Tag Archives: Menston traffic

Wet but determined – Menston/Guiseley green belt protectors march. Strictly, come dancing in Menston

Banner inviting to honkAround 100 protesters, including the Chairman of the Menston Action Group (MAG) and a peacefully protesting contingent of dogs, gathered at the Menston/Guiseley boundary on the A65 in pouring rain on Sunday lunch time to bring to people’s attention the loss of Green Fields, the potential merging of Menston and Guiseley to be part of a Bradford/Leeds urban sprawl, and the lack of facilities to cope with yet more houses, if Ings Fields on the boundary are developed, . Passing motorists were invited to “hoot in you love green belt” and around half of passing cars did just that with gusto. After gathering where the Mire Beck crosses the road the bedraggled but cheerful and determined crowd walked up to Ings Lane, down to the proposed entrance into the housing development planned for Ings Fields, then back into Menston via the bridle path beyond St Mary’s school. Pictures, and more about the protest from yesterday’s post, below.

Strictly dancing – Tuesdays Kirklands

Ballroom dancing has joined the ballet classes at Menston’s Kirlands Community Centre on Tuesday evening, beginning of 14 April. Ballet classes for grade 4 to intermediate are well established from 6.00 to 7.15pm, turning out award winning dancers; most recently three students at the Menston classes being chosen to dance with English Youth Ballet in Giselle at St. George’s Hall, Bradford, in June.

The ‘Strictly’ classes are being brought to Kirklands by Sandra Beaumont, former UK champion and championship adjudicator. The new classes will cover Ballroom and Latin at 7.30pm, then Rock & Roll at 8.30pm, each Tuesday . There are some Tuesdays when Kirklands is not available for the dancing so consult the ‘Events’ listing to see if they have been arranged in another location.

PROTEST WALK TO SHOW LEEDS WHERE THE REAL MENSTON/GUISELEY BOUNDARY IS (click any picture to see larger as a slide show; text from post on 10 April)

If the Ings fields between Menston and Guiseley are developed then Menston and Guiseley will have merged!

Menston and Guiseley Greenbelt Protection Group had a day of action rally, walking the site under threat, which is just off the A65, behind the BP petrol station.

The rally was organised together with WARD (Wharfedale & Airedale Review Development). On this day Community Voice on Planning prepared a National day of action to protest at the loss of greenbelt between settlements which is leading to urban sprawl and a reduction in social standards across the nation.

We in Menston are one of many unique (and we are unique, aren’t we?)  communities which are threatened with becoming just part of an urban sprawl.

One of the major factors for preserving Green Belt according to Government guidelines is to maintain the distinctiveness of named settlements by keeping the greenbelt buffer between them. Building on the Ing fields, apart from the fact they are Green Belt, will effectively join the two settlements. If they are built on they are gone for good!

The walk was intended to show Leeds where the real Menston/Guiseley boundary is and should be preserved as a slice of green between the two settlements.

Recently Menston village was represented at the Inspectors examination in public of the Bradford Core Strategy for housing over the coming 15 years and much angst was raised by many communities around Bradford over the planning rules which state that Local Planning Authorities should be seen to cooperate over the development of their core strategies where these impact on neighbouring authorities. Those present could see the results of no such cooperation as sites are coming forwards for development across both sides of Menston that will result in the settlements of Guiseley and Menston becoming a single sprawl.

We may be forced to, once more, become victims of circumstances if the green space between Menston and Guiseley is further eroded and do remember that at the moment, this comes at the end of many years of heavy developments, where no additional communications or social infrastructure have been put in place.

The settlement boundaries between Menston and Guiseley need to be highlighted as Leeds’ planners have included Moorland Crescent and Bradford Road, Menston, in the major settlement extending from Guiseley, thus making the Ings Fields look like wonderful infill to them! This is a political boundary not a settlement or geographic boundary. The settlement boundary runs along the back gardens of Moorland Crescent Menston following Mire Beck.

