About Me

My photo
I am an East Riding of Yorkshire and Bridlington Town Councillor elected to represent Bridlington South Ward. The views and posts on this site are my personal views and are not those of East Riding of Yorkshire Council or Bridlington Town Council. If you become a member of this Blog I will expect you to adhere to posting comments that are not offensive or illegal.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017


Labour Group Motion to Council – Northern Rail

5 April 2017



Motion

 That this Council, in the interests of the residents of the East Riding, agrees to write to Northern Rail requesting that they retain train guards on board every northern train.

 Comments from Councillors Moore & Finlay

 At the moment, guards are “safety-critical staff”.  They are responsible for checking the doors prior to departure and generally keeping the train and the passengers safe;staying in touch with the control room; and standing ready to respond to alarm calls from passengers or the driver.  Current attempts to reduce the hours, and duties, of platform and ticket office staff means your late night journey home is ever more likely to be a lonely one, with no-one to help you if you are in difficulty, lost, or threatened and no-one to notice if you need help.  This is a prospect, as a lone, female traveller, I do not look forward to.

 Safety critical conductors also take on the emergency protection duties of the Train Driver should the driver become incapacitated in the event of an incident.

 Case Study

 On 26 July 1986 at Lockington, between Beverley and Driffield, a four coach unit, travelling from Bridlington to Hull, collided with a motor vehicle on Lockington level crossing.  The train was completely derailed and seriously damaged.  Nine people were killed and 59 people were hospitalised.  The driver of the train was seriously incapacitated and trapped with the cab.

 The guard on this train was uninjured and, having a comprehensive knowledge of the Hull to Scarborough line and being fully trained to deal with such issues, jumped from the train and made his way to check on the driver who, he found, was unconscious.

 The guard was also aware that another train was shortly due, in the opposite direction, for Bridlington.

 Owing to the derailed train being foul of the opposite line, he knew it was imperative that he halt the oncoming train, so he ran down the track and managed to stop the Bridlington bound train, which was approaching at speed.  The driver saw the danger signals from this guard and managed to stop his train just short of the derailed unit, thus preventing what would have been a huge loss of life; there were approximately 120 people on the train.

 In conclusion, without the expertise, knowledge and quick thinking of this guard there would have been a catastrophe of huge magnitude, which is precisely why there is a need for a guardon every train.

 After all these years this railway line is still operating, and the same conditions exist at Lockington as they did that fateful day.

 Summary

 Driver-only train operation is being spun as modern and safe, but beneath the spin it is nothing more than a money-saving attack on everyone’s safety.  Let us all fight to retain our guards.  Any saving will not be passed on to the travelling public. Please support the Motion.   

 Unfortunately the ruling Conservative Group did not think that this subject warranted discussion, or a letter to Northern Rail.  Instead it referred the whole matter to a scrutiny committee, without discussion.  Due to the huge majority it holds on the Council this was passed, much to the disappointment of the Labour Group, whose whole objective was to protect the safety of residents.

 Proposed by Councillor Keith Moore (mobile: 07737 586949)

Seconded by Councillor Shelagh Finlay
                      email: cllr.s.finlay@bridlington.gov.uk

Thursday, 13 October 2016

WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality)


Fair Transitional State Pension Arrangements


 

Labour Group Member, Cllr Shelagh Finlay, moved the following Motion to Full Council today (12 October), seconded by Cllr Keith Moore.

 

“That this Council calls upon the Government to make fair transitional state pension arrangements for all women born on, or after, 6 April 1951, who have unfairly borne the burden of the increase to the State Pension Age (SPA) with lack of appropriate notification.”

 

The following Amendment was submitted by Cllr Parnaby and was voted on, and passed, by Full Council with the exception of the words ‘or influence’ which was removed at Cllr Finlay’s request.

 

“That this Council, whilst recognising it has no control or influence over national government policy on state pensions, has sympathy with those affected by any increase to the State Pension Age and encourages members either individually, through political groups, local MPs or national contacts to raise any issues of unfairness they may have in regard to the State Pension Age (SPA).”

 

At Full Council, over 25 WASPIs from around the region came to offer their support and were pleased that Members of East Riding of Yorkshire Council were prompted to raise issues of unfairness.

