Christmas Tree Recycling in Calderdale

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Unfortunately Calderdale Council isn’t providing lots of extra recycling points for Christmas trees. However they will be accepted in the green waste skips at any of the 5 Household Waste Recycling Centres. Remember to remove all decorations are removed before depositing in the skip!

There is also a temporary collection point at Ogden Water Visitor Centre, Ogden Lane, Causeway Foot, Halifax, HX2 8XZ. This is for trees with roots that can then be replanted around Ogden Water.

Artificial trees should either be given to charity shops or deposited in the general waste skips at the Council’s recycling centres.

Save Sandhall Green play area

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When I was elected as a Councillor I requested details of all the unspent Section 106 moneys allocated to Warley ward. I identified a sum of money (I recall around £40k) that had been allocated to improving green spaces. This money was given to the Council by the developers who built over the old play area on what is now Bridleway Ct. Working with Council officers your Liberal Democrat Councillors helped to devise a scheme to improve the green as a recreation ground. Following a public consultation in 2013 the Council went ahead and built a small children’s play area, football posts, planted new trees, built a fence around the play area, created some parking spaces, and improved the planting with some new trees.

Just three years later and the Labour run Council is now proposing to build eight bungalows on the site. You can see the plans for what is proposed below. They would be placed right over the existing play area, and leave a much smaller space. Destroying the space for people to walk dogs and the football play area in the process. This decesion is going to cabinet on 14th November so we have just a couple of weeks to encourage the Labour cabinet not to build over this play area.

You can sign the petition against this scheme here

Picture that shows plans to build bungalows on Sandhall Green

How can shops and businesses be helped to recover from the Floods?

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That was the question that the Government Minister for Small Businesses asked when she visited Calderdale this week.

“The figures quoted of the damage done by the floods to local shops and businesses are just mind-blowing” says Cllr Janet Battye, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Calderdale Council and ward Councillor for Calder ward. “2,500 out of the 8,000 businesses across Calderdale have been affected, with financial losses already reaching £15m.

“The problems that we now face are of the time and cost for shops and businesses to get up and running again in the short-term, and longer-term problems of lack of insurance cover and lack of knowledge about how to make buildings flood-proof.

“The Minister said that businesses need advice and support from other businesses and the Council, but I told her that we have a real capacity issue in Calderdale. The Council’s Business Team consists of only four people. While businesspeople are willing to help each other, there comes a point when they need to concentrate on their own businesses. We can only expect volunteers to do so much.

“While the government talks of the apparently large sums of money that it’s giving to Councils, this does need to be used flexibly and may only be able to provide limited help. The bigger problem concerns there not being enough money available for flood protection work: we still have a £15m funding gap for the programme of work put together after the last floods!” said Cllr Battye.

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.

Shadow environment secretary wants meat eaters to be treated like smokers

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Warnings and adverts discouraging us from eating meat could become a reality if Labour’s shadow environment secretary gets her way.

There are many benefits to eating more vegetarian meals, they are often healthy and can have less of an impact on the environment. Additionally you do not have the suffering that can sometimes come with industrialised farming methods. I think most people would accept this, and be open minded towards having a few vegetarian dishes a week, along with a bit of fish and a few meat dishes as well – what we might call a balanced diet!

You can put a good case together that nutritional health advice should encourage people to try a few vegetarian dishes a week. I wouldn’t think many people would have a problem if some of the healthy eating advice gave some gentle encouragement towards vegetarian meals, so long as it was still their choice and they weren’t feeling harangued into a certain lifestyle.

However Labour’s new vegan shadow shadow environment takes a much more hard line approach. She wants advertising campaigns such as those targeted towards smokers, to stop people eating meat. Sadly this is typical of a lot of Labour’s approach to health issues, a strong nanny state paternalism that seeks to control society, rather than a more gentle educational approach. As a Liberal I think we should help educate people as to what’s healthy, and then allow people the freedom to choose what they eat.  We saw the same type of paternalism here in Calderdale where the Labour group wanted controls placed on E-cigs (despite their being evidence they can help people to give up smoking.) This nanny approach to health is all born out of good intentions, but the ‘we know what’s best for you attitude’ does wind me up as someone who values individual choice and independence.

“I really believe that meat should be treated in exactly the same way as tobacco, with public campaigns to stop people eating it.” – Kerry McCarthy shadow environment secretary.