The walk was organised by Liz Kirkpatrick at mandggpg@gmail.com, phone 01943 875640.

Anti-social behaviour in and near to Menston Park; A65 junction; Alan Ayckbourn in Menston

The author of this site has recently become aware of a discussion on the village Facebook site (he does not like or use Facebook but it was shown to him) concerning anti-social behaviour by a small group of boys (11-12 years old?) in the park or adjacent to it on Easter Sunday. Following a notice about it, some Facebook users who clearly had no direct knowledge of the incident ‘defended’ the boys concerned saying they were “just kids” with nothing to do and only doing what “we all did” in our youth and they would soon be back at school and the problem would go away. Not true!

These are three extremely unpleasant youngsters looking for trouble and the Easter Sunday incident is not unique; at least one of these boys, who seems to be the ‘ring-leader’, has been seen behaving unsociably in the park on several occasions when schools were not on holiday.

The Low Hall Road side of the eyesore building at the side of Menston Park, behind the Scout hut.

The Low Hall Road side of the eyesore building at the side of Menston Park, behind the Scout hut. A magnet for the more unsavoury elements of Menston youth.

Location for ‘seedy’ goings on

The building on which they were misbehaving, that behind the Scout Hut, is the location for frequent seemingly ‘seedy’ goings on with young people. It is adjacent to the ‘over 55s’ flats at Menston Hall and Sunday’s incident was unpleasant for those residents because of the appalling, obscene language used, loudly, by the boys on the roof of the building over a period of around an hour. Another young person did remonstrate with them only to attract taunts – laced with obscenities – to fight.

The side of the building facing into the park

The park side of this unpleasant looking building

What is more, when the three left it was not before attempting to smash in the doors of the building, whatever it might be.

Insulation, kicked free by boys on the roof, hanging down, and many gaps in the edging stones.

Insulation, kicked free by boys on the roof, hangs down. Notice the many gaps in the edging stones.

The boys involved in the Easter Sunday incident will be reported to the police; publishing their pictures on this site was considered but they would probably just enjoy the notoriety and indulge in even more anti-social behaviour.

It is a great pity that this small minority spoils a wonderful Menston amenity; it was a joy to see the park full of families and young people on Easter Sunday. Just a few need better educating to use the many litter bins!

However, whatever authority is responsible for this building should be taken to task by the Parish Council. Buildings in this state inevitably attract hooliganism and further vandalism.

Another problem corner

Another corner of the park which attracts unsavoury elements is at the back of the children’s playground behind another ugly building, or on the other side of the fence behind it. This is a pity as many young children play there usually doing no more than hide and seek though they often need to be reminded not to trample down the flowers planted by residents. Almost every morning empty packets and drinks cans/bottles are scattered here even though there is a strategically placed litter basket (see photo). In fact litter in the park is far more widespread. Easter Monday morning litter next to the seat close to the building mentioned above, with a litter bin adjacent, is shown in another picture below.

Park corner behind the children's playground

Park corner behind the children’s playground

The seat and litter bin near to the ugly building with Easter Monday morning rubbish on the ground

The seat and litter bin near to the ugly building with Easter Monday morning rubbish on the ground

Alan Ayckbourn at Highroyds

NB. The Alan Ayckbourn play at the Highroyds Social Club is this coming Friday evening, not Friday 17th as originally listed in ‘Events’ and in the ‘Imminent events’ calendar. These have now been corrected but unfortunately this may happen when things are picked up ‘on the grapevine’. A plea to Menston organisations: please send information on your events, meetings, etc in good time to menston.village.wharfedale@gmail.com otherwise they can occasionally be mis-publicised or not publicised at all.

Otley traffic discussion spreads to Menston

Another discussion on another social media site ( click Streetlife) is worth a look by Menston residents (and joining in). What began as a discussion about Otley’s one-way systems has now spread to include discussion of the Bingley Road/Buckle Lane/A65 junction and traffic lights.