 


 

20161012_134645.jpg

 

For further information please contact:

 

Cllr Shelagh Finlay -                     01262 675921

Cllr Keith Moore -                       07737 586949

 

12 October 2016

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

I Love the NHS - well some of it...

Yesterday was a game of two halves.  Let me give you a flavour of the second half.  I went to Bridlington Hospital for my pre-assessment for a minor operation.  This process saves time on the day of operation whilst ensuring that the patient is able to undertake the operation - a double saving.  I was called in for my assessment by two very friendly NHS staff who introduced themselves.  One asked and answered questions whilst the other took bloods, blood pressure etc.  Both were very professional and knowledgeable whilst putting me at ease.  The whole process took about 25 minutes and as I left clutching an information booklet they told me they would see me on the ward.  I felt that they would both be my new best friends who would look after me on the day.  So a satisfied customer of our wonderful NHS then - well not quite. 


Let's have a look at the first half.  I follow a series of signs that lead me into a rather sterile waiting room.  A radio is playing, lots of leaflets (none of them relevant to my operation), out of date magazines and one other person. Time 10 am and another person arrives.  Time 10.10 and the first person is call.  Time 10.35 and the second person is call.  I ask the nurse why I am still here when my appointment clearly says 10 am (I was on time) to be told that all the appointments were for 10 am and I was next in say 25 minutes.  So rather than book one at 10 am, one at 10.25 and one at 10.50 I was expected to sit there for possibly 50 min and wait. I fumed as I read the out of date magazine "glad" that I had paid for 2 hour parking (£2.50) rather than the hour (£1 - not sure how that works but that is for another day). Time 10.50 and in I go for the second half - perfect from then on as described above.


How difficult is it to schedule 3 patients at staggered times?  Why does the NHS think that their time is more important than mine?  Would any business schedule 3 clients at the same time and expect the last one just to wait?


Why oh why does the NHS score so many home goals?

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) - good or bad for the UK


Brief introduction to the TTIP

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP; also known as the Transatlantic Free Trade Area, abbreviated as TAFTA) is a proposed free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States. Proponents say the agreement would result in multilateral economic growth,[2] while critics say it would increase corporate power and make it more difficult for governments to regulate markets for public benefit.[3] The U.S. government considers the TTIP a companion agreement to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.[4] After a proposed draft was leaked, in March 2014 the European Commission launched a public consultation on a limited set of clauses.

The leaked text of the proposed treaty sets out limitations on the laws that any government can pass to regulate or publicly run various economic sectors, particularly insurance and banking,[5] telecommunications, and postal services.[6] Any corporation which is "expropriated" from its existing investments becomes entitled to market value compensation, plus compound interest.[7] It would allow free movement of workers among all signatory countries.[8] It is proposed to allow corporations to bring actions against governments for breach of its rights.[9]

A previous proposed treaty was Multilateral Agreement on Investment. The TTIP free trade agreement could be finalised by the end 2014

Further information can be found by following this link:



War on Want A Charter of Deregulation, an Attack on jobs and an end to Democracy


Booklet by John Hillary here:


Youtube videos:



A few radio interviews:



A “handy fact sheet” prepared by The European Consumer Association:



UNISON Briefing:



A Government Briefing



So – a good thing or a bad thing – make your mind up time....

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Right to Record Council Meetings - At Last


In October last year I seconded the following motions at  East Riding of Yorkshire Council Full Council:
9 October 2013

NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER PROCEDURE RULE 14.6

That, in the interest of transparency and democracy, this Authority agrees to install and maintain equipment to officially record video, with sound, at all parts of Council and Committee meetings that are open to public attendance.  Further, that all such official recordings are easily accessible on the Authority’s website



9 October 2013

NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER PROCEDURE RULE 14.6

That, in the interest of transparency and democracy, this Authority agrees to allow personal electronic devices ie mobile phones, recording equipment, pagers, cameras or similar devices to be switched on and used at all Council and Committee meetings.

Both motions were defeated in Full Council by the Ruling Conservative Group.



At last we as a Council have been forced to allow transparency to enter our chambers. From today members of the public can record all meetings at East Riding of Yorkshire Council that are open to the public without fear of being removed from that meeting for doing so. My hope is that the Council will again look into the move to the 21st Century and record meetings and make them freely available to the public who are unable to attend meetings for a variety of reasons but pay for them.