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want a load of money spent on nagging adverts warning us not to eat bacon sandwiches. We have to consider as well that a lot of land simply isn’t suitable for growing vegetables. A lot of the steep sided Pennine upland is really only good for sheep farming, or cattle when you get a bit lower into the valleys. There are a lot of farmers still in Calerdale, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with buying quality meat raised in Calderdale at a local butchers and eating it as part of a balanced diet.

 

15th August set as launch date for Friends of Roils Head Moor Group

Following the successful establishment of the friends of West View Park community group we are looking to establish a similar group of
residents who are interested in improving the Roils Head Moor recreational ground. Currently the Moor is a favourite spot for dog walkers, and horse riders. However it also has underused sports playing fields, problems with off road bikes, and a play area that is in much need of some care and attention.

Our vision is for people who enjoy the Moor to work as a community group in partnership with the Council to help improve and protect this valuable bit of green space on our doorstep. Projects the group could carry out could range from improving footpaths, notice boards, protecting wildlife and helping to report incidents of fly-tipping and off road vehicles.

At a time when Council services are under financial this type of partnership working with the community is a necessity if we are to see improvements to our local neighbourhood. We hope anyone interested in getting involved or finding our more information will attend an initial Consultation meeting with local Councillors and Council officers on Saturday 15th August from 10am.-12pm at Grace Baptist Church.

Update on Housing Development down at Maltings Site

There is currently a housing development going on down by the Maltings College in Fountinhead Village. The development is on the old depo site, which is known locally as ‘the slab’ by some residents. The development of 47 affordable homes is being undertaken by the Housing Association ‘Home Group. The development has been set back though as the builder (Southdale) has gone into administration. We are now in a situation where the Housing Association is trying to find another builder to continue the development.

Concerns have been raised with me by residents with regards to issues of land contamination. The developer did submit details covering land contamination and our Environmental Health team made the following comment on that submission:

“Contaminated Land: Condition 5 – The Contaminated Land report by Solmek of 2014, is a good report that details the issues well for this site. I am pleased to see they have identified issues and solutions for remediation of the site: Please accept that the remediation proposals are approved, but to acknowledge that the condition cannot be marked as satisfied until the validation report for the land contamination issues have been submitted and approved.”

Following the query from a resident, and my question of the situation the Council will investigate to ensure that the builders Southdale going into administration hasn’t had any adverse impact on the remedial solutions for dealing with any contamination on the site.  I hope this helps alleviate any concerns local residents may have concerning the matter.

Big litter clean up around Mount Pellon

 

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On Wednesday morning I joined Council workers and residents for big litter and household waste blitz in the area around Mount Pellon School on Queensway and Batterson Rd. This area has to be one of the worst in the ward for litter and junk and rubbish left in people’s yards. It was amazing just how much stuff got filled into skips. Sadly this isn’t a long term solution, this type of litter blitz from the Council is good work, but I think we need a much more concerted effort to try and change the mindset that says it’s acceptable just to throw junk and rubbish on the floor.

Calderdale Big Clean

Calderdale Council is conducting a ‘big clean’. This is big community clear up event where members of the public get together with Council officers to clean up their neighborhood. There are events happening all over Calderdale, but here are the details for the one taking part in Warley ward

Wednesday 27 May – Pellon area, meeting on Queensway at 10am. Working from Queensway to ASDA Skips are being provided in the Mixenden and Pellon clean ups, with support from the Ovenden and Mixenden Initiative and Pennine Housing

Tackling litter and fly-tipping

 

Litter and rubbish around parts of the wards are terrible at the moment. In past budgets the Liberal Democrats have done what they can to protect the Safer Cleaner Greener teams that help to tackle this problem. When I am out and about delivering my Focus leaflets I regularly report instances of fly-tipping I come across. In the past few days I’ve reported problems at the following sites:

· Paddock Lane, Halifax, West Yorkshire
· Beckenham Place, Halifax, West Yorkshire
· Pathway at Queensway, Halifax, West Yorkshire
· Bin store Byron Street, Halifax, West Yorkshire

If you come across an instance of fly-tipping yourself you can report it on-line using the Council’s website, or feel free to get in touch with me and I’ll report it for you.

Money from the £5,000 community funding scheme I established is also being used to help tackle problems of litter in the ward. £500 is going towards a clean up taking place in May in the Mount Pellon area, and some money has gone towards the  litter clean up day that the Friends of West View Park carried out.

Improving the cleanliness of our streets is also part of our local election manifesto:

Improve our streets: Many streets across Calderdale are in need of repair. We would invest to resurface our streets, protect gritting services and put efforts into ensuring our streets are free of litter and dog fouling.