Flooding & drainage expert would not buy a house on Bingley Road, Menston, development

Picture of flooding in Menston village“Of course not” was the unequivocal reply of independent flooding and drainage expert, Dr Duncan Reed , when asked at last Thursday’s (29 Jan) meeting of the Bradford Council Regulatory & Appeals Committee whether he would buy a house on the proposed Bingley Road, Menston, housing development. Having heard also a warning from solicitor for the Menston Action Group, Chris Schofield, “Put simply, if you get this wrong, householders and their insurers are entitled to hold you legally responsible”, the committee did not approve the scheme.

Reports show a purchase would be foolish

You do not have to be an expert to conclude from a careful reading of Dr Reed’s report, and that of Professor David Rhodes before this, that anyone buying a house on this development would be very foolish. It is clear that the Bradford Council officers advising councillors to go ahead did not, do not, have the necessary expertise to give that advice. This in itself is no reflection on them: flooding resulting from situations like that of Menston is only just beginning to be understood.

Of course this is not likely to be the end of the matter; there is a lot of money to be made, and not only by the developers, but almost certainly also by a small group of individuals who have backed the scheme from the start. The developer’s agent has already indicated that if they do not appeal against last week’s decision they may instead proceed with another application for the same site.

Objectors to the R&A committee decision who commented on the Telegraph & Argus news report (in particular ‘Toni’ – who insists this is her/his real name), are completely wrong when they say, or imply, that those opposing the planned developments are a few wealthy ‘nimbys’ who would be directly affected by the flooding. By far the larger proportion of Menston residents who voted overwhelmingly against the Bingley Road and other developments in the referendum on the matter, would not be directly affected by the consequent flooding, nor are the developments in ‘their back yards’, nor are they ‘wealthy’. What these residents would be seriously affected by would be the overloading of already stretched health, educational facilities and transport and the irreparable damage to one of Yorkshire’s special attractions – village life in the individual communities which are scattered throughout the vast Bradford metropolitan area.

However, faced with a Council which thinks nothing of destroying its villages and semi-rural communities, and not only Menston, and developers and ‘Tonis’ who care even less, the stupidity of building on areas prone to flooding was the most likely reason for the Council to stop the developments if Councillors could be made to listen to the overwhelming evidence, which previously they have refused to do.

We now await the outcome of the recent High Court hearing on the other similarly foolish planned development, off Derry Hill, Menston.

For all the background, go to the Menston Action Group website: menstonactiongroup.wordpress.com. You can always get to the MAG website using the link in the right sidebar.

 

A thank you from the Menston Action Group, fighting to save our village

In the most recent post on this site the ‘resurrection’ of MAG (the Menston Action Group) and its new website was welcomed. Usually, now, this site will just refer readers to the MAG website with the wealth of information and documentation archived on it. However, this post is an exception and rather than simply link to the post, it is reproduced below in full. You can, of course, see the post in its original form on the MAG website: http://menstonactiongroup.wordpress.com

Feel free to comment on this post in the usual way which, as confirmed in the previous post, can be anonymous and will not be edited unless illegal, obscene or personally abusive.

Thank You

To all the villagers who have responded so quickly to our call for more funds. We are reaching the end game now which will decide Menston’s future, but we do need more to finish the task.

You may be wondering why all this talk about flooding and drainage, the answer is simple! All the issues on schools, roads, trains in fact the whole infrastructure of the village we have found are easily countered by the developers with money! They say they will pay to make the roads safe, to improve transport to the schools create new amenities etc. You can see the proposed road improvements planned on this site and any new amenities are planned to go in Burley in Wharfedale!!

So flooding and drainage is the only way we have to go forward, and for that we have a really good case. All reports (barring the developers) now say there will be flooding and drainage problems.

So why do we need more money when so many of you have given many times, (for that we are truly grateful). Now the fight is moving on to the courts, Chris Schofield our Solicitor has given £100,000 worth of his time FREE, a Litigation Lawyer costs between £200-£400 pounds an hour, and a Barrister costs £400-£800 pounds an hour, although some do charge more. You can bet the developers will have the best, so we need to have legal parity!  We hope this helps to explain why you are being asked to be as generous as you can.

