Category Archives: Menston Parish Council

Happy New Year! Menston Action Group is back. Menston’s ‘election year’ is here!

FollowButtonPicA Happy New Year ! to all the readers of this website/blog, particularly the ‘followers’ who, by following, not only ensure they are informed of each new post and/or comment but indicate that the considerable (entirely voluntary) work required to keep the site up to date is worthwhile.

Thank you also to all those who have taken advantage of the unique facility, in Menston, provided by this website/blog, to comment and discuss issues of importance to the community.

Thanks are also due to the individuals responsible for ‘publicity’ in many village voluntary and charitable organisations who have regularly sent information to appear on this site, thus ensuring the ‘Events’ listing and ‘Imminent events’ calendar are more complete and up to date than they would be relying just on things picked up from the ‘grape vine’.

This site was viewed about 38,000 times in 2014

WordPress, which hosts this website/blog, tells us that Menston Village Wharfedale was viewed about 38,000 times in 2014, which considering that the author/webmaster was out of action for a considerable period and is only just getting back into regular posting, due to a serious health problem, is impressive.

St Mary's Menston concert 9 May 2014There were 419 pictures published on the site; that averages well over a picture per day, 95% of these being taken especially for and published only on this website. A considerable number have been of young people engaging in community activities.

The busiest day of the year was 11 May with 1,307 views. The most popular post that day was St Mary’s Menston Bambisanani concert, paying tribute to Nelson Mandela, 9 May 2014. The Menston Vehicle Show posts had even more views over the respective weekend.

Potential changes on this website

Some of the changes outlined below will lead to some changes on this website. It is likely to include even more opinion (the change has begun in this post) and point to issues for discussion while continuing to present news and pictures – even video clips – about events, activities, community developments and Menston businesses in a hopefully interesting way. The policy of allowing comments to be made anonymously, and not editing them unless they are obscene, illegal or personally abusive, will continue.

Some of the ‘services’ provided to village organisations, eg the ‘official’ Menston Community Association section, where meeting agendas and minutes have been published, may be dropped.

Massive changes seen in 2014

There were some notable developments for the Menston community during last year, particularly the transfer of many of the previous ‘campaigning’ activities of the Menston Community Association to the Parish Council. Most notable among these are opposing the inappropriate housing developments on Bingley Road and Derry Hill and the monitoring of aircraft noise from Leeds Bradford Airport.

Menston Business Association – MBA

The Menston Business Association logoThe formation of the Menston Business Association was an important step to help ensure that a vital feature of the local community – local businesses – are promoted and supported. Let us hope this organisation becomes ever more active over the coming year, helps to develop some of the important aspects of village life and even prompts introduction of new ones. Entrepreneureal thinking could be an important input to the development of village activities and services. Let us hope its activities might also lead to reintroduction of some important missing shops in the village – such as a butcher and greengrocer. A pipe dream? Maybe, but cooperation between the MBA and the MCA could lead to greater support for such local businesses than has been evident recently.

An important development last year was the involvement of the MBA in the Menston Village Show. It is to be hoped that the experience gained by both the MBA and the Show Committee as a result will lead to more development of this important annual event.

Housing developments

Although it has been argued on this site that the Menston Community Association was not the right body to lead the fight against inappropriate housing development, as it led to many other community matters with which the MCA should have been concerned being shoved to one side and even ignored, leaving this to the Parish Council would, on past experience, be disastrous. Indeed, had it been left to the Parish Council over the past few years it seems likely that we would already have all the traffic, transport, educational and health services problems that an extra few hundred houses would bring. A truly independent voice was needed.

Menston Action Group – MAG

Map showing proposed Menston 20mph/30mph sections

Proposed Menston 20mph/30mph restrictions

It is therefore a real relief to see the resurrection of the Menston Action Group which, of course, was formed originally to oppose inappropriate development. It is to be hoped that MAG fights the battle on all fronts, not confining itself to just the flooding consequences. Important as these are, and it may well be that these have been the basis on which the developments could best be stopped, it is not the consequent flooding which would kill Menston. It is the destruction of green space, destruction of Main Street, overloading of services and joining up of the currently separate Wharfedale/Airedale communities into one oppressive urban sprawl which would kill our village.

