Category Archives: Menston businesses

Four immediate actions as Menston businesses come together; outcomes of Menston Community Association 2 April meeting

Menston local business representatives came together on Friday evening to explore ways of encouraging support by the village community. With representatives of the Menston Community Association (MCA) and two Councillors present, the meeting agreed on some immediate measures, learned of the proposed MCA ‘Village Information Centre’ project and agreed another meeting on Wednesday 30 April to take things forward and to agree on a name for the grouping.

A rough idea of the kind of community information board envisaged in the MCA Village Information Centre project, incorporating areas for a village map showing places of interest, walks and local businesses, an area to publicise community organisations and their activities, and an area for official MCA communications.

A rough idea of the kind of community information board envisaged in the MCA Village Information Centre project, incorporating areas for a village map showing places of interest, walks and local businesses, an area to publicise community organisations and their activities, and an area for official MCA communications.

Use it or lose it

Ideas from a bag carrying a stark ‘Use it or lose it’ message to local business ‘fayres’ were proposed and discussed at the initial ‘exploratory’ meeting of local business representatives on Friday evening. Coordinated by local business woman Christine Minchella, the meeting – which attracted 18 people – was held at her premises, The Studio, in Cleasby Road. Snacks were provided by Solo delicatessen and catering.

Introductions. The meeting began with each business introducing itself, this demonstrating the range of business activities in the village, from tradesmen like plumbers and electricians to graphic artists, an estate agent, printers and, of course, shops and pubs.

By the end of the evening four short-term concrete actions had been agreed:

  • a simple listing of local businesses in the forthcoming MCA ‘Menston News’ publication (due in May). Roger Livesey agreed to make the listing he had compiled for the business listings on this web site available in an accessible form
  • another meeting, to take things forward, on Wednesday 30 April (venue etc will be posted on this site when known)
  • production of some kind of flyer promoting support of local businesses. Investigation of how to distribute such a flyer effectively
  • to seek ideas for a name for the loose ‘confederation’ of local Menston businesses proposed, for discussion at the next meeting

MCA ‘Village Information Centre’: Sue Rix explained the intention of the MCA ‘Village Information Centre’ on which she and Roger Livesey had been working in a small MCA working group with other ad hoc members. We were very fortunate in having a skilled cartographer in the village, Alison Manson, who was working on production of a detailed village map, Sue said. Sue was currently seeking permission from the landlords, Bradford Council, to erect the board outside the library, alongside the Parish Council notice board. It was hoped that eventually this central information point would be supplemented by other information boards around the village.

Would local business people be willing to pay to appear on the Village Information Centre board(s)? Representatives of local businesses are invited to say by making a ‘comment’ below (anonymously if you wish).

The meeting discussed the success of the Burley and District Chamber of Trade, which had some Menston business members. However, it was felt that Menston needed its own grouping on a similar basis although this could perhaps become affiliated with the Burley group in some way suggested Cllr Dale Smith. MCA Chairman Steve Ellams said that the MCA was now a member of the Burley organisation.

Ombudsman enquiry into Bingley Road development – MCA meeting

The Local Authority Ombudsman seems to be having further thoughts following the initial dismissive response. The Ombudsman now says that  the material about the flooding and drainage evidence and witness statement from  Prof Rhodes had never been received from MCA Chairman Steve Ellams. This prompted an intervention from Philip Davies MP.

It had been pointed out that the planning panel had never seen the evidence statement by Prof Rhodes yet in the Ombudsman report so far it is stated they had seen all they required to make an informed judgement!

Bradford Core Strategy draft. The April MCA meeting was told that the Parish Council had produced their Bradford representation, 22 statements which, says Steve Ellams, is good. Alan Elsegood sent others and Dr Ellams sent a representation on behalf of the MCA. There have also be submissions from WARD and Phil Moore sent one for the Menston Action Group.

Cllr Dale Smith introduced some suggestions for the commemoration of the First World War and a meeting has been arranged for Monday 14th April at the Methodist church, 7.30pm, to discuss.

Car Show. A full update on the Menston Vehicle Show is expected in the very near future and will be featured here when available.

