MCA in crisis; your votes needed for important Menston community project; Menston Business Association prepares for more activities; Menston WW1 commemorations firming up

The Menston Community Association is in crisis with no one stepping up to take on the roles of Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary. The project for Menston youngsters to teach elderly residents to use internet to easily communicate with relatives and friends afar –  ‘Teaching grandmother – from eggs to iPads’ – has been shortlisted from over 2,500 applications for funding by Lloyds Bank; now it needs your votes (in September/October). The recently formed Menston Business Association, now with a full committee, is preparing for more activities following the summer break. Arrangements for four years of activities in Menston commemorating the First World War, beginning on 4 August this year, continue to be firmed up. Click any of the links below for more information, or just scroll down.

MCA in crisis

No positive way forward came out of the meeting of the Menston Community Association on 2 July and, in particular, there were no offers to take on the roles vacated by Steve Ellams as Chair and Alan Elsegood as Vice-Chair and acting Secretary. A letter was received from Menston resident Roger Livesey saying that he had intended to offer to take on a temporary role until the AGM but a sudden health problem now prevented this. It is of course vital that the situation is communicated to all members, that is all Menston residents of voting age, calling for nominations for these and other committee roles for an election at the Annual General Meeting later this year. Currently the only communication medium which reaches all residents is the quarterly newsletter Menston News and at the moment the production and distribution of this is uncertain. Various options for the continuation of the MCA were discussed at the meeting and as one suggestion was merger of the MCA in some way into the Parish Council, these discussions will continue at the Parish Council meeting on Thursday 24 July (see Events).

Teaching grandmother

After several rebuffs from potential funders for the project for young people in the village to introduce elderly villagers to some aspects of internet, for example using Skype to talk to distant friends or relatives and perhaps shopping on-line, has been short-listed for funding by the Lloyds Bank Community Fund, from around 2,500 applications nationally. How much funding will now depend on a public vote in September/October so project lead Roger Livesey is asking all residents to vote for the project; details of how to do so will be communicated when voting opens. The project is intended to use iPads as most elderly people do not want to accommodate computer boxes, monitors, etc and to buy sufficient iPads we need to come out top, or near it, in the voting.

Menston Business Association

The Menston Business Association (MBA) now has a full committee with Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and other committee members. The committee proposed to the Menston Village Show organising group that MBA members might mount some activity around the village to coincide with the show and this was accepted by the show group. What this activity might be is due to be discussed at the next MBA committee meeting, scheduled for Friday 1 August; at the time of making this post venue could not be confirmed.

Angels busy in Menston village; Menston Care Club looking for playworkers; silence from the Menston Community Association

Beth Street, in training for the Leeds 10k and the Great North run

Beth Street, in training for the Leeds 10k and the Great North run

Angels for Children is the name of a new charity being formed by Menston resident Beth Street whose next fundraising venture is an attempt at the Leeds 10km run on 20 July, with 11 others, and then – all alone – the Great North Run on 7 September.

Beth’s most recent fund-raising event was a ball at the Craiglands Hotel in Ilkley, which raised about £2,400, and before that a ‘Soul Night’ in the Menston Kirklands Community Centre, which raised over £1,500.

Beth is at the moment raising money, as reported earlier this year, to help rebuild the schools in the Philippines destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan last November. Her immediate target is £10,000.

Beth has run the Leeds 10K before, in 2011, when she raised money for a baby incubator, having been grateful that an incubator was available here when her daughter was born prematurely. She eventually went to the Philippines and handed over the incubator personally.

Ribston Pippin logoBeth is now seeking sponsorship for her two runs. Menston estate agent Ribston Pippin has already chipped in, offering to provide the T-shirts for the runs.

To sponsor Beth in the runs contact her at 19 Station Road, Menston, telephone 01943 872208, or email Info@AngelsForChildren.org.uk or her personally at babeth70@sky.com.

The other runners in the Leeds 10K are from Menston, Shipley, Idle and Baildon: they include Carmel Gallagher, Vanessa Lendzionowski, Karen Roberts, Cathy Casserly, Darin Casserly, Helen Morton, Helen Robertshaw, Rachel Michael and Jo Ingram. Beth’s still looking for runners to make up the 12 so if you feel like an energetic day out …

A website is being constructed for the charity; still in its early stages, it can be seen at www.angelsforchildren.org.uk 

Due to health problems of the webmaster this website has not been and will not be in the near future updated as frequently as in the past. Please keep the information coming in – we’ll do our best.