So, although very costly, there are engineering solutions to the flooding problems which would threaten the village should houses be built on the currently proposed sites. There are no engineering solutions to the destruction of a village community by the consequences mentioned above.

MAG has announced its resurrection with a new website and it will be interesting to see how this develops. At the moment there seems to be no facility for commenting publicly on items appearing on the site, reflecting the tag line “Relaunched site to keep you updated”, which seems to indicate only one way communication is intended. If so this is a pity. To be effective it needs the level of involvement of the community seen at the time of the referendum. Public meetings alone, particularly those now controlled – eg the Neighbourhood Forums – by the Parish Council, are not likely to achieve this.

Nevertheless, the new MAG site gives this site the opportunity not to publish the volume of factual information, reports, etc, as in the past, just pointing to the MAG site for these, so leaving more time to comment on developments.

Menston Community Association – MCA

Now that the MCA has had its teeth pulled, it will be interesting to see how it develops. Will it now be active in not only ensuring support of the many independent community organisations active in the village but active also in introducing new ones? As a registered charity it has an enviable capacity for supporting the community should it choose to use it.

Menston Parish Council – MPC

This year, 2015, is not only the year of the general election but before that there is an election which, it could be argued, is even more important for the future of Menston village – the Parish Council election. This is an opportunity for the community to consider whether the current ‘system’ of an MPC which effectively re-elects itself regularly is what the Menston community needs. Of course, there need to be nominations for new Councillors, and that means there need to be people willing to offer themselves as Councillors. What is more, we need a good turnout at the election to ensure we end up with a truly democratically chosen body to represent us. This website will be doing what it can to ensure full advantage is taken of this opportunity.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Menston WW1 trip to Flanders; St Mary’s Menston pupils make 8th visit to South Africa in school’s 50th year; Menston films project on hold

St Mary's Menston pupil Olivia Leonard with a Zulu child

St Mary’s Menston pupil Olivia Leonard with a Zulu child

Judith Knaggs and Dale Smith are asking for possible interest in visiting WW1 sites in Belgium in 2015; St Mary’s pupils make their 8th trip to South Africa in the school’s 50th year; Menston films project on back burner for the moment. Click any link below to go to more information, or just scroll down.

Menston visit to WW1 battlefields and graves

Poppy1Judith Knaggs and Dale Smith, who are leading organisation of Menston’s commemorations of the First World War, are asking for expressions of interest in a trip to Flanders and Northern France in September 2015. They stress that this is not a request for a firm commitment but just an indication of interest so that likely numbers can be assessed. The intention is to make a 5 day trip with Dalesman Coaches, beginning on Sunday 13 September 2015, to visit a number of cemeteries where men from Menston who fought in WW1 are buried and also visit some of the battlefields, eg the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Arras and Passschendale. The cost is £599 per person which will include coach and ferry travel from Menston via Hull and Zeebrugge, hotel accommodation and entrance to museums. Single rooms will have a supplementary charge.

Interest, including possible numbers in your party, should be communicated either to Judith or Dale, email Judith at david@timewarpband.co.uk or Dale at dale.smith@bradford.gov.uk. All messages will be acknowledged.

St Mary’s make eighth South Africa project visit in school’s 50th year

This year St Mary’s Menston will be celebrating 50 years of providing education in Menston, having opened its doors to pupils in 1964. Celebrations begin in with an Open Day and a garden party for former pupils in October and continue throughout the next academic year. Go to the programme on the school website for more details including how to book to attend a garden party and an anniversary ball.

David Geldart presenting Minister Counsellor, Dumisani Ntuli with a painting from one of St Mary's students, Sara Riley, which symbolises the work of the Bambisanani Partnership,at a Leeds Civic Reception to celebrate the 'Life and Legacy' of Nelson Mandela

David Geldart presenting Minister Counsellor, Dumisani Ntuli with a painting from one of St Mary’s students, Sara Riley, which symbolises the work of the Bambisanani Partnership, at a Leeds Civic Reception to celebrate the ‘Life and Legacy’ of Nelson Mandela.