Menston community heroes; local businesses get together; more awards for St Mary’s Menston; Menston Vehicle Show almost here

Menston volunteers, including one working with elderly residents and two teenagers who also like to work with the older generations, were recognised as ‘Community Heroes‘ at a ceremony in Saltaire last week. St. Mary’s Menston pupils have collected yet more awards, won a dance competition, smiled through the worst the Lake District weather can offer and nominated ‘Ambassadors’ to take the school’s sports message out to the wider community. Menston local businesses are getting together to explore what can be done to promote local business. And the first bi-annual Menston village Vehicle Show is almost here (see the ‘poster’ in the right hand column). Click on any of the links below to go directly to each story in full, or just scroll down. Click on any picture to see it at full size.

Shirley Thompson of Menston Cares, Community Hero, right, with Jane Pratt and James Brown

Shirley Thompson of Menston Cares, Community Hero, right, with Jane Pratt and James Brown, at the awards ceremony in the Victoria Hall, Shipley

Kieran & Bradley Jackson of Menston - 'Outstanding Community Heroes'

Kieran & Bradley Jackson of Menston – ‘Outstanding Community Heroes’ (T&A Bradford photo).

THANK YOU to the increasing number of local organisations sending thanks for the publicity given to their events and activities. Send in events information as early as possible then it will surely appear in the ‘Imminent Events’ column as the date gets near, and don’t forget that to be informed each time there is a new post on this site just click the ‘Follow’ button on the right and enter your email address. 

community heroes

‘Community Heroes’ nominated from all over the Shipley area, from the Wharfedale, Bingley, Bingley Rural, Baildon, Shipley, Windhill and Wrose wards, met at a function at the Victoria Hall in Saltaire last week to learn who had been selected and those who were thought to be ‘top’ in their categories, ie ‘Outstanding Community Heroes’. The call for nominations was mentioned in the New Year post on this site.

Outright winners of the under 21 category, so named as ‘Outstanding Community Heroes’, were 13 years old Menston twins Bradley and Kieran Jackson. They were nominated for their voluntary work with a number of Menston organisations, especially those working with older people.

Menston Cares is a vital community group in the village and its Befriending and Visiting activities are led by Shirley Thompson. Shirley collected an award as a ‘Community Hero’ at the Saltaire ceremony, being accompanied by colleagues Jane Pratt and James Brown.

Local businesses to meet about encouraging support

Local businesses are to hold an exploratory meeting to look at ways of encouraging local people to use their local businesses, a vital segment of the local community. It is often said “Use it or lose it” and the consequences of not using local businesses have been only too clear recently when Menston lost its independent greengrocer, despite the fact that the produce there was fresher and no more costly, often even cheaper, than alternative sources. Perhaps part of the problem is that local businesses do not communicate with the local community enough, or not well enough. Part of the proposed MCA village notice board project is intended to help, but by itself it will not be enough.

A meeting of local business people on Friday 4 April is intended to explore ways of doing a better job of communicating what local businesses have to offer and what the advantages of using them are. The meeting will take place at The Studio, 9a Cleasby Road, at 6.30pm on Friday. Any representative of a local businesses will be welcome to attend but it would be a good idea to contact Christine on 01943 879816 or email, if only because some light snacks will be provided so it will be good to know how many people are coming.

More awards for St Mary’s Menston

Winners of dance competition for second year. The 14-16 years old dance team from St. Mary’s Menston high school were overall winners at the recent Leeds Schools Dance Competition, the second year running the team has won

Winning dance team: Alicia Wilson (Choreographer), Chloe Williams, Devon Mitchell-McCann, Freya-Poppy Bowden and Gabriella Vento.

Winning dance team: Alicia Wilson (Choreographer), Chloe Williams, Devon Mitchell-McCann, Freya-Poppy Bowden and Gabriella Vento.

the competition. One of the school’s 11-14 year old teams came third in the competition.

Diana Awards for Menston pupils and their South African partners. Fourteen students from St. Mary’s Menston and twenty seven students from Mnyakanya High School in rural Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa have received the prestigious Diana Award for their collaboration through the Bambisanani Partnership (click here for more information on the Bambisanani project).

Diana Award winners at Mnyakanya school in S Africa, with which St Mary's works in the Bambisanani Partnership

Diana Award winners at Mnyakanya school in S Africa, with which St Mary’s works in the Bambisanani Partnership

St Mary's students with their Diana Award Certificates. L-R, back row, Chloe Tindale, Patrick Connolly, Elizabeth Garnett, Elizabeth Banks, Charlie Walker, Kavindu Appuhamy, Emily Fieldhouse; front row, Ryan Clarke, Michael Jones, Madeline Tysoe, James Riley, Hannah Smith, Freya O’Connor, Jade Rigby-Williams.

