Tag Archives: Wharfedale

Keeping Menston & Guiseley separate. Join campaign walk on Sunday!

SHOW LEEDS WHERE THE REAL MENSTON/GUISELEY BOUNDARY IS

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

Menston and Guiseley Greenbelt Protection Group are having a day of action rally, walking the site under threat, which is just off the A65, opposite the BP petrol station. Join them at 12.30pm on Sunday 12 April. Meet where the Mire Beck crosses the road. There will be a banner you cannot miss! However, bring your own banner too to carry on the walk – the more the better.

The rally is organised together with WARD (Wharfedale & Airedale Review Development). On this day Community Voice on Planning are preparing 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!

Let’s show Leeds where the real Menston/Guiseley boundary is and should be preserved as a slice of green between the two settlements.

Join the walk!

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.

Any questions or bright ideas, email Liz Kirkpatrick at mandggpg@gmail.com or phone 01943 875640.

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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.

Busy Menston Saturday: Kirklands Community Centre, the Menstone, High Royds Social Club, a fighting team to Ilkley and getting ready for Menston in Bloom judging

Beth Street with the poster for the Soul Evening on 21 March, to raise money to build a school destroyed by typhoon HaiyanA lot to do this coming Saturday: an interesting youth snooker event begins at the Menstone in Farnley Road at 1pm, the last ‘Family Boogie’ of the season at the High Royds Social Club begins at 3pm and the day in Menston can be rounded off at the Soul Night at Kirklands Community Centre, beginning at 8pm. Meanwhile, some of the team working hard to protect Menston from inappropriate housing development will be going to a meeting in Ilkley where protection of both Wharfedale and Airedale will be the theme of discussions. You can also join the Menston in Bloom team for a ‘work session’ outside Kirklands at 9.30am.

Soul Night at Kirklands

It’s still not too late to get a ticket to the Soul Night at Kirklands; this event went down very well last year with the Soul Surgeons and Sally’s Army Choir entertaining, drinks and a chilli supper if you want it, all in a great cause – to rebuild a school destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines at the end of 2013. Call Beth on 0771 978 5986 for tickets, £10, or you can buy at the door (starts at 8pm and goes on till 11pm) if you can get in!

Youth snooker at the Menstone

Beginning at 1pm on Saturday, there will be snooker pro plus coaches at the Menstone to celebrate the juniors who have taken part in the Paul Hunter Foundation snooker coaching. You will be able to watch the juniors play and there will be opportunities for juniors to join one of the forthcoming snooker coaching programmes to be run from the club.

Club coach, David Horrix, says that snooker is growing in popularity and the Menstone is on its way to becoming the number one club in the area for juniors.

You can just turn up at the Menstone between 1pm and 3pm or for more information contact David on 0751 921 0021.

Family Boogie at High Royds

Last chance this ‘season’, before the summer break, to take the kids along to the High Royds Social Club at the top of High Royds Drive, between 3pm and 5pm, for “adult music in a child-friendly setting”. It’s organised for families who want to have fun with their pre-school children but older siblings are welcome too. There’s a reasonably priced licensed bar, hot/cold drinks and snacks, free parking, baby change and food preparation facilities. It’s all free but a  £5 donation suggested, all of which goes to Save the Children. For more information email John at johnrobertparkinson@yahoo.co.uk.

Menston in Bloom work sessions before 31 March visit

Work sessions to make Menston look its best before a visit from Yorkshire In Bloom judges, Phillip Young and Joanne Morris, will be on Saturday morning and Monday (23rd) morning; for both meet outside Kirklands at 9.30am. Any help will be greatly appreciated, as would any tidying and litter picking around your street.

The judges are visiting on 31st March. They will be shown not only the lovely colourful planters throughout the village, but also the parks and open spaces, the churchyards, Meadowlea Children’s Home and the station, amongst other areas.

Planning Issues and Localism:  Is it Working?

A team from Menston will be attending a public meeting in Ilkley, about planning, housing, infrastructure and localism and the impact on local communities, organised by Wharfedale & Airedale Review Development (WARD) at the Clarke Foley Centre in Ilkley, beginning a 1pm on Saturday. Several local MPs and Councillors will be attending and there’s a BBC style ‘Question Time’ at 3pm to end proceedings. Everyone is welcome and there’s no charge to attend.

