Whitby Parking update – People power pays off

park and ride The final decision was taken today.
The scheme is far from perfect but light years better than it would have been if we in Whitby had not spoken out very loudly and clearly.
Here’s the important stuff:
  • one small central zone with a very small amount of residents only parking,
  • the 40 minute waiting areas extended to one hour
  • parking in the rest of the zone extended from one hour to two hours
  • further concessions for households with more than 1 car.

This means that people will have a chance to come into town to do a bit of shopping and have a coffee etc….. The really dangerous threat to the town’s trade has at least been partially averted.
This is a million miles from the original proposals.  They are not great – but not the total disaster that was threatened. More

Q: Fracking? A: No-one knows enough

Scarborough and Whitby Labour Party has called for a moratorium on fracking – the highly controversial method of extracting gas from shale deposits. Scarborough and large swathes of North Yorkshire sit on such a deposit known as the Bowland, which some believe contains massive gas reserves.

The Party wants a much deeper factual analysis of what fracking risks in terms of pollution, the environment, earthquakes and climate change. Colin Challen, who proposed the moratorium, said “The Tory-led government has announced it is offering various financial inducements to speed up fracking, and so has decided that the debate is over – or more precisely that there is not a debate to be had about this technology in the place. But there needs to be a full assessment of it before we could possibly accept it locally. I am also not convinced that it would not impact on climate change, since if it is true that fracking would lower energy costs then investment in clean energy sources will be much more difficult to sustain. It will put a brake on tackling climate change even if gas has lower carbon emissions than coal, but that would only be a temporary advantage.” More

Hopes fade for No 4 bus service

North Yorkshire County Council Executive has voted unanimously in favour of its proposals to cut bus subsidies across North Yorkshire. This will affect a number of services in Scarborough, but none more severely than the No.4 service from Scarborough town centre to Holbeck which will be axed from April 2014.

Please let me know how these cuts are likely to affect you.

Having attended the Transport Scrutiny Committee meeting in December and persuading them to vote unanimously to ask the Executive to retain the No.4 service, hopes were raised that the Executive would see sense. To ensure the best outcome for residents of Ramshill, I attended the Executive meeting last Tuesday (21st Jan) and gave an impassioned speech pleading with the Executive to retain the bus which serves the whole Ramshill community especially those who are older or disabled. I was also on Radio York both before and after the meeting together with Yorkshire Coast Radio and the Scarborough News to publicise again the inequality of the proposal and the subsequent decision. More

Mandatory Work Activity Scheme (MWA)

On Monday 6 January during Scarborough Borough Councils Full Council Meeting a question was put to The Portfolio Holder by Labour Cllr Challen regarding the council’s blatant exploitation of the Governments Mandatory Work Scheme.

(Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) is a workfare programme in the United Kingdom that started in May 2011, whereby individuals must work for their benefits or risk being “sanctioned” and losing them. An academic analysis by the DWP cast doubt on the effectiveness of the scheme.Nevertheless, in June 2012, the scheme received a £5m expansion)

Tony Randerson Labour’s Cllr Tony Randerson a former Trade Union Official, was incensed that SBC had been using this abhorrent scheme by forcing some 120 people since 2011 to undertake training / work for zero pay. Cllr Randerson spoke extremely strongly against this exploitation likening it to 21st Century Slave Labour.

A review of this scheme took place the following day, and it was promptly abandoned, although many questions  still need answering by the administration regarding its utilisation of this scheme in the first place.

This fantastic result shows Labour is the only credible opposition at SBC and the only party that truly cares for the welfare and working conditions of local working people. Labour at Work is showing that the Tories, propped up by the Independents, are truly rattled by challenging questions from the Labour Group . An administration in disarray.

Roll on 2015!