Warley Ward Forum – Wednesday 2nd December 2015

Meeting description: Ward Forum meetings are attended by local ward councillors and local officers, and are your chance to have your say about issues that matter in your neighbourhood.

Date: Wednesday 2nd December 2015
Venue: Asquith Court. Sandhall Green. Pellon. Halifax.
Time: 6.30pm for a 7pm start.

Agenda item

1. Welcome and introductions.
2. Minutes and updates.
3. CMBC Planning Officer – Presentation on Development Plan.
4. Police Update
5. CMBC Budget Consultation Update
6. WF Grants Review
7. Open Forum – Your Issues
8. Group Updates
9. AOB
10. Next Meeting; 7pm Wednesday 2nd March 2015 venue TBC.

Overgrown vegetation on Churn Lane

Following a few complaints about local residents concerning overgrowing vegetation on Churn Lane I contacted the Highways department. I’m pleased to say they have written to residents with regards to getting some of this vegetation cut back.
Thanks to those of you who live on Churn Lane for helping to cooperate with this, if we keep back any trees and vegetation we might have that overgrows onto paths, lanes and roads then it helps keep things running smoothly.
Further to your e mail regarding overhanging vegetation on Churn Lane 10/09/2015:

We e mailed you in September to let you know that residents had been written too regarding this matter and I can now confirm that we have had contact from two residents who will be beginning the process of clearing vegetation from property which they own, quotes are being obtained and works are being planned.  Second letters have been sent to properties which have not responded.

Our Enforcement Officer continues to monitor the situation.

Concerns over new surveillance powers


The NO2ID campaign  that I am involved in has issued the following press release on the new surveillance powers contained within the investigatory Powers Bill that the Home Secretary has introduced to parliament today.

Some of the main points for me is that in 2014 there were 517,236 requests for people’s communication data. This metadata could include for instance the fact you called alcoholic anonymous or a sexual health clinic (so it can be very personal). Secondly it’s not just the security services, or even the Police who access this data but a whole host of other public bodies. I have a much bigger concern that officials like the tax man, council or parking enforcement officer have access to this information, then I do the secret services who are fighting terrorists. Thirdly its the fact that the vast majority of all this snooping can be done without judicial oversight.

A copy of NO2ID’s press release on the topic can be found below. 

The new draft surveillance bill is like an iceberg, with a vast bulk of technical change obscured beneath the surface, according to civil liberties organisation NO2ID. Theresa May presented the Investigatory Powers Bill to parliament today as a measure “consolidating and updating our investigatory powers, strengthening the safeguards”. But it amounts to a dramatic alteration in the powers already available not just to the intelligence services, but to police, tax inspectors, and officials and regulators in almost every department of state. It replaces several pieces of complex and technical legislation.
Guy Herbert General Secretary for NO2ID, said:

“I would have more sympathy for the Home Secretary if she did not resort to glib hypotheticals about kidnapped children. This is not a proposed bill that is easy to understand or straightforward in effect.”
“The much trumpeted change in oversight focuses on a tiny portion of cases, the handful of warrants issued by Secretaries of State every day. The real issue is the tens of thousands of surveillance actions a day carried out by officials.”

“The Bill is an iceberg. It is easy to focus on the sunlight glinting on a few peaks, it is harder to grasp the important bits beneath the surface. What is clear is that Parliament is expected to deal with all of this before the expiry of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act at the end of 2016 – to swallow the iceberg before its dimensions can be fathomed.”

Update on Brow Foot Gate Lane


Lib Dem campaigner Ashley Evans

We have been campaigning for the Council to take action on the traffic problems around Brow Foot Gate Lane for a fair amount of time now. Having continued to raise this issue at various Council meetings it seems we are getting somewhere. Copied below is the latest response we have been given by the Highways Manager at the Council.

Brow Foot Gate Lane is one of the schemes that will be progressed. Owing to the complexity of BFG Lane and the surrounding roads there are likely to be a number of options that will generate local interest and involvement. After discussion with legal colleagues we consider that an experimental traffic regulation order (TRO) would be a good way to identify local concerns and requirements and help in identifying the best solution for everyone in the quickest time.

I have attached a link (http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN06013/SN06013.pdf )  to a briefing paper about TROs that includes the following text about experimental TRO’s:

Making an experimental order as a precursor to a permanent order can have material benefits, specifically it can truncate the requirements as to consultation, notice of proposals and objections, providing other requirements have been met (see Regulation 23). This can be a more cost effective and flexible approach (allowing e.g. for immediate feedback and minor changes) than a permanent order or a temporary order

We will need to carry out some feasibility work to identify what the experimental TRO will consist of and carry out technical surveys and consultation. This work has not started yet but I will ask my colleague, Roger Archer-Reeves, to advise you when the feasibility work starts.

