The Council Tax Freeze

On the 22nd February, Scarborough Borough Council will meet to consider its budget for 2013/14. The ‘highlight’ of the debate will be whether to freeze the council tax at its current level, or go for a small increase. In many ways, the debate has already been settled by the government, whose controls over local authorities finances is now so complete that local councillors contribute little of meaningful value to the outcome. More

A special update on the horse meat scandal across Europe from Linda McAvan, Labour MEP

This weekend, the respected food manufacturer Findus was forced to take yet more meat products off supermarket shelves after tests revealed some of their products, including beef lasagne, contained up to 100% horse meat. More retailers are withdrawing their own products and the Food Standards Agency is conducting an enquiry into what went wrong. The only thing that seems clear already is that we need to urgently review how we manage our food supply chain right across Europe. More

Welfare Reform for All Fools Day

This is a brief overview of the Con-Dems welfare reforms from April 1st of this year.

They are part of Ian Duncan Smith’s (IDS) quest for the Holy Grail of a Universal Credit system but reek heavily of the shirkers versus strivers argument and the deserving and undeserving poor views of a period I thought consigned to the dustbin of history. It is estimated that 60% of those affected are strivers; i.e. those in working families!
Well someone did say IDS sounded like an infectious disease.

I’ve split the changes into seven areas but don’t forget you can be hit by more than one and probably will be if you are affected. Whilst campaigning for the County elections I met a person with lymphatic cancer who had been moved from Employment and Support allowance (ESA) to Job Seekers allowance (JSA) as fit to work but is single and lives in a two bedroomed property provided by Yorkshire Coast Homes She is therefore also going to be hit by the bedroom tax as well as having to pay council tax (see below).At least a triple whammy! More

A Response To The York Potash Mining Proposal

A report from the Whitby Labour Party Potash Group

 Where the Labour party stands

  1. The discovery of the rich seam of potash beneath the North Yorkshire moors in the Whitby/Fylingdales  area and the mining development proposals by York Potash  presents both threats and opportunities.  This development has the potential to make a real addition to the local economy, creating employment, including a demand for  skilled workers, and generating a raft of other economic gains to the locality.
  2. But we are also aware that the proposed mine and its associated pipeline will be located in a sensitive area of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a significant wild life habitat, an important tourist destination and an area much loved by local residents.  Any damage to this environment could well have a serious adverse effect on our local tourist industry.
  3. The following are our guiding principles.
    • The construction and working of the mine must not cause any permanent damage to either the unique environment of the Moors or to agricultural and other land that may be affected.
    • The risks attached to the construction and working of the mine and the transport of potash must be low enough not to endanger either people working in the mine or living in the area.
    • The workforce should be drawn as far as possible from the local economy. They should work in safe, unionised, fairly paid and non-exploitative conditions, and the same should be true for the workforce of contractors used by the mine.
    • The local infrastructure should be developed to ensure that the additional housing, education, transport and other infrastructure needs arising from the development of the mine will allow the mine to flourish and not jeopardise the position of existing local residents.
    • The calculation of the so-called community dividend should be clearly understood and used transparently for the benefit of the local community. More

Letter to York Potash

Letter to York Potash

Dear Sirs,

I am attaching a response on behalf of Scarborough and Whitby Labour Party. You have already seen an earlier version as it formed the basis of the useful discussion that we had with you at the beginning of December. We would like you to take this attachment and this note as our response to your consultation.
Our response
Scarborough and Whitby Labour Party are pleased to support the proposed mine provided that there are the safeguards that we discuss in the attached paper.
We have reached this view by considering the employment effect and the added value to the local economy. More