This 50th year saw the eighth visit to South Africa by a team of pupils as part of the internationally acclaimed Bambisanani (a Zulu word meaning ‘working hand in hand’) project with a high school in one of the most deprived areas in S Africa, with one in three adults infected by HIV/AIDS, 90% unemployment and an adult illiteracy rate greater than 60%. The school serves a vast area and many students walk two hours to and from school each day. The full story can be read in an excellent article written by the project’s founder, Assistant Headmaster David Geldart.

In June this year fourteen Sixth Form students, three members of staff and a business sponsor, visited Mnyakanya School in the Nkandla region of Kwa Zulu Natal to develop the collaborative work between the two schools and wider community, which is referred to as the Bambisanani Partnership. The Bambisanani Partnership uses sport as a catalyst to promote education, leadership, health and global understanding.

This visit was led by physical education teacher Barbara Pounder, supported by Catherine Chattoe and Giles Wilkes from St. Mary’s and Roisin Serridge from Cardinal Maritime, one of a number of business sponsors of the partnership.

St Mary's Menston pupils and teachers at the Bambisanani Partnership school in South Africa

St Mary’s Menston pupils at the Bambisanani Parnership school in South Africa

The students were: Beth Cotton, Anna Evans, Myles Hanlon, Megan Haskins, Helena Hunt, Megan Ireton-Bourke, Olivia Leonard, James Smith, Emily Sutcliffe, Eleanor Thompson, Beth Tindall, Caroline Turnbull, Karl Verspyck and Jonathan Vincent.

St Mary's Menston pupils Bethany Tindall and Eleanor Thompson in the classroom with Zulu children

St Mary’s Menston pupils Bethany Tindall and Eleanor Thompson in the classroom with Zulu children

An important aspect of this year’s visit was to consolidate the relationship with the well-resourced and highly successful Eshowe High School, situated approximately an hour away from Mnyakanya. To that end, five students from Eshowe were invited to join the Bambisanani Leadership Programme for the week with St. Mary’s and Mnyakanya students. During the visit, St. Mary’s students, supported by Eshowe students, mentored twenty Mnyakanya students through the Bambisanani Leadership Course. An aspect of the course was for students from all three schools to jointly organise and deliver a Cricket, Rugby and Rounders Festival as well as a Reading Festival for eighty four children from Ntolwane Primary School.

Awards

A number of very special annual awards were also presented at an assembly in memory of two young men that have died in recent years. Four years ago, Laurie McCauley from Otley sadly died. Laurie was passionate about sport and literature and his family donated two special awards in these areas to be presented annually at Mnyakanya School to support the partnership. The awards are referred to as ‘Laurie’s Legacy’ and this year the Most Improved Footballer Award was won by Sikhakhane Sanela Steve and the Creative Writing Award by Zitha Nomvelo. At the ceremony, Zitha said: “It is a great honour to win this special award. Laurie’s awards inspire learners at Mnyakanya”.

Another annual award was also presented in memory of Sbonelo Magwaza, a Mnyakanya student who also died three years ago. Sbonelo was an outstanding young leader who, a year before his death, had successfully completed the Bambisanani Leadership Award. In tribute to Sbonelo, each school now presents an annual Sbonelo Magwaza Award for Outstanding Leadership. The award this year was won by Shange Siphesihle. Two other awards were introduced this year.

A first for South African partner school

As a result of links with St. Mary’s, this year Mnyakanya School became the first school in South Africa to be accepted into the John Paul II Foundation for Sport. The Foundation presented Mnyakanya with special awards for “Helping Others Achieve Their Potential” and “The True Spirit of Sport”. These were won by Mzobe Zothani and Shandu Nondumiso respectively.

Menston films

The project to bring regular film shows to Menston has had to be ‘put on the back burner’ by proposer Roger Livesey, unless someone is willing to move it forward, due to health problems. The amount he can do, and mobility, is limited so he has had to restrict involvement in various village projects, one of which is the ‘Teaching grandmother – from eggs to iPads’ for which he is trying to keep the impetus going.

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.

Chairman of Community Association resigns

SteveEllamsSteve Ellams, Chairman of the Menston Community Association (MCA), has tendered his resignation from the post with immediate effect in a letter to the committee circulated by email yesterday evening. You can see the text of the letter in full, published on the Menston Community Association section of this website, by clicking HERE (or click the MCA ‘button’ in the right sidebar).

grumpytyke says:

Steve has been a loud and effective voice in the battle to preserve for the Menston community what makes this village what the recently-formed Menston Business Association has said is ‘The best village in Yorkshire’.