Meanwhile we continue to push for small improvements, having requested the Council gets around to repairing the steps at the bottom of Kelvin Avenue, and working to try and get vegetation on Churn Lane cut back.


Bonfire & firework nights across Calderdale – 2015


As autumn sets in Halloween and Bonfire night are not along around the corner. I’m going to updating this page with a list of bonfire and firework nights across Calderdale as I become aware of them. If you have a bonfire night planned that you would like advertising please use the contact section of this website to let me know about it!

Saturday 31st October – 6.30pm – New Hobbit, Hob Lane, Halifax, West Yorkshire HX6 3QL – New Hobbit Bonfire and firework night

Thursday 5th November – 6.30pm – New Hobbit, Hob Lane, Halifax, West Yorkshire HX6 3QL – New Hobbit Bonfire and firework night

Friday 6th November – Todmorden Golf Club @TodGolfClub

Saturday, 7th November –  5.30pm – Hullenedge Park, Elland –  ELLAND ROUND TABLE CHARITY BONFIRE AND FIREWORK DISPLAY 2015

Saturday, 7th November – Fire lit at 7pm – Long Can Hall, Fountainhead Village, – Long Can Hall – Pub firework and bonfire evening

Sunday 9th November 2015– 6.30pm The Clubhouse, North Dean, Stainland Rd, Greetland, Halifax – The Heath and Heath RUFC





Liberal Democrats to develop proposals for a regulated cannabis market


The Liberal Democrats have set up an independent panel of experts to establish how a legalised market for cannabis could work in the United Kingdom.

It comes ahead of a debate in Parliament on legalisation of the production, sale and use of cannabis, which is the result of a petition to parliament with 221,019 signatures.

Liberal Democrat Health Spokesman Norman Lamb wants the panel to look at evidence from Colorado, Washington State and Uruguay, where cannabis has been legalised and to make recommendations for the party to consider in the spring.

Early evidence from Colorado indicates:

  • Any rise in cannabis use has been broadly in line with changes seen elsewhere in the US.
  • No increase in road fatalities.
  • 59% of the recreational market has now been legalised, regulated, and taxed, which represents a significant contraction in the untaxed criminal market.
  • The state has collected a cumulative revenue total of $73.5mn for the first seven months of 2015.

While in Washington:

  • Retail marijuana sales have generated over $80 million in tax revenues.
  • Violent crime rates have declined.
  • State wide rates of youth use and traffic fatalities have remained stable.

The Lib Dems are bringing together an independent panel of experts from the fields of drug policy, public health and crime, to develop a workable model for the legal sale and taxation of cannabis.

The panel will be chaired by Steve Rolles, Senior Policy Analyst of Transform Drug Policy and will also include:

Professor David Nutt, Founder of DrugScience
Tom Lloyd, a former Chief Constable in Cambridgeshire and Chair of the National Cannabis Coalition
Niamh Eastwood, Executive Director of Release
They will also approach international experts who have been involved in developing the models being used in the United States.

Norman Lamb is clear that a move to a legal cannabis market in the UK must be based on evidence from other countries and include effective regulation designed to minimise the harm that cannabis can cause to health. Commenting on the issue, Norman said:

“I share people’s concerns about the health impacts of any drug – legal or illegal. But we can better manage that harm by taking the money that’s currently spent on policing the illegal cannabis market and spending it on public health education and restrictions at the point of sale. That’s the approach we’ve taken with cigarettes and it’s led to dramatic reductions in smoking in recent years.

“With successful legal cannabis markets emerging in different parts of the world, the onus is now on the supporters of prohibition to explain why we shouldn’t do the same things here in the UK.

“We must end the hypocrisy of senior politicians admitting to using cannabis in younger years – and describing it as ‘youthful indiscretions’ – whilst condemning tens of thousands of their less fortunate fellow countrymen and women to criminal records for precisely the same thing, blighting their careers.”

Also supporting this move is Brian Paddick, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson. The former Deputy Assistant Commissioner in the London Metropolitan Police led a pilot scheme in Lambeth which effectively decriminalised possession of cannabis for personal use for a 12 month period.

The pilot saved resources and enabled the police to deal more effectively with serious crime, with crime falling significantly over the period.

Flying the flag

There is a story in the Express UKIP fury as Labour and Lib Dems ‘claim Union flag is nasty and nationalistic. This story is based off a Conservative party press release that UKIP MEP Jane Collins has reacted to. She is quoted as having said:

They’re quite happy to take their expenses off the British taxpayer yet insult the country by saying that children should not sing the national anthem and that the Union Flag is ‘nasty’.