Our MP, Philip Davies, will be there, together with Stuart Andrew MP and Greg Mullholland MP. Other MPs have been invited. Speakers include Ilkley Ward Councillor Anne Hawkesworth.

For more information contact Steve Ellams, Special Projects Officer for WARD, s.ellams1@btinternet.com, mobile 0795 086 8379 or 01943 872607.

Pantomime; Dr Who visits Menston; Queen at St Mary’s; another community site for Menston; Philip Davies joins Leeds MPs in housing protest

Poster advertising Menston Aladdin pantomime 19-21 FebruaryPanto week  – Aladdin – this week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and an afternoon matinee on Saturday. More details, including how to get tickets, under Events. For the first time this year there will be dancers from the ballet classes held in Kirklands on Tuesday afternoon/evenings and Saturday mornings; more details of these classes too in ‘Events‘, where they are listed. For the classes, contact menston@btapacademy.co.uk.

Apologies for the confusing times/dates for the panto in the ‘Imminent events’ on the right. It’s a Google thing. When Menston organisations do not send in details an event might be put in without a time; Google then decides it’s midnight. When the actual time is subsequently known, no way of deleting the ‘midnight performance’ has yet been found.

Another useful community site for Menston?

Have you seen the new Streetlife community site which has a page for the area “local to Menston” (www.streetlife.com)? It seems to aim to serve the same purpose as the ‘Menston village group’ on Facebook but it could be very useful for people who dislike Facebook intensely so do not go on it. You just sign up and say what area you are interested in. It doesn’t seem to understand that Menston and Guiseley are quite different so you get some Guiseley stuff when looking for Menston, but it’s a small price to pay. Recent items included someone looking for a lost cat, someone wanting to know where they could get tickets for the panto, some give-aways, and objections to the new proposal for a wind turbine.

Preserve us from even larger local authorities!

We are aware of course that the battle to preserve a way of life in Menston is not unique and the problems with large local authorities are not confined to Bradford. Aireborough MPs took up the issue recently in the House of Commons, among them our own MP Philip Davies: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2015-02-03a.49.1 The complaints about Leeds City Council – from ignored to ignorance – sound only too familiar.

Grumpytyke says: Do we believe that creating even larger regional authorities, as proposed for ‘the north’ or Yorkshire, will bring more “local decision making”. Of course it will not; it will just mean more jobs for would-be politicians. What we need is real local decision making, ie, when the people of Menston vote overwhelmingly against a proposal which they know very well will destroy their village, it should not be over-ruled by some regional authority like Bradford, let alone one for ‘Yorkshire’. What we need is more power for the Parish Council; if it had power then capable people would stand for election to it, people would vote for them, and we would have true ‘local decision making’. As it is, I suspect that the forthcoming Parish Council elections will be ignored by most residents, as past ones have so the PC just re-elects itself.

Menston schools in pre-holiday energy

Pictures at the end; click any one to see them larger as a slide show

Menston schools pulled the stops out in the period leading up to half term. On the back of excellent GCSE etc results St. Mary’s rightly proclaimed their success with a “We are outstanding” banner across the front of the school. However, it’s not only about excellent results in the classroom or producing the right ticks for Ofsted, but the excellence carried through into another of the school’s superb shows ‘ ‘We will rock you’, based on the songs of Queen.

Meanwhile, Menston Primary was busy hosting an important guest, none other than Dr Who, who arrived to a red and orange goo-spattered playground in Tardis. Ominously, a Dalek arrived too (but the school is still there!). Dr Who was interested to hear what was ‘interesting’ about Menston, and the pupils were keen to tell him, having considered the question as part of their lessons. The parents have not been idle either, backing Menston in Bloom and Wharfedale Naturalists to create a willow tunnel in the school field.

10th anniversary for Menston in Bloom

Over the past ten years Menston in Bloom’s dedicated volunteers have planted bulbs, trees, shrubs and flowers throughout the village and been rewarded with awards in Yorkshire in Bloom and we have all benefitted from a beautiful village. The Yorkshire in Bloom judges will be visiting early in April so preparations must begin. The group’s first work party session is on Saturday, 21 February and you can meet up with them at 9.30am outside of Kirklands. If you cannot make that you can contact the group by email at menstoninbloom@gmail.com .

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.

 

Menston Village Show; children come out tops

Where1_1370046thmb_96Maria Sage, 13 years old, managed to beat all the adults and score the most points for her entries at the Menston Village Show on Saturday 6 September, taking the Fawcett Trophy awarded to the overall winner. She won three other trophies for entries in her age category, taking the cups for photography, handicrafts and flower arranging.