Menston Care Club

"It's so fun" says graffiti on a blackboard at the Menston Care Club

Menston Primary School Care Club, the before and after school play-based care club, is looking for more playworkers. This requirement results, it says, from expansion and a variety of part-time, term-time only, posts and working sessions are available.

Morning sessions to be covered are 7.45 to 9.00am. Afternoon sessions are from 3.00 to 5.30/6.15pm. Salary is according to qualifications and experience and all post are fixed term in the first instance because of fluctuations in the number of children registered at the club.

Enjoying a drawing session at the Care Club

Enjoying a drawing session at the Care Club

Although applications are welcomed from trained playworkers, applicants who are willing to undertake training will also be very welcome. All posts are, of course, subject to an enhanced DBS check.

Application packs

Further information and application packs are available from Heather Searle, Care Club Manager, 01943 883927, or Val Mooney, School Business Manager on 01943 873180, or email valmooney@menstonprimary.co.uk. Closing date for applications is Monday 14 July.

Silence from the MCA

A meeting of the Menston Community Association was due last Wednesday, as reported here, to discuss the future of the association following the resignation of key committee members. Whether this meeting took place is not known as no information has been forthcoming.

 

Bistro in Menston village for Tour de France Grand Depart and a big screen presentation; Menston Community Association future in balance

Hosts Audra and Gareth at Solo, their delicatessen/pavement cafe, which will become a 'bistro', open late, for the weekend of the Grand Depart

Hosts Audra and Gareth at Delicasolo, their delicatessen/pavement cafe on Main St, Menston, which will become a ‘bistro’, open late, for the weekend of the Grand Depart. Menston’s popular delicatessen and pavement cafe will be serving ‘bistro’ food and beers and wines to match on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Menston’s popular delicatessen and pavement cafe, Delicasolo,  will be serving ‘bistro’ food with beers and wines to match from Friday to Sunday over the Tour de France Grand Depart weekend. With a drinks licence until 9pm, the popular spot will be open until 9.30-10.00pm for those who want to escape a mile or so up the A65 from the Burley-in-Wharfedale bypass Tour route and the biggest crowds. On Saturday morning coffee etc will be served from 6.00am!

Pulled pork tacos with Goose Eye beer, or …

In addition to the usual snacks, from olives to Mediterranean breads, there will be a variety of ‘bistro’ type plates including Pulled Pork Tacos with Spicy Sauce, a Beef Ragout, Chicken Tandoori with Bombay Potatoes, and a locally-produced Burger. Prosecco and a variety of reds and whites will be available to wash them down, together with a choice of beers and cider including a Pale Ale from the Goose Eye brewery in Keighley, brought in just for the occasion.

It will be a busy weekend for hosts Gareth and Audra as the other side of the business, Solo Catering, will be supplying the food to a number of private Le Tour parties in the area.

Delicasolo is on Main Street, Menston, just a few hundred yards from the A65. Telephone 01943 879010.

Watch the Grand Depart on the Big Screen in Menston

Tour de France Grance Depart Yorkshire logoMenston Methodist Church will be presenting the Grand Depart of the Tour de France on the Big Screen, as it happens, from 9.00am till 2.00pm on Saturday 5 July. The Cornerstone will be open for refreshments with its usual fayre from 10.00 until noon, then light refreshments will be on sale in the main hall from noon until 2.00pm. So if you’d like to watch this great event with others but away from the heaving crowds this might be a good solution.

Crucial meeting of Menston Community Association – future in balance

The future of the Menston Community Association, the independent charity of which all Menston residents of voting age are members, will be the subject of discussions at the monthly meeting on Wednesday 2 July, at the Methodist Church Hall, Main Street, at 7.30pm. No formal agenda has been issued.

Following the recent resignation of the Chairman, and the announcement of impending resignation by the Acting Secretary and former Chairman, replacements for these key officer roles are needed.

At an earlier meeting of the MCA committee the possibility of the Parish Council taking on some of the activities of the Association was discussed. The MCA has, of course, played a key role in opposing the inappropriate housing developments proposed by Bradford Council on Bingley Road and Derry Hill. However, it has also been a key player in important and successful village events like the Jubilee celebrations in 2012 and the Menston Village Vehicle Show earlier this year.

All Menston residents are welcome to attend MCA meetings and maximum participation is vital for the future of this independent organisation which represents all Menston residents.

Five reasons given by the Minister why Derry Hill and Bingley Road developments in Menston should not go ahead

Philip Davies MP

Philip Davies MP

Yesterday’s post on the House of Commons Adjournment Debate in which our representative, Philip Davies MP, set out Menston’s case against the proposed housing developments on Bingley Road, and Derry Hill, has been incorporated in this post to carry forward the links to a transcript of the debate and to the BBC iPlayer video of it (see the end of this post). Philip rightly did not dilute his argument by concentrating on the lack of infrastructure in terms of transport, health and education, which we in Menston know to be other very good reasons not to build several hundred more houses in Menston.