St Mary’s students with their Diana Award Certificates. L-R, back row, Chloe Tindale, Patrick Connolly, Elizabeth Garnett, Elizabeth Banks, Charlie Walker, Kavindu Appuhamy, Emily Fieldhouse; front row, Ryan Clarke, Michael Jones, Madeline Tysoe, James Riley, Hannah Smith, Freya O’Connor, Jade Rigby-Williams.

Over the past year, the Young Leaders from Mnyakanya School have volunteered to work in their community with the ‘Child Care’ organisation caring and supporting victims of abuse or those with HIV infection. The students have developed peer mentoring and community programmes as well as liaising with other agencies that can support the victims. For the past seven years the two schools have worked together as the Bambisanani Partnership, using sport as a catalyst to promote education, health, leadership and global citizenship.

Young Ambassadors. Eight ‘Young Ambassadors’ have recently been chosen by St. Mary’s to form a vital link with students and teachers in primary schools. Young Ambassadors are the most outstanding Sports Leaders in schools and are

Young Ambassadors Amelia Walsh, Gabriella Vento, Alaya Tyrell, Ella Humphreys, Elizabeth Westhead, Aidan Conlon, Alice Clayton (and not on photograph – Matthew Farmer)

Young Ambassadors Amelia Walsh, Gabriella Vento, Alaya Tyrell, Ella Humphreys, Elizabeth Westhead, Aidan Conlon, Alice Clayton (and not on photograph – Matthew Farmer)

selected due to their sporting talent, and more importantly, due to their exceptional commitment and ability as young leaders or volunteers. Becoming a Young Ambassador will enable the students to develop their leadership skills further.

Enduring Lake District weather. A group of year eight students from St. Mary’s recently endured adverse weather during their stay in the Lake District, including wind, rain and even snow, but took part in a full programme of activities designed to provide physical, social and team building experiences such as orienteering, rock climbing, rope challenges and raft building.

St Mary's year 8 pupils on Lake Ullswater on what looks like a better day

St Mary’s year 8 pupils on Lake Ullswater on what looks like a better day

The group enjoyed a week long residential visit to the Outward Bound Centre on the edge of Lake Ullswater.

Whilst in the Lake District, the group took part in the John Muir Award scheme, an environmental award scheme focused on wild places. The scheme encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment, in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration.The Award Scheme is now to undertake a study which will look at how the ethos of the award is continued in school once students return from the visit, through such things as tutorials, assemblies and cross curricular learning.


Women’s Day; mums-to-be praise local Pilates; more awards for St Mary’s Menston; responding to Bradford’s long-term plan

Logo for International Women's Day, 8 MarchToday is International Women’s Day so a good day to recognise that many Menston local community organisations, from the churches to organisations like Menston Cares, depend for the most part on women. There is also a significant number of Menston businesses run by women. Yet we have only one woman Parish Councillor and only one active female member on the committee of the Menston Community Association. Isn’t it time to change that? There can be a Parish Council election in May 2015; the next MCA AGM, at which officers can be elected, is in November this year.

Three stories in today’s post, two of them featuring the gender appropriate for today. Click on the link below to go directly to the story, or just scroll down.

Mums-to-be recommend pilates

“It’s great having something local”, says Ruth, one of eight mums-to-be attending pre-natal Pilates sessions at Menston’s own Pilates studio. “It helped me with posture and walking, and relieved some of the aches I was feeling as a result of pregnancy”, says Hannah, another of the group.

The classes began about four weeks ago and are limited to eight people at a session so that each can have individual attention from proprietor and qualified modern Pilates trainer Christine North-Minchella. There is already a waiting list but as each mum-to-be has her baby a place is vacated.

Menston village Pilates studio with Christine North-Minchella with a model of the spine

Menston Village Pilates centre; Christine North-Minchella in the studio with the model of a spine used to show how Pilates can help aleviate back pain

The rise in obesity and the resulting increase of diabetes in pregnancy has prompted NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) and RCOG (the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) to recommend safe exercise during pregnancy. Pilates is known to be gentle and safe so ideal for exercise when pregnant, says Christine. It also tackles one of the major problems for women during pregnancy – back ache; 70% of women suffer this during pregnancy. Pilates strengthens the back and abdominals and is safe exercise right up to the last week. And after birth, it helps with bending and picking up baby. Many of the women intend to return for post-natal sessions after the birth.