In years to come you could say with pride I played my part in saving this village.

So we invite you to join with those who give, and those who give on a regular basis

WE CAN WIN BUT ONLY WITH YOUR GENEROSITY

THANK YOU

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.

Menston “The best village in Yorkshire” says new Business Association; BMDC election candidates answer questions

The sign which greets visitors approaching Menston from the A65, from which the logo of the newly formed association was derived

The sign which greets visitors approaching Menston from the A65, from which the logo of the newly formed association was derived

Adopting the name Menston Business Association, a logo based on the sign seen as the village is entered from the A65, and a declaration that Menston is ‘The best village in Yorkshire‘, a new grouping of Menston businesses has been launched, among its aims being mutual support and promoting the use of local shops, tradesmen and other businesses to the residents of the village.

Election Week: Next week is election week and candidates for the Wharfedale Ward of Bradford Council, which of course includes Menston and Burley-in-Wharfedale, have answered some questions relevant to Menston, these being published on this site today.

Click the appropriate link below for the full story.

Menston Business Association

Answers from Wharfedale Ward candidates
_____________________________________
AN APOLOGY: For the past few weeks notifications of comments, likes and new followers have not been arriving in the email inbox as they should. Comments have to be ‘approved’ before publication, unfortunately, because of the number of ‘spam’ comments received. So some have not been approved and therefore not published. Apologies; hopefully this ‘glitch’ has now been corrected. Webmaster.
______________________________________

Menston Business Association

Meeting on 14 May, representatives of businesses based in the village chose an MBA committee of five led by initiator of the group, Christine North-Minchella of The Studio in Cleasby Road as Chair Person. Other members are Andy Greer,  Ribston Pippin Estate Agents; Nick Cahill, Plumbing and Gas Engineer; Marc Hill, Menston Co-op; Zandra Monre-Cochran – Kindercare (Cleasby Road); Roger Livesey, Webmaster menstonvillagewharfedale.com, as Ex-officio Publicity Officer.

A section of this site has now been allocated to the MBA, this being accessed by clicking the logo at the top of the right sidebar, from the menu item under ‘Businesses’ (or by clicking MBA here). Future activities, minutes of meetings, etc will all be published in the MBA section as well as, when appropriate, blog posts such as this one.

Apart from name, logo and the strap line ‘The best village in Yorkshire’ (to be used on all literature from the association), a membership fee of £1/week was agreed, and production of a leaflet to be distributed to all households in Menston, including High Royds.

In fact, High Royds is so closely associated with Menston although it is not now administratively linked, the MBA is intending to campaign for removal of the ‘fence/gate’ on the direct road to the Bingley Road mini-roundabout, which currently ‘cuts off’ the village for vehicular traffic. Philip Davies MP is already on board in this endeavour and has promised to follow it up, after MBA Chair Person Christine spoke to him about it.

Founder (now Secretary) of the Burley and District Chamber of Trade (BADCOT) , Roger Charnley, was warmly welcomed to the 14 May meeting and offered some valuable advice based on experience of 11 years since the foundation of BADCOT. He said the neighbouring organisation would offer whatever support they could in making the MBA the kind of success which BADCOT has achieved. Among those successes is the Christmas market, which now attracts 2-3,000 people.

Networking was identified by Roger as a major advantage of an organisation like BADCOT and MBA. This advantage has already been seen operating in just the two meetings which MCA has had, with business being put by members with others. In this context any Menston-based business is welcome to join the association and attend future meetings (date and venue of which will be announced on this site as and when they are known).

Parking and imposition of double yellow lines were raised as one of the major problems for businesses, shops especially, in Menston. Some members believe that residential parking permits and short-time visitor parking bays are part of the answer. Members were advised to come to the next Neighbourhood Forum at Kirklands Community Centre and raise the issue, as Simon D’Vali, Principal Traffic & Highways Engineer at BMDC, is due to attend.

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.