Sunday, May 28, 2006

Clean Sweep

Saltburn's seafront has once again been given a facelift with local volunteers sweeping the beach clean. Looking after Saltburn's beach is a constant battle against whatever the tide throws up, as well as "normal" litter problems from beach users. The community has long been concerned about rubbish in certain areas of the town and local individuals and organisations frequently organise a 'Litter Picking' event to do something about it.
Despite blustery weather 18 volunteers picked 18 bags of rubbish off the beach on Saturday 13th May - and 11% of it was sewage related. "This is the usual percentage collected during our two-hour quarterly sweeps and most of it was sanitary items," said new co-ordinator Chris Terry. "Before Northumbrian Water built the sewage treatment works at Marske 11 years ago, conditions were dreadful. Now it is a lot better, but not perfect. This is one of the main reasons why we do the Beachwatch litter-pick - monitoring Northumbrian Water."
Previous weekends saw the Valley Garden's Spring Clean as well as a small group of volunteer Diamond Street residents doing a litter sweep of the cliff face. The litter on the cliff banks was mostly plastic debris - almost all of it the result of problems related to the methods of collection in line with the council's recycling policy.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Saltburn Children's Centre begins campus investment.

artists impression of Learning Campus siteThe new Saltburn Children's Centre, the first part of a major multi-million pound education investment for the town, is ready to open its doors to the area's families next month.
The £1.5million development, on the Huntcliff School site, will be home to the town's Sure Start programme, a private day care nursery and a relocation for Langbaurgh Primary Care Trust clinics and consultation. Saltburn Children's Centre is designed to provide a focus for family learning and a kickstart for the whole Learning Campus concept. Sure Start is all about children, parents and communities, bringing together early education, childcare, health and family support under one roof to provide an accessible and flexible service.
The Council has already given outline planning approval for new buildings for Huntcliff School and Saltburn Primary School to be co-located on the Huntcliff site.
The Childrens Centre's admin office will be open from Monday, June 5, then, two weeks later, plans to start activities in its children's room and adjoining training facility, covering parent and toddler sessions, childminders' drop-in and family support.
Langbaurgh PCT, moving from offices in Bath Street, will provide some clinics and a podiatry (chiropody) suite, hopefully from Monday, June 19. Eventually, some health visitors and school nurses will also be moving into the building.
Rosedene Nurseries are also ready to open its 45-place day care facility, catering for children, aged six weeks to five years, on the same day.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Lighting our Culture - Phase 2

Zetland Hotel c. 1930 The lighting & illumination of buildings, structures and landscapes throughout the Borough is a project which aims to raise the areas profile, enhance local community pride and bring visitors into the area, helping to attract businesses and employment opportunities. The first phase in Saltburn saw the illumination of the pier and cliff lift. This project was the winner of the 2006 Lighting Design Awards for Transport Lighting. Now planning permission has been granted for the next phase in Saltburn's Lighting Scheme which aims to extend the attraction potential of the town to late summer evenings and the autumn/winter months. To complement the illumination of the cliff lift and pier the next phase will see the lighting of the Station Portico and the Zetland Hotel (now Zetland Apartments). The general concept is to wash the Zetland building with low level white light to emphasize the key architectural features of the building and provide Victorian style pedestal lighting which would provide an interesting and enhancing feature to the building during the day. The lighting of the Station Portico is to feature the columns, arches and entabulature to provide a principal town feature at night.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Nostalgia Coast...

Redcar & Cleveland are launching a new drive for visitors by delving into the Borough's archives. Old photographs, dating back over a century, provide a fascinating look at bygone days in a newly-published brochure, The Nostalgia Coast.
The Council's Tourism Section hopes to appeal to all ages with the 16-page free brochure, with eight sections, including the railways, beach activities, motorsports, entertainments, lifeboats and shipwrecks. Images include Malcolm Campbell's world land speed record attempt in The Sunbeam at Saltburn in 1924, Newsomes helter skelter lighthouse in Redcar from 1907 and a sand castle-building competition from 1902 in Saltburn, organised by hot drink maker, Bovril. Read more ....