Click for answers to MBA Show quizzes

Click any picture in the gallery below to see them larger, with captions, as a slide show.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABest in Show was taken by D Ascough with wonderful entries of dahlias, and best children’s entry in show was won by Charlie Hooton with a superb miniature garden, complete with greenhouse.

Click the following link to the Menston Show pages (or click the show button in the right side-bar) to see all the prize and trophy results. You will also find a link to a list of all the prize winners in the Menston Business Association (MBA) ‘Young People’s Activity Zone’.

In the MBA young people’s activity zone, the most popular activities were a property game to match people and cartoon characters with their houses, staged by estate agents Ribston Pippin, and a mini toy supermarket for under sevens, staged by Cleasby Kindercare and sponsored with produce by the Menston Coop.

Identifying places in Menston from photographs taken around the village fascinated some children (and perplexed even more adults) though no-one identified them all and no-one managed to correctly translate to English the date in Roman numerals on the old primary school building.

Identifying leaves from locally growing trees, assembled by Elizabeth Loy, also attracted some young contenders though none managed to get them all right, the top score being ten of 12.

Top prizes of vouchers to spend in Menston’s Solo delicatessen and coffee shop were won by Rebecca Shaw (1st, £12.50), Dylan Britchford (2nd, £7.50), Imogen Baker (3rd, £5). All the MBA prizes and accompanying certificates can be collected from Solo.

Answers to the ‘Where in Menston’ and ‘Menston History’ quizzes in the MBA ‘zone’ are now on this site here; the ‘Identify the leaves’ answers, with photos of the leaves, will be on the site soon, so visit again. In fact, why not ‘follow’ this site by entering your email address in the box towards the top of the right side bar and you’ll get an email notification of each new post, usually not more than one a week.

MCA in crisis; your votes needed for important Menston community project; Menston Business Association prepares for more activities; Menston WW1 commemorations firming up

The Menston Community Association is in crisis with no one stepping up to take on the roles of Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary. The project for Menston youngsters to teach elderly residents to use internet to easily communicate with relatives and friends afar –  ‘Teaching grandmother – from eggs to iPads’ – has been shortlisted from over 2,500 applications for funding by Lloyds Bank; now it needs your votes (in September/October). The recently formed Menston Business Association, now with a full committee, is preparing for more activities following the summer break. Arrangements for four years of activities in Menston commemorating the First World War, beginning on 4 August this year, continue to be firmed up. Click any of the links below for more information, or just scroll down.

MCA in crisis

No positive way forward came out of the meeting of the Menston Community Association on 2 July and, in particular, there were no offers to take on the roles vacated by Steve Ellams as Chair and Alan Elsegood as Vice-Chair and acting Secretary. A letter was received from Menston resident Roger Livesey saying that he had intended to offer to take on a temporary role until the AGM but a sudden health problem now prevented this. It is of course vital that the situation is communicated to all members, that is all Menston residents of voting age, calling for nominations for these and other committee roles for an election at the Annual General Meeting later this year. Currently the only communication medium which reaches all residents is the quarterly newsletter Menston News and at the moment the production and distribution of this is uncertain. Various options for the continuation of the MCA were discussed at the meeting and as one suggestion was merger of the MCA in some way into the Parish Council, these discussions will continue at the Parish Council meeting on Thursday 24 July (see Events).

Teaching grandmother

After several rebuffs from potential funders for the project for young people in the village to introduce elderly villagers to some aspects of internet, for example using Skype to talk to distant friends or relatives and perhaps shopping on-line, has been short-listed for funding by the Lloyds Bank Community Fund, from around 2,500 applications nationally. How much funding will now depend on a public vote in September/October so project lead Roger Livesey is asking all residents to vote for the project; details of how to do so will be communicated when voting opens. The project is intended to use iPads as most elderly people do not want to accommodate computer boxes, monitors, etc and to buy sufficient iPads we need to come out top, or near it, in the voting.

Menston Business Association

The Menston Business Association (MBA) now has a full committee with Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and other committee members. The committee proposed to the Menston Village Show organising group that MBA members might mount some activity around the village to coincide with the show and this was accepted by the show group. What this activity might be is due to be discussed at the next MBA committee meeting, scheduled for Friday 1 August; at the time of making this post venue could not be confirmed.