Stephen Williams MP

Stephen Williams MP

However, the Minister, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Stephen Williams, (Lib Dem) did, in setting out Government policy, give five very powerful reasons why the developments should never have been given planning permission.

The local plan

Mr Williams stressed, on several occasions, that an “up-to-date local plan, prepared through extensive public engagement, sets the framework in which decisions are taken, whether locally by the planning authority or on appeal. All areas should have some form of development plan”. Menston has no such plan, as has been discussed at Parish Council meetings on more than one occasion, the reason given being that it was too much work and would take too long to prepare. This may well be true, but it has clearly set Menston at a disadvantage.

“Powerful case” said Minister

Although the Minister said at the outset in response to Philip Davies’s “powerful case” (the Minister’s words) that he could not comment on specific cases, eg, the proposed Menston developments, he did – in setting out Government policy – give five commanding reasons why the proposed Bingley Road and Derry Hill developments should not go ahead. The only question remaining is how to stop them now that Bradford council has given the go-ahead.

The only concrete proposal given by the Minister was a Judicial Review, as he put it, a “last resort”, though he did suggest that Philip contact Ministers and other authorities with the ‘suggestion’ that something might be done if new evidence showed the BMDC decisions to be flawed (eg Prof Rhodes’s most recent research – see the post dated 5 June). Philip has told us that he will be taking up the Minister’s suggestions: “My intention is now to follow up with the Minister, as he suggested, providing him with all the expert evidence that Prof Rhodes has commissioned and produced. I will ask them to review this evidence – which I believe is overwhelming – and to let me know what steps they intend to take to address it – both at a national and local level”.

Communications from other communities

Since publishing yesterday’s post we have received communications from other communities, as close as Ben Rhydding and as far away as Cornwall, from people ranging from local councillors to highly qualified experts in flooding, indicating that Philip Davies’s contention that the Menston situation is of national importance is absolutely correct.

The five reasons

The five reasons given by the Minister for which, according to national policy, the Menston developments should not go ahead are as follows (annotions in bold, italics, etc have been inserted for clarity and are not part of the official transcript):

1. ” … sustainable development means granting planning permission unless the adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits or specific policies in the national framework that indicate that development should be restricted. These specific policies include building on the green belt or in areas where there are designated heritage assets and flooding … … most development in the green belt is inappropriate and should be granted permission only in very special circumstances, and that green belt boundaries should be reviewed only in exceptional circumstances through the local plan process. National policy equally sets out how planning must take account of the different roles and character of different areas, recognise the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside, and take into account all the benefits of the best and most versatile agricultural land … “.

2. ” … In respect of the historic environment, local planning authorities should set out in their local plan a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment. In doing so, they should recognise that heritage assets are an irreplaceable resource and that they should conserve them in a manner appropriate to their significance … “.

3. ” … We have been very clear that we expect councils to follow the strict tests (re flooding) in national policy, and that where these tests are not met, that new development should not be allowed … “.

4. ” … or a proposed development cannot be made safe, it should not be permitted. The framework is also very clear that residential development should not be allowed in functional floodplain where flood water has to flow or be stored … “.

5. ” … a site specific flood risk assessment has to be undertaken to demonstrate that development will be safe and resilient—for instance, through flood defence or raised ground floor levels. That should not increase flood risk elsewhere … “.

Links to the debate (from yesterday’s post)

For the next six days you can view Philip Davies’s speech and the Minister’s reply on BBC iPlayer by going to the link below. Note, however, the video includes several hours of proceedings of which the ‘Menston’ part is the final half hour, so to view just this go to a point 7 hours 29 minutes into the video.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b045pgdm/house-of-commons-05062014

The whole of these proceedings is recorded and available in Hansard but this is not an easy read. The transcript can be read a little more easily by clicking on the following link to a page on this site ADJOURNMENT DEBATE, HOUSE OF COMMONS, 5 JUNE 2014. For speed, editing has been minimal but this post will be augmented by some comment in the very near future.

Philip Davies MP, a superb presentation in the House of Commons of Menston’s case against inappropriate development

Philip Davies MP yesterday made an excellent presentation of Menston’s case against the inappropriate development proposed on Derry Hill and Bingley Road. He also raised some important questions by intervening during the Ministerial response.

