The decision by North Yorkshire County Council’s portfolio holder with responsibility for schools, Arthur Barker; to “pause” and “take stock” in respect of a decision to amalgamate Eskdale and Caedmon Schools in Whitby was the correct thing to do.

In fact I’m not surprised given the introduction of the Government White Paper “Educational Excellence Everywhere” and the decision by Brayton School governors in Selby to join a Multi Academy Trust; thus derailing proposals to amalgamate/merge with Selby High School.

In view of this decision I would urge all parents, school governors and teaching staff in North Yorkshire to do as Cllr Barker suggests, “pause and take stock”.

Rushing to acadamisation without taking the time to carefully consider the implications for education, not just in the Borough of Scarborough or the wider school community in North Yorkshire, but throughout the country, could have disastrous consequences for all of us.

Schools do not become successful simply as a result of becoming an academy; strong schools deliver educational excellence by working in partnership with other local schools, the local community and yes local councils to improve standards ensuring the needs of young people are met and exceeded.

When a school is struggling, action must be taken – but converting every school to an academy, without giving parents a say, is not the answer, especially when there is not a shred of evidence that it will help improve education standards.

It is quite wrong for the Government to put at risk some of the excellent work done by schools and the Local Authority in North Yorkshire by introducing these reckless ideological plans to force all schools to become academies.

However is not to late to resist these proposals which, we must remember, are by no means certain to happen. The Government’s declared ambition, is just that, an ambition.

The Government needs to listen to the concerns of parents, teachers, unions, local representatives from across the political divide and experts and rethink their proposals; however as Arthur Barker points out: “Guidance from the Department for Education states clearly that decision makers must have regard to the academy requirement and indeed play an enabling role in the growth of multi-academy trusts. The local authority must, as a result, ensure that these requirements are both met but also positively explored for their potential to address current concerns.”

With that in mind governing bodies need to arm themselves with the information they need to make informed choices should the need arise.

John Ritchie

Labour Group Spokesman, Children & Young People Services, North Yorkshire County Council.

Originally from John Ritchie’s site

Fight to Save Eskdale School wins postponement of decision to close this much loved school


Students and parents are jubilant that NYCC has decided to postpone the decision to close Eskdale School. Watch the video to see the strength of feeling throughout the town as children, parents and supporters take to the streets of Whitby .The fight goes on!

Click through to the Whitby Gazette for the full story so far….


Ryan Downes – Labour’s Future

RDownes Ryan Downes, Scarborough and Whitby Labour Party’s youngest member, may have just turned 15 but at an age when many boys’ heroes are performing on the football pitch his eyes are firmly fixed on our politicians and he’s already made his mind up about what is important to him.

“I’m for equality and fairness”, says Ryan, “and this Conservative Government doesn’t care about young people like me. I’d like to go to university but the thought of ending up with £60,000 of debt at the end is unbelievable. How would I ever pay for this?” He fears the Lib/Dems are just too ‘wishy-washy’ to be effective so Labour is his only hope. More



Northern Rail and Transpennine Express Trains put profits before passengers!

Scarborough and Whitby Constituency Labour Party members are incensed over the lies and hype around George Osborne’s “Northern Powerhouse” claims.

Following the cancellation of rail electrification plans in the North, there is even more bad news for passengers and Transpennine Employees travelling from Scarborough over the Pennines. A threat to both jobs and to passenger safety comes in the form of proposals for the new Northern and Transpennine Express Rail Franchises due to start on 1st April. The franchises will be jointly managed by a new body “Rail North” – chaired by Sir Richard Leese – and comprising representatives of 29 Northern Councils / combined authorities and the Department for Transport.

Train Guards will be axed from rail services to and from Scarborough by Transpennine Express resulting in “Driver Only Trains”.

At present railway regulations guarantee that passengers in the North always have a Guard / Conductor on their train. In addition to the driver, passengers to and from our seaside resort know there will always be a highly trained guard to protect the safe operation of the train and deal with emergencies, such as fire, derailments and driver incapacity. The Guard also provides general assurance to passengers, ticket and travel advice and revenue protection. ASTONISHINGLY, THE PROPOSED RAIL FRANCHISE AGREEMENTS MEAN PASSENGERS WILL NO LONGER HAVE THIS PROTECTION.