We categorical deny having called the Union Flag nasty, and wonder where the UKIP MEP who wasn’t at the meeting got this quote from. It’s an example of really bad journalism where one person makes an allegation, and then it’s reported in the headline in a way that makes it seem like a fact.

What’s alarming is how quickly some people have accepted that story as gospel. At least one UKIP supporter has suggested that we ought to be hung for treason! UKIP should be ashamed of this type of incitement to violence from one of their supporters.

We have no problem if schools choose to fly the flag or sing the anthem. We said we don’t think it’s the role of the Council to encourage them to do this. I find it immensely hypocritical that the Conservatives  having spent years arguing schools should be run separately as academies  now see the Council as an appropriate vehicle to try and tell them how to teach citizenship.

Our position is clear,  It’s down to teachers and governors to decide how to teach citizenship and choose themselves whether they want to fly flags, not the Council. We expect many will choose to spend 15 mins on education rather than saluting the flag and singing the anthem.

Below for the sake of clarification is the wording of the Labour amendment to the Conservative motion. This amended was carried and that became the substantive motion the Council passed. Noticed nowhere does it call the flag ‘nasty’, in fact it includes a schedule of days in which we WOULD fly the flag on Council buildings and promote citizenship ceremonies.


The full text of the motion is as follows:

Flying the Union Flag

This Council: 
(a) Notes that promotion of our British values and participation in civil society is an important part of the national curriculum, and recognises that headteachers and governors have the responsibility for determining the most appropriate ways of applying and promoting our shared values within their school community.

(b) Resolves to continue to delegate decisions over the flying of flags from the Town Hall and other civic buildings to the Governance and Business committee, in consultation with the Civic Advisory Group, and notes the current arrangements agreed by the Council as per below:

(c) Requests the Governance and Business Committee to consider how greater prominence can be given to Citizenship Ceremonies, highlighting the commitment show to this country by those who seek to adopt our citizenship.


Date Event Flag 
9 January Birthday of the Duchess of Cambridge Union Flag
20 January Birthday of the Countess of Wessex Union Flag
6 February Her Majesty, The Queen’s Accession Union Flag
19 February    Birthday of The Duke of York Union Flag
10 March   Birthday of The Earl of Wessex Union Flag
21 April       Birthday of Her Majesty The Queen Union Flag
23 April St George’s Day           St George’s Flag
2 June          Coronation Day Union Flag
10 June    Birthday of The Duke of Edinburgh      Union Flag
moveable date in June        Official Celebration of Her Majesty’s    Birthday Union Flag
21 June Birthday of the Duke of Cambridge Union Flag
17 July Birthday of The Duchess of Cornwall     Union Flag
15 August Birthday of The Princess Royal   Union Flag
Second Sunday in November Remembrance Day   Union Flag
14 November       Birthday of The Prince of Wales         Union Flag
20 November       Her Majesty The Queen’s Wedding Day       Union Flag  
Second Monday in March Commonwealth Day Commonwealth
Two weeks before Poppy Appeal Royal British Legion Flag
Last week in June Armed Forces week Armed Forces Day flag
1 August Yorkshire Day Yorkshire Flag
Two weeks before Remembrance Sunday Poppy Appeal Period Poppy Appeal Flag
17th May International Day against Homophobia (IDAHO) Rainbow Flag
25th November White Ribbon Day



Winter is coming

This post is taken from a Calderdale Council Press Release 1606839_10152504720946991_6742995134037272312_n

Calderdale Council is busy preparing for winter and is asking people for their views on what the service priorities should be.

The Council’s Economy and Environment Scrutiny Panel is meeting at Halifax Town Hall on Thursday 15 October at 6pm to hear about the plans that the Highways Service has in place for winter.

Residents, businesses and other organisations are invited to the meeting to share their views on the plans and priorities, to help shape the future of the service.

From gritting and clearing snow to stocking salt bins, the Council’s winter service works hard to keep people safe when using roads and footpaths during bad weather.

Chair of the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Panel, Cllr James Baker, said:

“We have a well developed plan in place to make sure Calderdale keeps moving during any bad weather we experience over the coming months. However, the policy dates back to 2009, and since then we have faced significant budget cuts and other changes. So we now need to do a fundamental review of the Council’s winter service to ensure it’s fit for purpose in the long-term.

“Everyone is affected in some way by our winter highways service, so I urge residents, businesses and other organisations like bus services to come along to the meeting, share their experiences and let us know what our priorities should be.”
The meeting will be held at 6pm on Thursday 15 October at Halifax Town Hall.