“There’s a social element too”, says another mum-to-be, Ruth, “It’s good to meet other expectant mums with similar feelings”. Aimee says she learns things “which I can then do at home”. Or, Catherine says, “It gives an hour every week when you can be calm and focus on yourself”. “I’d really recommend it”, says Shelley; “it’s relaxing and keeps you active”.

The Studio is a purpose-equipped facility behind an imposing house near the bottom of Cleasby Road. Telephone 879816 or email

Leeds Sports Awards for St Mary’s teacher and students

A St Mary’s Menston student, Isobel Palmer, former student Sarah Lawn, and teacher Barbara Pounder, were all honoured at this year’s Leeds Sports Awards at the end of February (click a picture to see it larger with caption).

Barbara Pounder was honoured for her Services to Physical Education and Sport. In addition to Barbara’s contribution to the St. Mary’s curricular and extra-curricular programme, her outstanding work developing young leaders and her significant contribution to the school’s work in South Africa (the Bambisanani Partnership) were also noted. Special mention was given to the SOS Club (Sport on Saturday), which has been run by Barbara for the past fourteen years and provides young disabled people with the opportunity to participate in sport.

St. Mary’s student Isobel Palmer received a Young Achiever Award in the Young Disability Sportsperson of the Year category. Former St Mary’s student Sarah Lawn was recognised for her outstanding achievement in football, both participating and officiating, as Leeds City College Sports Personality of the Year.

Would Sinehlanhla Fortunate Qwane of Eshowe, S Africa, please send an email to and give us a return email address so that her recent message (comment on the Bambisanani article last year) can be answered.

Bradford Core Strategy – less than four weeks to respond

Residents who attended the traffic ‘consultation’ last week had the opportunity to see a copy of the Bradford ‘Core Strategy Development Plan Document – Publication Draft’) and its supporting ‘Evidence’ documentation and talk to Alan Elsegood and Steve Ellams about it. They also would have seen the form which had to be completed to ‘object’ to the plan and if this was not enough to put people off then the massiveness of the documents they were required to comment on certainly would. What is more, the bases on which any objection can be raised are limited to three (the ‘soundness’ of the plan, the legal compliance of the plan, and the ‘duty to cooperate’); most people would not be able to make a challenge on the basis of the last two of these.

As a result, it is nigh on impossible for most people to make any meaningful response at all, certainly not within the short time period allowed. You might wonder whether that is the whole idea.

We are fortunate in having one resident who has been prepared to go through this pile of documentation – days of work – and draw up some very sound objections, mostly on one of the bases upon which it can be challenged – that it is ‘not sound’.

Tireless campaigner for the village and former chairman of the Menston Community Association, Alan Elsegood, has now gone through this Brazilian forest of paper and drawn up detailed arguments against the plan, mostly on the basis that they are ‘not sound’ but also on not meeting the ‘duty to cooperate’ (eg with Leeds re the High Royds development or the road infrastructure).

It was impossible, within the time available, to organise a way for all residents to see Alan’s objections and append their supporting signatures, so Alan has sent them to the Menston Parish Council in the hope that they will be incorporated into a vigorous response on behalf of the electors of Menston.

The final submission by the Parish Council will be examined with interest.

Fairtrade, Soul, awards for St Mary’s and Menston ‘traffic management’

Battling the attempted destruction of our village by Bradford Council is not the only thing going on in Menston nor the only thing occupying the Menston Community Association. Click on any of the links below to go directly to the story.

Fairtrade Fortnight

The St Mary's team display the Fairtrade status award.

The Fairtrade team display their Fairtrade status award. L-r:- Catherine Garrett (Acting Headteacher), Isobel Tysoe, Thomas Rothwell (Acting Headteacher), Felicity Hemming, Stuart Andrew MP, Jack Tunnecliff, Caitlin
Grady, Benedict Kershaw, Louise Oddy, Marienn Collins, David Geldart (Assistant Headteacher)

St. Mary’s Menston were awarded Fairtrade Schools Status in February, the award being presented to the school by Stuart Andrew MP in a special assembly in February to mark the beginning of Fairtrade fortnight. To qualify for the award, the school had to meet five set goals:

  • to set up a Fairtrade student group
  • to adopt a Fairtrade Policy
  • teach Fairtrade lessons
  • sell Fairtrade products
  • actively campaign for Fairtrade

The school had a series of activities to raise awareness of Fairtrade products including a “Crossbar Challenge”, quiz, bun sales, creative writing and prayer workshops.