There is also no guarantee that current ticket offices and station staffing will be retained on the new franchise. More

***Family Race Night. Friday 21st August 2015***

cartoon-horseAlexandra Bowls Centre Peasholm Road Scarborough

First race 7.45pm
Tickets £3 each, includes free buffet and race card
Under 14s go free

How can you help?
Buy your ticket
Come along to place your bets!
Just 50p for a ticket , cash prizes to be won

Buy a horse just £2 each , you could be a winning owner
Ask your ticket seller which horses are available. More

How is it for you? What matters most?

!!!Good news!!!
The Labour Party in Scarborough and Whitby bucked the national trend at the election on 7 May.
Whitby Branch wants to  build on this success. Click below to fill in this short questionnaire and let us know what you feel matters most in Whitby and its villages. (Your responses will not be passed on to anyone else.)

On 7 May we reduced Robert Goodwill’s (Conservative) majority by 2,000 and got two Whitby councillors elected to Scarborough Borough Council to represent Mayfield (Gerald Dennett) and Streonshalh (Rob Barnett) and a further 12 in the Scarborough area . We have also gained many new members and supporters.

Rob Barnett

Rob Barnett

Gerald Dennett

Gerald Dennett










Workers’ Memorial Day – 28 April

Dear All,
Once again I hope to arrange a suitable service on 28 April to commemorate workers who have lost their lives in their respective workplaces. I would hope that once again we can commemorate this in the Town Hall Gardens alongside the tree planted last year to lay wreaths with a short service hopefully by the vicar of St Mary’s Church.
Clearly I would wish for the Mayor and her consort to be guests and hope this date is still free for them to attend.

I would expect this service to commence at either 10am or 11am on 28 April. Could the various organisations please let me know if they intend to bring wreaths to lay, have Standard Bearers attend and if their representatives wish to say a few words during the service.

Any financial help from the Trade Unions or other organisations would also be most welcome to cover the costs of refreshments for attendees after the service in the Town Hall. 

Kind Regards,

Tony Randerson,
Labour Councillor
Eastfield Ward
32 Ashville Avenue
North Yorkshire
YO12 7NF


Real Change- A fair transport deal for the Yorkshire Coast

Labour Anger as David Cameron’s “biggest investment in the railways since the Victorians” excludes the line to Scarborough
‘These Plans Stop Short. The Coast is being Sold Short’

Ian McInnesLabour’s Ian McInnes, Scarborough & Whitby candidate at next year’s general election, reacted angrily to news that Yorkshire Coast passengers have been excluded from today’s Rail Modernisation announcement.

Ian, who has been running a series of consultation meetings on Transport in Scarborough & Whitby said,
“David Cameron today announced the HS3 and electrification of the north Transpennine route as ‘the biggest investment in the railways since the Victorians’.

“But the Coast has been left out of that planned investment and the Scarborough to York line looks likely to be downgraded to a branch line. More

Shortlisted bidders for supplying services at Whitby Hospital

17 October 2014

Whitby Memorial HospitalAnnouncement of shortlisted bidders for providing community and out of hours services in Whitby and surrounding area
NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (HRW CCG) has today announced the shortlisted bidders entering the second stage of the process to select a provider of community and out of hours services in Whitby and the surrounding area.
Following an extensive period of market engagement, a formal procurement process was launched on 19 August 2014 where all interested providers were invited to join the pre-qualification phase with the intention of identifying a shortlist of qualified potential bidders.
Providers were rigorously assessed on their likely ability to meet the needs of the local community in Whitby and the surrounding area and as a result, three organisations have been invited to proceed to the next stage. These organisations are (in alphabetical order): Humber NHS Foundation Trust, Northern Doctors Urgent Care and Virgin Care Services.
These three organisations will now go through challenging evaluations and assessments in the coming months before a preferred bidder is identified. The CCG anticipate that the successful provider will be in place and delivering services from 1 July 2015. More

Plans for Whitby Hospital – Have your say

Whitby Memorial HospitalNHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group is holding its next Patient Congress event on Thursday 16th October from 5.30pm at Sneaton Castle, Whitby, YO21 3QN. Click this link for more information: Fit for the future

We have had a message from NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG:

“Our Patient Congress is a forum for patient representatives from all practices in the CCG with members of our Health Engagement Network. At the Patients’ Congress we update people on developments at the CCG and discuss the latest initiatives and plans.

“If you would like to attend the event, to help us manage numbers, please call 01609 767600 or email including your name and contact telephone number. More