You can also request the leaflet using their online form.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tea Time Dilema

Valley Gardens Tea room 1955Following on from the demolition of the small toilet block near to the Valley Garden Tea Rooms, it has been reported that the Council are also considering the demolition of the Valley Garden Tea Rooms themselves, together with the now empty bungalow. Many people have enjoyed hours of pleasure in the 'Italian Garden' area. The Tea Rooms themselves have always been very popular and have, until this year, been leased by Virgos. The council decision has sparked another area of controversy within the town. 'Real Meals' have voiced their concern, stating that they are trying to create a co-operative, with a view to purchasing the tea rooms from the council but have not yet been able to contact anyone at the council with regard to their intentions. I'm beginning to find it difficult to understand this seemingly systematic removal of local amenities and attractions rather than developing them. After all, we are a tourist attraction, aren't we?

Beach Hut Blues

Redcar & Cleveland council faces another controversy from local residents after introducing new rules with regards to the use of the beach huts near the pier. The new policy will allow people on the waiting list to take over the lease of a hut after the tenant has held it for a maximum of five years. Officials also plan to introduce renting the huts by the day rather than people being allowed to lease them for a year.
The council resorts manager had noted that many people were not using the facilities even though they had paid their rental and many people had been on the waiting list for up to ten years. As a result the council had decided to allow existing tenants to keep the chalets for a maximum of five years from the date on which they first signed the lease and future agreements would be issued for a maximum of one year only.
The new ruling has upset some of the present tenants many of whom have been renting one of the twenty huts for over ten years on an annual basis.
Although some of the protesters understood the philosophy behind the council's new policy they are finding it difficult to agree with it. One tenant, Mrs Hazel Taplin, has rented, maintained and decorated a beach hut for over ten years. She felt that perhaps the council should consider building more huts if they are in such high demand, and could not see how it could be fair to deprive a family of the right to re-rent a facility which they have regularly used and cared for over the years.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Major Park overhaul celebrated...

The multi-million pound revamp of Darlington's South Park was celebrated with a festival on Sunday (May 7th). The park has been restored with £3.9m from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The work has involved returning the Victorian Park to its former glory and has included improving the lake, landscaping and many new facilities.
What has this to do with Saltburn? Well nothing on the face of it. Except that Saltburn also has it's own Victorian Park which has declined over the years and has a similar develoment potential to provide a wide variety of leisure facilities for all the community.
The refurbishment of South Park includes restoring the bandstand and terracotta fountain, draining and dredging the lake and building new footpaths. The work has also included the building of educational facilities, restoring the café, creating an adventure playground for children, a ball park and skateboard park. The skateboard park itself was designed with the help of local youngsters, who came up with the idea of including an area for their hobby in the new-look park. In fact the whole scheme seems to have involved and included the whole community - from the very young through to teens as well as adults and even local prisoners have been involved in designing and making furniture for the park - combining the best of it's heritage with modern day facilities. Now that seems like a great idea to me and one which could conceivably be developed in Saltburn. Perhaps ...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Roundabout row...

Saltburn centre island without the offending sign.A promotional advertising sign which appeared on the town centre roundabout continues to raise controversy. The sign is one of 19 which have appeared on roundabouts across the borough and a number of concerns have been raised by Saltburn residents relating to the obtrusive size of the sign compared to the size of the roundabout, the distraction it presents to motorists and the effects it could have on the town's chance of winning another 'Britain in Bloom' award. A spokesperson from the council visited the town in response to the complaints but did not consider the sign to be obtrusive, pointing out that the council received a revenue from the signs which went on providing and maintaining flowers and plants. A second council member called for a compromise over the issue stating that, "If we want the environment to look as good as it is we have to look at ways of maximising income for the council."
The sign vanished from the island mid-April shortly after being knocked over. The council removed it following protests from members of the 'Saltburn in Bloom' committee. However it is to be replaced by a slightly smaller sign advertising a local surf shop. Councillor Empson said that judges for the 'Britain in Bloom' competition were in favour of the signs because income from them helped to keep roundabouts colourful.
The 'Saltburn in Bloom' committee were not happy with the council's decision and had offered to pay for the roundabout garden themselves but were quoted £1,900 per year for a minimum of three years. Consequently they couldn't afford it. Although they could have raised a donation for the flowers without a sponsor notice they were told that it had already been taken. The owner of the local 360 Surf shop, Mr Jack Burns said that he had paid under £1000 for the sign for a year and expected it to appear this month. Although initially opposed to the sign, Mr Burns felt that it would be more appropriate for a local business to advertise on the site than an outside agency.
Saltburn historian Tony Lynn was also unhappy at the decision stating that the sign on such a small roundabout would be incongruous.