The Fairtrade Assessor said of the St. Mary’s application: “Congratulations, St. Mary’s! It is evident that you are working very hard to make Fairtrade a vital part of your school life and that the entire student and staff body are embracing it with great enthusiasm. Your hard work has paid off – I am very pleased to recommend you for approval and am excited to see what you do in the future.”

Fairtrade stall. There will be a Fairtrade stall on Saturday 8 March from 10 am to 12 noon at the Cornerstone cafe on Main Street as part of Fairtrade fortnight.

PhilipPines Typhoon

The Fairtrade Assessor said of St. Mary’s application:- "Congratulations, St. Mary's! It is evident that you are working very hard to make Fairtrade a vital part of your school life and that the entire student and staff body are embracing it with great enthusiasm. Your hard work has paid off - I am very pleased to recommend you for approval and am excited to see what you do in the future."

Poster for the event on Saturday 15 March to help schools in Philippines devasted by typhoon Haiyan

Schools in the Philippines were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan last November. Some of the devastation can be seen in the poster here (click it to see it larger). There’s an opportunity to help and have a great evening at an event on Saturday evening, 15 March, at the Kirklands Community Centre, organised by Menston resident Beth Street.

Soul music, soul food (chilli and rice) and dancing are the recipe for the evening from 8.00 to 11.00pm. The Soul Surgeons will be providing the music. Sally’s Army, the ladies group from Otley, will be singing a varied programme of 50’s Classics from Elvis and the Poni-Tails to more modern numbers by Caro Emerald and Take That. All proceeds will go towards the rebuilding of schools in areas of the Philippines destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan.

Tickets are just £10 for this great cause; to book or enquire contact Beth Street on 07719 785986 or email

St Mary’s night of trashion

St Marys year 13 students displaying the 'Trashion' they created

Fashion from trash was created and showed by St Mary’s students as part of studying the environment within the Religious Studies programme

St Mary’s Menston have been busy not only with Fairtrade. Valentine’s Day saw year 13 students mounting a ‘Trashion Show’ as part of ‘Creativity on Show’, ending a day considering the theme ‘The Environment’ as part of the Religious Studies programme. During the ‘runway’ fashion show, students modelled items of clothing made from recycled materials such as crisp packets and bin liners.

Mgr Vladimir Felzmann with St Mary's Sports Leaders

Mgr Vladimir Felzmann with St Mary’s Sports Leaders

Sport award. St. Mary’s Menston has become only the fifth school in the country to be accepted into the John Paul 2 Foundation 4 Sport. The John Paul 2 Foundation 4 Sport was launched by Pope Benedict XVI on his visit to the UK in 2010. The Foundation is inspired by Pope John Paul’s own vision of sport’s unique potential to develop individuals and communities.

St. Mary’s was presented with a special certificate to mark the occasion by Monsignor Vladimir Felzmann, Chief Executive of the Foundation. Presenting the certificate, he said: “St. Mary’s epitomises the values of the John Paul 2 Foundation 4 Sport. The scope and influence of PE and Sport at St. Mary’s is vast, both within and beyond the school. This is a school that uses PE and Sport in the most positive way with its own students and in the wider community. The vision, commitment and outcomes are inspirational. 

Mr David Geldart, Assistant Headteacher, who has been at the forefront of Physical Education and Sport Development at the school for many years said: “This is a most significant accolade for all associated with the school. The Foundation honours the memory of Pope John Paul II who was a great advocate for all the positive attributes that sport can bring; we are totally committed to those values in our work at St. Mary’s, in the wider community and in our international work in South Africa, the BAMBISANANI PARTNERSHIP.

MCA meeting 5 March

The forthcoming village motor show (5 May), an update on the possibiity of regular film shows in Menston, the village information board project, and of course reactions to the traffic management scheme proposed for Menston are all on the agenda for the Menston Community Association meeting on Wednesday 5 March in the Methodist church hall, Main street. Click HERE for the MCA page and access to the full agenda.

Local business initiatives

Proposals for promoting support of local shops and businesses are moving forward on two fronts. Sue Rix, working in a personal capacity not as a Parish Councillor, will be presenting proposals of a small working group at the 5 March MCA meeting for more and better village information boards, which are intended to include information on local shops and businesses as well as local charities and groups and things like village walks.