This is what I blogged in October 2013:



http://cllrshelaghfinlay.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/transparency-democracy-local-councils.html



LOCAL GOVERNMENT Secretary Eric Pickles has signed an order giving anyone the right to record council meetings.

The move will stop any council trying to prevent filming on grounds such as health and safety.

Mr Pickles, a former leader of Bradford Council, said: “Half a century ago, Margaret Thatcher championed a new law to allow the press to make written reports of council meetings.

“We have updated her analogue law for a digital age.”

He added: “Local democracy needs local journalists and bloggers to report and scrutinise the work of their council, and increasingly, people read their news via digital media.

“There is now no excuse for any council not to allow these new rights.

“Parliament has changed the law, to allow a robust and healthy local democracy.”

 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Rubbish and Fly-tipping – a sign of our times

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03gm10d

Cleaning up Britain's rubbish costs us more than a billion pounds a year. Hardly surprising, given we drop five times more litter today than we did in the Sixties - much of it as a direct result of our fondness for fast food, soft drinks and sweets. Yet while we seem unwilling to pick up after ourselves - or our pets - other people's discarded rubbish still gets many hot under the collar”

Last night BBC Panorama aired a programme about the increasing amount of rubbish both on our streets and in open spaces dumped by the public.  Over the past few months I have been alerted to the growing problem of fly-tipping in urban areas. The presumption is that, “the council will remove it”.  Unfortunately this is not the case as farmers have found out over the years.  If the rubbish is dumped in private alley ways it becomes the responsibility of the home owners.  I have raised the issue with various departments and have spoken out at meetings I have attended:

1.  Chamber of Commerce – to alert their small business members that the Council will not remove rubbish dumped on private land unless there is a threat to public health.

2.  Community Partnership meeting – is it a fire hazard as well as antisocial behaviour.  

The big question is who is responsible:

1. The Public

2. The Council

3. The Producers of packaging

In my view it should be a collective responsibility to ensure our environment  stays clean. Fast food outlets and retailers should have a duty of care to provided bins, offer incentives and litter pickers. Councils should ensure that the public have bins, are educated about the cost and impact of their behaviour and of course the general public including small businesses and their responsibilities.

Bridlington Town Council is doing its bit by helping to fund bins and stencilling paths with the help of the Community Payback Scheme. 

Unfortunately the root of the problem is the mind set of those that just don’t care.  The Keep Britain Tidy campaign has seen their funding reduced so the message has been diluted.  Councils charge at their tips for commercial waste leading to fly tipping as business margins are reduced.  Many schools try to educate children on social responsibility but the message is not always reinforced at home. Councils have become more cost conscious and have also seen their budgets reduced.

OK so should we all get angry and confront and report litter louts, should parking enforcement officers have a dual role, should councils not charge for commercial waste at tips, should we have more bins, should fast food outlets/supermarkets have a local rubbish levy?

Probably a combination of all the above but it may be too little too late.

Some Research & Guidance



Reporting Fly tipping





The Law



Legislation on fly-tipping


There is no specific definition of fly-tipping other than that set out in section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which says it is an offence to treat, keep or dispose of controlled waste without a waste management licence or in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health.

The absence of any formal definition of illegal waste disposal is deliberate. According to guidelines produced by Defra: “The definition of fly-tipping is a wide one. This is because there is a general recognition by all including Government ministers that fly-tipping, whether it is a dumped mattress or a lorry load of construction and demolition waste can be linked to anti-social behaviour, fear of crime and the liveability of an area.”

Most of the legislation regulating waste is covered by four main Acts: The Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989, The Environment Protection Act 1990, The Town and Country Planning Act 1991 and The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (the 2005 Act). The 2005 Act was specifically intended to make it easier to deal with environmental crimes. Part 5 of the Act covers waste and gives local authorities, the police and the Environment Agency greater powers when dealing with waste crime.

The 2005 Act raised the penalties on conviction for fly-tipping crimes, bringing the fly-tipping of all types of waste in line with hazardous waste and making ‘the polluter pay’ by allowing courts to order the offender to meet the costs for the enforcement and investigation, and for land to be cleaned of fly-tipped waste