It is no wonder that he is “exhausted mentally and physically” and it is time for someone else to step up to the plate.

Earlier this year I commented on the dearth of women and people from younger generations in both the committee running the MCA and in the Menston Parish Council (MPC). The Chairman and other officers of the MPC just last week re-elected themselves to their current positions.

With the high proportion of elderly people in the village it is certainly right that they are well represented in both the MCA and MPC, but the balance is not right: more younger people are needed. A higher proportion of women is also needed in the running of both these organisations, especially as they are largely responsible for the success of so many groups and charitable organisations in the village.

During the next few months there will be the opportunity to bring this about. The AGM of the MCA, with election of officers, is due in November this year, and there should be an election of the Parish Council in 2015. There will of course be objections to the latter – there is a financial cost and people have said that there is no-one willing to step up. But were they ever given the opportunity? Not as far as I can ascertain. It requires only 10 residents to request an election, and of course some people willing to be nominated. I find it difficult to believe that neither of these requirements can be met.

To add to the thought left by Steve at the end of his letter:

If the Menston community do nothing or always vote for what they’ve always voted for, they’ll always get what they’ve always had.

Unfortunately this is only true in some respects. Bradford Council is intent on taking away some of the things they’ve always had – their green fields for a start. 

 

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.

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 christine@pfetraining.co.uk

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 menston.village.wharfedale@gmail.com 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.

Let’s have a 20mph limit for Menston

The 20mph road sign

Road sign for a 20mph speed limit, not the same as a 20mph zone

Many Menston village residents have indicated that they favour a speed limit of 20mph throughout the village, but some may have been misled by comments from the Chairman of the Parish Council planning committee, Cllr Metcalfe, at the recent Neighbourhood Forum. He seemed to say that if there were 20mph limits there would have to be ‘speed bumps’. This is not true.

First, it has to be recognised that there is a difference between ’20mph Zones’, as there are in parts of Menston now, and a ’20mph speed limit’.

20 mph zones require that no point in the ‘zone’ is further than 50m from a traffic calming feature, unless the road is a cul-de-sac of less than 80m in length. A 20mph speed limit has no such requirement.

However, according to the charity which is the expert source of information on 20mph limits and zones – ’20’s Plenty for Us’ – the requirement for traffic calming measures is often misinterpreted in the UK as meaning physical speed constraints such as speed bumps and speed tables (vertical) or chicanes, road narrowing and build outs (horizontal). Bradford Council traffic officers certainly seem to misinterpret in this way (and want to continue to do so in what they have proposed for the village). In fact, the charity says, it can mean gateways, road markings, hatching, carriageway roundels or rumble devices. Humps and bumps are not a requirement.

So, it would seem that we could have a 20mph speed limit throughout Menston and all that would be required would be the 20mph signs at each of the entry points and small 20mph roundels mounted on lamp posts at intervals. Every English authority has a traffic sign authorisation which permits them to place a 20mph speed roundel road marking as a repeater sign (without the requirement for an upright sign), to reduce unnecessary signing. A low cost solution with no massive engineering works disrupting the village in the short term and defacing it for ever after.

If we had an area-wide 20mph limit it would be much more effective than isolated 20mph zones according to the charity, which says, “For any given expenditure 20mph area-wide limits are 7.2 times more effective than physically calmed zones”.

Apart from this, 20splentyforus says that the introduction of physical measures has many disadvantages, many of which have already been pointed out by Menston residents, these including:

  • Physical measures are uncomfortable even for motor vehicles conforming to speed limits.
  • They slow down emergency service vehicles
  • They are expensive to implement
  • They are expensive to maintain and re-surface
  • They can cause noise and vibration
  • They can result in acceleration between features by drivers seeking to maximise average speed, thereby increasing pollution and emissions.

The charity has a very good website with ‘everything you need to know about 20mph limits’. It’s worth a good look at:

http://www.20splentyforus.org.uk/

There’s a conference ‘It’s time for 20’ on 18th February; unfortunately it’s in London, at Camden Town Hall, and costs £125 to attend. Click here for full details.