ordered to!!

 

KIRKELLA PARISH COUNCIL MUST NOW RESIGN

Common sense has finally prevailed and East Riding Council have bowed to public pressure to overrule Kirkella Parish Council and grant permission for the memorial bench.
This is obviously very welcome as now the family can have a focus for their remembrance in the Village.
This action by East Riding Council and the reaction from the residents has made Kirkella Parish Council’s position untenable and they should resign ‘en masse’.
They have shown themselves to be detached from the views of the Village Community and completely unfeeling to the wellbeing of the residents.
In the Parish accounts funds are set aside for interim elections, even though none have been held, so I call on them to “do the decent thing and go”!
There are one of two good hardworking people on the PC but the vast majority need to be replaced by residents with more dynamism to reflect the cross-sections of the community!!!

KIRKELLA PARISH COUNCIL “AT IT AGAIN” – REFUSING TO SUPPORT A MEMORIAL SEAT FOR ONE OF THE VILLAGES CHILDREN

I was privileged to spend four years on the Western Sub-Planning Team and a year as a member of East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s main Strategic Planning team. It was a poisoned chalice at the best of times, balancing the needs to be supportive of important developments schemes whilst understanding the legitimate concerns which some of them generated from local residents.

Some schemes where there is overwhelming opposition and very little planning merit, like the now famous ‘Willerby Hill Wind Turbine’, were easy to reconcile, but others were more difficult, such as the ‘New Wolfreton School’ which had considerable benefit to the local community, but also had valid issues of concern from the immediate locality. Resolving such issues are one of the reasons why we have local Councillors!

Even though it is 18 months since I stopped having to make such judgements, as I journey through my former Ward on a daily basis, I see literally scores of new developments which I was party to, both for and against!

Some of my “approvals” have turned out to be errors of judgement but most have not. I do wonder however sometimes where the ones I voted against or even campaigned to defeat, would have fitted on that spectrum too??

Many Councillors on these committees were able to take lead from their local Parish Councils. This was particularly the case where the PC was known to be even handed in it’s approach to individual planning decisions. Parish Councils have a very influential role in the planning process, rightly so, as they can oppose any scheme, however large or small. This results in the matter being referred to the relevant committee with the narrative of being “strongly supported or opposed by the Parish Council!”

 

Kirkella Parish Council however seemed to oppose rather a lot of schemes, meaning a higher proportion of them ended up on the planning committee agenda!

Sometimes I had the dubious pleasure of being glared at by a “coterie”(or whatever the collective noun is) of Parish Council Members, who had turned up to register their disapproval.

Kirkella Parish Council was well known for registering their disapproval at a lot of things and many other Planning team members used to raise their eyebrows and stifle a chuckle whenever the reasons for objection (for that was the norm) was!

Despite this even I was surprised and saddened at Kirkella Parish Council decision to refuse to support a memorial bench for Jessica Lawson, the pupil of our local school who tragically died on a School trip to France. The predominantly black bench with a red trim was to replace a rotting wooden bench which is currently unusable.

The PC’s refusal, because the bench would be “non-standard” is plain wrong and I sincerely hope they reflect on this decision before much longer.

The anger and upset of many villagers can be seen by the balloons left at the site and I fully support their campaign.

I know that some people will criticise the bench being draped with balloons and other memorabilia, but who can but feel for the family and friends of Jessica and the pain they must have been through. I am sure that if the Parish Council reconsider that they could ask that the bench is not festooned with too many balloons and is regularly kept tidy. I am sure that would be the families wishes too.

I do hope that common sense will prevail and I call on the remaining members of Kirkella Parish Council to change their minds at the next meeting or BETTER STILL DO IT TODAY!img_0623

 

 

PATHETIC EAST RIDING COUNCIL PLANNING COMMITTEE TURN DOWN A WORLD ICON FOR HULL!

The pathetic decision to refuse planning permission for the Humber Bridge Board, on its exciting proposals for a new Visitor Centre & Lift Scheme, at East Riding Councils Planning Committee meeting on Thursday 17th November 2016, means Hull and the surrounding area miss out on having a World Icon!
The Board had put forward a £20m plus scheme to build a new Visitor Centre, Hotel, Office,Restaurants and Bridge Lift proposal, which would have created over 400 jobs directly and possibly many times that indirectly, in the West Hull and Hessle area.
The number of tourists that would be attracted to visit the Bridge would be considerable, as this is one of the most iconic bridges in the World.
The Bridge is potentially East Yorkshire’s and Lincolnshire’s biggest tourist asset and yet it lies untapped because of a lack of vision from a Council that has no interest in the economic welfare of Hull and Haltemprice.
The Leader of East Riding Council confirmed as much at the time of the reduction in the Bridge tolls, when he said that such a measure would have “no economic benefit to East Riding Council”!!!
Such prejudiced and inaccurate views have been proved wrong, as the Bridge is now receiving toll income of £20m per annum, almost back to the pre-toll reduction levels to £22m, when the charges were double!
The Council have chosen to refuse the planning application because it included ‘an office block’, which the Bridge Board business case needed to make the rest of the scheme financially viable.
This office Block would take away car parking whilst increasing the demand for the same, is the claim.

Hessle residents fear that the already pressured demands placed by current office facilities in the area would be added too.
These concerns are understandable, but the current situation has been created by East Riding Council who has given permission for development at Waterside Park/Livingstone Road and at Bridgehead areas, without them improving the infrastructure and necessary supporting facilities.
The Council’s refusal for the Board is therefore pathetic and illogical, as the reasons for refusal, are for reasons that they are responsible for and should have dealt with!
It is to be hoped that common sense prevails and the Bridge Board are successful on appeal, as the number of visitors, together with new direct and indirect employment is desperately needed.
This is also the time for Bridge Board to ‘dust off’ their proposals for ‘lighting up the Humber Bridge’ with LED lights too in time for City of Culture 2017 and the long stated aims of legacy.
The Millennium Bridge from Tate Modern across the Thames, in Blue LED lights is fantastic and shows on a much smaller scale what can be done.
Birds don’t fly into that and fish still swim up the river, so lets do it here!
Hull needs a World Class icon and the Lift together with LED lights on one of the Worlds most spectacular bridges, would give us that.
The economy of the City of Hull and the surrounding area would  be greatly enhanced by the development.

Even more importantly, it would keep us on the World map in both tourists and employers minds, when decisions are made on future investment too!!

IT IS VITAL NOW THAT AS MANY RESIDENTS AND LOCAL BUSINESSES MAKE THEIR VIEWS KNOWN TO EAST RIDING COUNCIL, SO THAT THEY SEE SENSE AND SUPPORT THE BUSINESS CASE, APPROVE THE PLANS AND PUT THE NECESSARY INFRASTRUCTURE SO BADLY NEEDED IN HESSLE.