For the next six days you can view Philip Davies’s speech and the Minister’s reply on BBC iPlayer by going to the link below. Note, however, the video includes several hours of proceedings of which the ‘Menston’ part is the final half hour, so to view just this go to a point 7 hours 29 minutes into the video.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b045pgdm/house-of-commons-05062014

The whole of these proceedings is recorded and available in Hansard but this is not an easy read. The transcript can be read a little more easily by clicking on the following link to a page on this site ADJOURNMENT DEBATE, HOUSE OF COMMONS, 5 JUNE 2014. For speed, editing has been minimal but this post will be augmented by some comment in the very near future.

Confusion and obfuscation on Menston housing developments at Neighbourhood Forum

Confusion! Deliberate or just, as someone remarked at the Menston Neighbourhood Forum on Tuesday evening, that the right hand in Bradford Council does not know what the left is doing as far as housing developments are concerned?

LATEST INFO RE COMMONS DEBATE (see below): Should be 5.00 – 5.30pm today (Thursday).

What did come across strongly is that having run up considerable costs making plans for dealing with traffic problems relating to the proposed housing developments on Derry Hill and Bingley Road, which are mostly not wanted by residents, nor required if the developments do not go ahead, BMDC officers are now desperate to get the money from the developers. To do this they have to ensure that the developments go ahead.

Bulldozers in the Community Centre?

Philip Moore

Philip Moore

Cllr Sue Rix

Cllr Sue Rix

There were several attempts to bulldoze the plans through by trying to convince the assembled Forum that it was already a done deal. Several residents, led by Philip Moore, of the Menston Action Group, and Sue Rix, Menston Parish Councillor, were having none of it. Both representatives said that at the ‘consultation’ re the plans (which Philip insisted was not a consultation but an exhibition!), they and many others had been assured that an amended plan resulting from the ‘consultation’ would be fed back to Menston before anything went ahead. This had not happened. Principal Engineer, Highways, at Bradford Council, Simon D’Vali, and Richard Gelder, Transportation Development Manager, capitulated under the pressure and said that the amended plans resulting from the ‘consultation’ would be sent.

Nevertheless, the BMDC officers insisted that the Derry Hill developers would be signing the necessary agreements and the Council would get the money and begin the appointment of contractors within a very short time.

Emeritus Prof David Rhodes

Emeritus Prof David Rhodes

In comes Emeritus Professor David Rhodes (the BMDC officers had left by this time) to tell us that, backed by simulations using “the best software available”, taking 16 days on a ‘super-computer’, he now had “absolute proof” that building on the proposed sites was not viable. This was backed up by the British Geological Survey (which, as its website states, is “the United Kingdom’s premier centre for earth science information and expertise”). Prof Rhodes said that he had submitted his report to BMDC before Easter but there had been “zero feedback to date”.

Decisions to grant planning permissions for the developments had been on the basis of a complete lack of the necessary expertise to make sound decisions, and evidence supplied by Menston representatives had been ignored, Prof Rhodes said. Should the council go ahead with the developments without properly taking into account the evidence he would take them to court, he added, “and we will win”.

“What happens if the developers start work?”, someone asked. They would immediately be served with an injunction to stop it, Prof Rhodes said.

Against this background, our MP Philip Davies has finally got the Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons on planning in Bradford Council and the experiences of Menston. It is tomorrow, Thursday 5 June. He will have 15 minutes to make our case.

3 important Menston meetings and two ‘consultations’; Cleasby Road street party; Menston Show details and entry form

There’s a lot going on in Menston next week; three important meetings and another two consultations to follow. At least one Menston ‘mini-community’ has managed to turn the Jubilee street party into an annual event, and St Mary’s Menston is in the news again with an Assistant Head being appointed a trustee of a leading Vatican charity. Finally, full details of this year’s Menston Show have just become available (some classes are different, with more than one nod to the ‘Grand Depart’). Click any of the links below to go directly to the story, or just scroll down to read them all.

STOP PRESS: House of Commons Adjournment Debate.  Philip Davies MP. Planning Issues in the Shipley Constituency. 9.30am onwards Thursday 5 June. Philip has 15 minutes to state our case! (added 2 June).

Dangerous junction: Main Street/Bingley Road

Idiots’ junction: the majority of traffic coming down Bingley Road does not slow down. Neighbourhood Forum/MCA meeting

Menston Neighbourhood Forum

The next Menston Neighbourhood Forum, which as usual is combined with the monthly meeting of the Menston Community Association, is at the Kirklands Community Centre on Tuesday 3 June evening (click the following link for an outline AGENDA). Important for many residents is that the Bradford Council Traffic Officer Simon D’Vali is due to be present to discuss traffic issues. Among these is likely to be the situation at the mini-roundabout where Main Street joins the Bingley Road, at which drivers coming down Bingley Road fail to slow down, let alone stop, crossing the junction as though no mini-roundabout exists. The newly-formed Menston Business Association (see below) is campaigning to have the road down from High Royds opened to traffic to better integrate the new complex with the village.

