Posters calling Menston residents ‘to arms’ (The Battle for Menston) have appeared around the village and it is, of course, important that as many people as possible attend the second part of the forthcoming Neighbourhood Forum/MCA meeting on 4 February, at which this will be discussed at length. Housing development and these other issues are dealt with in more detail below, with links to supporting documentation where relevant.
Grumpytyke says: We’re grateful to John Naylor for bringing a recent ‘One Show’ broadcast to our attention. BBC1 is usually switched off at 7.00 as I find the worship of ‘celebrities’ tiresome, but this coverage of the suggestion by Keighley Town Councillor, Judith Brooksbank – that 1/3 of Bradford Councillors could be ditched to save £400,000 a year – was surprisingly good reporting. Our absent ‘Spanish’ councillor protested that he attended all Council meetings but having recently been at a full Council meeting I can say that they are pretty much a waste of time. Those Councillors who do work hard and usefully do it outside of these meetings; good examples were shown during the show. But I doubt more than 60 of the 90 councillors are worth the money they take so a 1/3 cut wouldn’t go amiss. If you missed the show you can still see it on BBC iPlayer. Click on the picture to see it; it’s worth a look.
However it is also important that the attempted destruction of our village by BMDC does not distract attention from proposals to help revive some of the community spirit and involvement which, in the opinion of many, has been in decline in recent years. Some of these proposals (see below) will be on the agenda for the first half of the meeting and the input of as many residents as possible to the discussions is vital.
St Mary’s Menston
is in the news again, having gained Youth Sport Trust Gold Partner status for the school’s outstanding commitment to PE and School Sport.
“We are thrilled with the award”, says Craig Thornton, Acting Faculty Leader of Physical Education and Sport (second from left in picture). “We are responsible for a massive programme at St. Mary’s and beyond and it is great to have the quality and extent of this work recognised. The award acknowledges the hard work of the staff that make all of this possible”.
Communication with and between village residents and organisations
The less than good communication within the village has been mentioned at several meetings – from the inadequacy of the notice board outside of Kirklands to the failure of organisations to send information to all the possible communication media like the local papers and the two village websites. The Wharfedale Observer often covers stories well but as it must be bought it has limited reach; the Wharfe Valley Times has limited story possibilities but since its revamp to include a Menston column it does offer a good information channel into most of the households in Menston (and Otley). The ‘official’ website seems now to be ‘working’ but the communication possibilities are very limited; this ‘alternative’ site was set up to fill the gap and, for example, enable good discussion of important issues. So the person responsible for ‘publicity’ in the many village organisations should be ensuring that information on activities are sent in good time to all four media (to email@example.com for this site). (Mention should be made of the excellent communication from Helen Scarbrough at the Parish Church of St John and Jackie Ash at St Mary’s Menston high school – thank you).
A proposed project to improve communication within the village but also to visitors will be presented at the forum – more, larger, better and more informative notice boards around the village. Three principal aims of the boards will be to promote health and ‘outside’ village activities from sports to village walks, to promote support of local businesses, and to provide village organisations with more opportunities to publicise their activities to people who do not read newspapers and do not use internet.
village Car Show
The village car show on the 5 May Bank Holiday will largely mirror the show which was part of the Jubilee Celebrations in 2012. Some people have suggested there should be a ‘parade’ through the village as this year there will be no Jubilee activities to entice the crowds. Come and give your views at the 4 Feb meeting.
Regular ‘cinema’ In Menston?
The fortnightly film shows at the Courthouse in Otley are very popular. Can Menston sustain something similar? A proposal to perhaps have a pilot showing later this year, to gauge reaction, but it is hoped to get a better idea of whether it would be supported as a result of discussion at the meeting.
Menston Christmas lights and festivities
Many residents have expressed dismay at the lack of Christmas festivities accompanying a switch on of Christmas lights, common in many other villages (and, it is understood, in Menston in the past), obliging them to take children elsewhere. Better lights and festivities to go with them in 2014 will be on the meeting agenda.
If Bradford Council persists in its proposal to close the wonderful Children’s Centre in Menston, could it be sustained by the village (and our neighbour)? Some people thought so at the January MCA meeting. An update on the situation is on the 4 February agenda.
Housing developments and ‘traffic calming’
There will be four speakers on the ‘developments’ during the second half of the meeting, but they will be limited to 10 minutes each to give the maximum number of residents the opportunity to voice their opinion.
Prof David Rhodes will speak on flooding and drainage; Philip Moore on roads and the proposed traffic ‘management’; Steve Ellams on Greenbelt and wildlife habitats; Alan Elsegood on the complaints to the Local Authority Ombudsman.
Below is a list of various relevant documents and extracts from communications with various objections, suggestions, etc, in no particular order, which may be of interest before the 4 Feb meeting. Click on any to see the document as a PDF (if anyone has a suggestion of more to add to the list please send – preferably as an attached PDF – to firstname.lastname@example.org):