Category Archives: Bradford Council

Smiles at four Menston businesses, bakery, child care, Body Sanctuary & writing. Support MAG

Support the Menston Action Group, fighting inappropriate development in Menston, at the High Court in Leeds, 10.30am, Monday 19 January, or join the party on the 9.21 train from Menston (click this for more information)

It’s almost Panto time in Menston (Aladdin, 19-21 February) but there are already plenty of smiles to greet you at some new or changed businesses in Menston.

Smiles at the Village Bakery

A smiling welcome from the new owner of the Village Bakery, and two cheerful helpers Kate and William

A smiling welcome from the new owner of the Village Bakery, and two cheerful helpers Kate and William

Trish, with her cheerful, efficient assistants Kate and William when they are not at school, has taken over the Village Bakery. A newcomer to shopkeeping, Trish doesn’t intend to change very much in the short term: she’ll be selling the same locally-baked bread, the sandwich menu is the same, though she may introduce one or two new ones, and the only problem with the cakes is which ones to choose.

Living in Cookridge, Trish has to cross the Chevin every morning to open up but the snow this weekend didn’t dampen the cheerful greeting.

Welcome to Menston!

The Railway Children arrive in Menston

The Railway Children logo

The school run made easy, for parents of children of primary school age and younger, has come to Menston with the arrival of ‘The Railway Children’ at Menston Station, in what was formerly the coffee shop and 1875 Indian restaurant.

Zandra with the colourful Railway Children sign

Zandra Monroe-Cochrane, who formerly ran Cleaseby Kindercare in the village, with the Railway Children sign of the relocated business. A founder member of the Menston Business Association, Zandra had her new logo and sign designed by another MBA member, JGL Design (www.jgl-design.co.uk)

What a transformation! A delightful reception with Scandinavian all-weather suits hanging ready to ensure an outing, rain or shine, and photo-named trays for belongings, entered by way of the booking hall with a parent’s fingerprint – no strangers get in here.

Upstairs is a bright, colourful play, ‘work’, sleep area packed with toys and activities, designed with gated areas so that siblings can be together or separate as they wish. Primary school children dropped off earlier are taken to school via the safe route along the ‘ginnel’, then brought back after school to join the early years and pre-schoolers. Then they have a sit-down, locally-prepared meal learning not only independence but, eg, how to count (sausages!).

Places are limited: 14 pre-school, 14 primary school, maximum. For more information call Zandra on 0795 416 6653.

SOU – a mix of martial arts, meditation and fitness, at the Body Sanctuary

Another completely new activity for Menston is ‘SOU training’, which is taking place at the Body Sanctuary (42 Cleaseby Road) on Tuesdays. More about this activity, brought to us by Antonio Ferreira from Portugal, can be found at http://soutraining.wordpress.com/ where you’ll find all you need to know, including prices. The word ‘sou’ is from ‘I am’ in Portugese, when used to address concepts that are permanent and intrinsic to a person’s nature, as in “I am a human being” – “Eu sou um ser humano”.

Other regular activities and events at the Body Sanctuary are meditation, therapies, healing, group meetings and workshops and Shakti Dance once a month, a relaxed event for women to connect together and let go of emotional tension. Call Kalyani on 0795 203 6326 for more details.

Extraordinary writing – a job from Luxembourg

Another Menston business with good news is Extraordinary Writing (http://extraordinarywriting.net), set up in December last year to offer news and feature writing, and production of complete newsletters, to businesses and other organisations. Writer Roger Livesey says “I wasn’t really looking for work until the next financial year, having recently retired from ’employment’, but if anything interesting turns up in the meantime I may take it; this job from a company in Luxembourg was to write two magazine features, about on-board WiFi on long distance coaches in Europe. To be researched and written by 10 January, it was sufficiently interesting so I took it on”.

Teapot didn’t tickle people enough

Sadly, the Tickled Teapot cafe in Croft Park, set up last year after the greengrocer closed, shut its doors on Christmas Eve.

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St Mary’s WW1 blog; Menston village events; BMDC ‘stopped’ by Minister Pickles; video of the Menston Vehicle Show 2014 and we ask “who let the dogs out?”

StMarysvisit2St Mary’s Menston high school, celebrating its 50th year this year, is looking for comments from the Menston community on “Why it is important we remember the Great War 100 years on”.

The school has created an interesting blog to record these comments. This includes a short on-line form which Menston residents can fill out with their own comments, these being  added to the illuminating comments already there. Click the link below to go to the blog and form:

St Mary’s Menston WW1 blog

St Mary'svisit1In September this year St Mary’s pupils visited some of the WW1 battlefields, a visit they described as “emotional”. You can see some more photographs from the visit by clicking the flickr link below:

Flickr photos

The Menston Business Association has a general members’ meeting on Friday 21 November at the Menstone club in Farnley Road (7.00pm). An agenda will be posted on the MBA section of this site as soon as it is known but the meeting will be part business (first part) then a social.

Chartford Homes stopped as Main Street gas holes flood

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, has instructed Bradford Council not to approve the application by Chartford Homes to build houses on Bingley Road; meanwhile he will decide whether the application should be referred to him for a decision. Click the following to see the letter re Chartford Homes to BMDC. He has made a similar instruction for the proposed Bingley Micklefield development.

We await now to see if action is taken by the Minister about the other proposed developments in Menston, at Bingley Road and Derry Hill. The flooding of holes dug on Main Street for gas supply has added yet another piece of evidence showing that these latter developments, if allowed to go ahead, will cause a lot of Menston homes problems with flooding. Not to mention – again – that transport, education and medical infrastructures cannot support such a massive increase in population in Menston.

Buzz and Woody’s final toy story adventure will be shown in the film  at the Methodist Church Hall on Saturday 15 November. It’s free. More details under the ‘Events’ menu.

Menston Arts Club is having one of its two annual exhibitions at the Kirlands Community Centre on Saturday and Sunday 15/16 November. Entry is free, but art and craft will be on sale. More details under the ‘Events’ menu.

Menston vehicle show and terrier racing

Great video now on Youtube showing the 2014 Menston Vehicle Show. Click the link below (it’s about 10 minutes).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGGmT_BCOUM

If you are feeling down and need a lift, have a laugh with Menston residents asking “Who let the dogs out?” for the terrier racing on the same day (about 3 minutes).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzKyJSonbYk

 

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.

Menston stays with the Conservatives

So the Conservative candidate, Gerry Barker, was returned as Wharfedale Ward Councillor in yesterday’s election. The Independent candidate, Steve Ellams, came second.

It now remains to be seen whether ‘Councillor’ Barker keeps his pre-election promises of getting closely involved with the Menston community and fighting their corner in BMDC, which he claimed he could not do previously as he was a policeman …

… 15 years ago!