Apart from the MCA initiative, some local businesses are planning to get together at the beginning of April to discuss a possible campaign and other measures to promote local business. If you’d like to be involved watch this web site for more details when available and drop an email expressing interest to

Get rid of 1/3 Bradford Councillors and save? Important issues for Menston Community Association other than housing developments. Another accolade for St Mary’s. Neighbourhood Forum 4 Feb


Go to agenda (Click): MCA/Neighbourhood Forum 4 Feb


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.

Keighley Councillor Judith Brooksbank and Bradford Councillor John Pennington on the One Show

Keighley Councillor Judith Brooksbank and Bradford Councillor John Pennington on the One Show

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.

Sports pupils at St Mary's Menston

Some of St Mary’s outstanding sports pupils: left to right, back row to front: Tom Brady, James Cape, Niamh Roberts, Chloe Tindale, Lucy Tindale, Frances Westhead, Michael Jones, Sam Hollindrake Hughes, Oliver Armitage, John Cooper, Chris Jackson, Laurence Patterson, Jessica Tindale, Lily Greenhalgh, Olivia Brady, Samantha Breen, Isobel Palmer, Charlie Houlders, Daisy Sutcliffe, Kathryn Sammon, Caitlin Baran, Orla Turnbull, Georgia Malir, Claire Shepherd, Evie Malir, Leah Delahay, Elizabeth Westhead, Pauline Hall (Click on the picture to see it at a larger size)

“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 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.

Children’s Centre

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

Road change proposal map 1

Road change proposal map 2

Road change proposal map 3

Road change proposal map 4

Road change proposal map 5

Road change proposal map 6

Road change proposal map 7

MAG planning update Dec 2013

MPC objection letter Jan 2014

BMDC traffic proposals Jan 2010

MAG flood risk objection Jan 2014

MAG to MPC after MCA Jan meeting

Traffic photos

MCA Deputy Chairman to BMDC Jan 2014

JNaylor traffic objections

J Houlihan traffic objections

Traffic objections Feb 2012

Bingley Road area satellite picture


Bradford Council housing proposals “illegal”, “insane” and “uninsurable” claim Menston village residents

Illegal“, “Insane” and “Uninsurable” were words used to describe housing developments on greenfield sites, and associated ‘traffic calming’ works, proposed by Bradford Council (BMDC) for Menston along Bingley Road, by speakers at the 8 January meeting of the Menston Community Association (MCA).

Minutes of 8 January 2014 meeting (posted 16 Jan). Click this sentence for link on MCA intro page

Yet again there was a ‘complaint’ at the 8 Jan meeting from a Parish Councillor that he had been unable to find/access the minutes of the previous meeting. Yet again it was pointed out that the minutes were up on this site shortly after being received from the (currently ‘acting’) Secretary – in this case Christmas Eve morning, ie more than two weeks before the 8 Jan meeting. It is very frustrating when this site endeavours, and generally succeeds, to get information posted promptly that people say they are ‘unable’ to find minutes, etc.


Traffic ‘calming’ proposals

Residents wanted to know why they were not supposed to hear about the traffic calming proposals, following complaints from the BMDC traffic planning officer after a Parish Councillor had let the cat out of the bag by circulating the proposals. Another Parish Councillor present at the meeting failed to convince the residents that they should not yet have heard about them. In fact, he was questioned on why previously agreed plans had been abandoned and asked to put this question at a forthcoming meeting with BMDC to discuss the plans. However, another speaker pointed out that the housing developments should not go ahead at all so the traffic measures were irrelevant.


The housing developments themselves were claimed to be “illegal” under Common Law and would be opposed on this basis, another speaker said. They were also illegal under European law another resident added.

NB. Various documents relating to the above will be added to the site at a later date.

Notice boards: Cllr Sue Rix reported that, following her suggestion at the previous meeting that there was a need for more and better noticeboards in the village, work was progressing in a small working group. Various suggestions were made, among them inclusion of a village map. These will all be taken into account with the aim of having a firm, costed proposal to present to the next (February) meeting.

Car Show: following some discussion about the proposed car show on 5 May, it transpires that this is intended to be a ‘village only’ show, with vehicles from the village being displayed at sites around the village. Various other suggestions made at the meeting are therefore not relevant.

Children’s Centre: Cllr Sue Rix reported that she had been to a meeting which, in BMDC style, had not been ‘advertised’ until the last minute; she only found out about it by accident and staff had been given only 48 hours notice. She urged residents to get objections to closure in very quickly..