Menston WW1 commemoration events

Poppy1The second meeting to discuss possible activities in Menston to commemorate the First World War over the four year period from August this year until November 2018 will be at the High Royds Memorial Chapel on Wednesday 4 June evening. Notes on the first meeting in April, at which there were many suggestions for activities, ranging from trips to the battlefields to research by Menston schoolchildren into relatives involved in the war, have been circulated to those attending the first meeting and can be found HERE. The Agenda for the 4 June meeting can be found HERE. Of course all residents with an interest in the commemoration events are invited to attend the Wednesday evening meeting.

Menston Business Association meeting

Menston Business Association logo_gnThe newly-formed Menston Business Association will take the opportunity of the Neighbourhood Forum to introduce itself more widely to Menston residents before its next meeting on Friday 6 June (at The Studio, 9a Cleasby Road) to which anyone running a shop or business based in Menston is invited. Of special interest at the moment is the proposal to move the Post Office from its present location to the Londis shop at the junction of Cleasby Road and Main Street. Siting it at this busy junction is far from ideal from many points of view but the Post Office is saying it will either be there or nowhere. There is a consultation to which residents can contribute until 26 June. Comments can be emailed to comments@postoffice.co.uk. You may also be able to pick up a form at the Menston Post Office.

Walk and cycle route consultation

A two day consultation event on the proposed walking and cycle route – the ‘Wharfedale Greenway‘ – connecting Menston with Pool in Wharfedale, Otley and Burley-in-Wharfedale via the former railway line – will be staged in the Menston Methodist Church Hall on both Thursday and Friday, 12 and 13 June, from 10.00am to 8.00pm. The deadline for submitting written comments is 30 June. 

One Jubilee street party has become an annual event

Alison and Glenn Brookes, hosts for the 2014 Cleasby Road street party.

Angela and Glenn Brookes, hosts for the 2014 Cleasby Road street party.

At least one of the many Menston street parties arranged to celebrate the Jubilee two years ago has become an annual event and on Saturday 31 May many residents of Cleasby Road came together again for an open air ‘picnic’. Residents have been taking it in turn to host the event and this year is was taken on by Glenn and Angela Brookes who opened up their rear garden to a large number of guests. The weather was kind enough to be dry so the marquee was probably not necessary although the sun was rather too shy for the end of May.

The trampoline kept the children occupied

The trampoline kept the children occupied

Are there any other Menston locations which have scheduled a street party this year? We’d love to know. The closest we have found is the ‘Big Lunch’ scheduled for today (1 June) by St John’s Parish Church, which has been in the ‘Events’ listing for a while now. Are there any more to come which could be added to the listing and the ‘Imminent events’ calendar?

Menston teacher Trustee of Vatican Foundation

David Geldart, Trustee of JP2F4S

David Geldart, Trustee of JP2F4S

David Geldart, Assistant Headteacher at St. Mary’s Menston, has been appointed a Trustee of the John Paul II Foundation for Sport (JP2F4S).

JP2F4S was launched by Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Britain in 2010 and is inspired by Saint John Paul’s enthusiasm for sport and the unique potential that it offers to enhance physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual development in individuals and to be a force for good in communities and wider society.

Eight years ago David founded the acclaimed Bambisanani Partnership in South Africa which uses the power of sport to develop education, health, leadership and global citizenship.

Monsignor Vladimir Felzmann, the Foundation’s Chief Executive said: “We are delighted that David has been appointed to the Foundation. He has a wealth of strategic and operational experience and has gained an international reputation for his work in Physical Education and Sport. David has held key public appointments at national level with Sport England and the Departments of Education and Health”.

Menston Show DeTails – all classes

Full details of the Menston Show, to be staged as usual at the Kirklands Community Centre, Saturday 6 September, have been released by the organising committee. As last year, details of all the entry classes together with an entry form which can be downloaded and printed can be found on this website by clicking the Menston Show link here, the link at the top of the Events listing or the Show ‘button’ in the right sidebar . The link button in right hand side bar will be a permanent feature on the site until the Show. As last year, we will endeavour to publish all the prize and trophy winners as soon as possible after the show. Last year we managed it by the next day.