Neighbourhood Forum/MCA meeting: The next Neighbourhood Forum, which will also be the February MCA meeting, is on Tuesday 4 February in the main hall of the Kirklands Community Centre. In the first half of the meeting the agenda will include proposals for supporting local business, proposals for better communications within the village including the proposed MCA notice boards, an update re the Children’s Centre, proposals for the village Car Show and for 2014 Christmas lights and accompanying festivities in the village. The second half of the forum will be devoted to the proposed housing developments on Bingley Road and Derry Hill, accompanying plans for managing road traffic in the village, and of course the latest situation re fighting these proposals.

Grumpytyke asks:

Did you see the BBC1 Countryfile programme on Sunday evening? Covering extensively housing developments on greenfield land in Surrey, in some ways similar to Menston, both David Cameron and Nick Boles were shown assuring viewers that they had no intention to cover greenfields with housing! Personally I do not now believe a word which comes out of their mouths, on this or any other subject. Which presents me with a dilemma. I would like to vote of our MP, Philip Davies, who does seem to be working hard on our behalf, but how can I do that when he is a member of the political party represented by these two? Nick Boles did, however, make a valid point, saying that local councils could be more likely to get housing they wanted where they wanted, and avoid inappropriate development, by developing a ‘local plan’. Menston has not done that. Whether expecting small Parish Councils to make such a plan is realistic is a valid question, but our neighbours Burley seem to have managed it. When are the next Parish Council elections?

Happy New Year Menston – some good news to begin

Wishing a Happy New Year to all Menston residents, and especially to the faithful who ‘follow’ this blog (if you do not just click the ‘Follow’ box on the right and enter your email address, then you will be informed every time there is a new post); it’s great to begin the year with some good news.

BMDC to be held to account?

The incompetents (or are they supremely competent at seeming incompetent?) in Bradford Council who are bent on destroying our village may be held to account it seems; as reported just before Christmas, the Local Authority Ombudsman seems to have agreed that BMDC may well not have behaved in an acceptable manner as far as the applications to build unsuitable housing in unsuitable locations in Menston is concerned. The Ombudsman has agreed that there is sufficient evidence to merit an investigation; click this phrase to see the bones of the letter from them here.

Our MP Philip Davies has thrown down the gauntlet again by objecting to the latest application to build yet more houses off Bingley Road and, as reported towards the end of last year, is still endeavouring to get an Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons on the unacceptable activities of BMDC as far as Menston is concerned. You can make an objection on line; click on this sentence to go to the relevant section of the BMDC website.

An up-to-date summary of the situation on the inappropriate housing developments in the village has been prepared by seasoned campaigner, former Chairman of the Menston Community Association (now Secretary), Alan Elsegood. You can see the summary by clicking on this phrase; it will no doubt be a major item for discussion at the first 2014 meeting of the Menston Community Association on Wednesday 8th January evening.

Click on this paragraph for the Agenda for the meeting.

Local heroes?

This prompts a suggestion: Alan must surely merit the accolade of ‘Local Community Hero’; nominations are being sought for the SHIPLEY AREA COMMUNITY HEROES AWARDS 2013 – 2014. The closing date for nominations is 31 January and there may be others in Menston, young and not so young (there are four categories), who you might wish to nominate. More information from the Admin team at Shipley Area Coordinator’s Office on 01274 437146, or e-mail
As this is part of BMDC perhaps Alan’s nomination is unlikely to be accepted, but wouldn’t it be  good idea to embarrass them with a large number for him?

Promoting local businesses

Another item on the 8 January agenda is connected to promoting local businesses and especially support of local shops and ‘consumer’ businesses. Let’s mention one which has just become evident to this website: Croft Park seems to have become a centre for personal care with three hair and two other ‘beauty salons’.

Logo for Relax&Revive

Logo for Relax&Revive

Relax & Revive is the name of a salon at number 11. Run by Alison Bloor, it specialises in “holistic and sports massage, beauty treatments including reflexology, Indian head massage, pregnancy massage and facials”. The business will now be added to the businesses listings but there is more information on the website at

A competent seamstress in Menston?

Another listing on this site which has not been used as much as hoped is that seeking people to do small jobs or those offering to do them. A new one is looking for a competent seamstress to make some loose covers for an an old ‘Lazyboy’ chair. More information on the ‘Jobs’ pages.