Saturday, 5 January 2013

War Memorial Hall developments

The flat roof section of the hall cannot be kept watertight and it was only by applying copious amounts of patching compound we kept the small hall dry for our Christmas Spectacular. Recognising that a) something must be done or the ceilings will likely collapse and b) the replacement hall is still some years away we are exploring the availability of grants to refurbish and insulate the problem roof areas. We envisage stripping off the old felt, repairing the deck where necessary then applying preinsulated decking on top followed by a fibreglass weather coat. You may be approached by one of our volunteers asking for you to complete a letter of support to be submitted with our grant application. Please help us by completing the required details. Thank you.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

2012 - Steady as she goes

This year has seen some interesting developments The Gilberdyke War Memorial Hall held a most successful Gala Day and a Bonfire with fireworks display. Also during the year regular Bingo sessions and Quiz nights have been held which are intended to raise funds to keep the hall running. The original part of the hall was opened in 1924 and is feeling its age. The building was extended during the 1970s with a flat roofed part and the flat roof is decades past its design life with leakage developing. A new hall is planned but realistically this is many years off and the flat roof must be repaired in the short term. At the same time it will have insulation aapplied to control the ever increasing cost of heating the building. Elsewhere in the village the drainage improvement works saw the completion of phases 2 & 3 with the new pipe reaching Westbrook Crescent. A minor additional requirement has been identified and it is hoped this will be completed shortly. In any event the presence of the new pipes allowed water to drain out of the village during the recent heavy rain without the wholesale devastation seen in the 2007 floods. Plans are afoot to remove the ageing play area which the Parish Council own and is sited on land leased from the Memorial Hall. This will be replaced by a larger, updated play area extending along the side of the field as soon as an amended lease is in place. The nuisance caused by the Leatherdog Lane Landfill tip is drawing to a close. Much work is yet to be done but from the end of December only inert waste may be tipped. Quite what control the Environment Agency will demonstrate remains to be seen but the stench which has regularly drifted over the village should become a thing of the past. I hope everything progresses according to plan and look forward to a great 2013.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Environmentally UN-FRIENDLY

Ok so the title is plagiarised from the Ombudsmans report into the sadly lacking performance of the Environment Agency and Local Councils at the other side of the Pennines (I leave the reader to look this Ombudsmans report up). However the situation is remarkably similar to that we see in Gilberdyke and Newport where the EA studiously ignored the opening up of the completed parts of the height-compliant parts of the Leatherdog Lane landfill site, followed by the pouring in of a torrent of waste from far and wide until the height was approximately three times the consented limit (it reached 23 metres at one point before being reduced).
The East Riding Council ignored the situation until far too late and even now refuse to take enforcement action against the operators of the tip. It seems they want to "negotiate" which in reality means the officers continue to draw their salaries whilst the torrent of waste continues. The "Mountains of Gilberdyke" which should be hidden by the hedge/trees can be seen soaring above the tops of this screen and are absolutely out of place in the surrounding flat landscape.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

No progress on the tip from the EA or ERYC but residents are starting litigation

As the Environment Agency and East Riding Council had done nothing to stop the nuisance, a meeting of affected residents was called. This was held in Newport village hall and the hall was crammed to overflowing. A true indication of the anger felt by the local community plain for all to see.

The meeting was vociferous but kept reasonably to order. The chief outcome of the meeting was that a poll of the residents present indicated strong support for taking legal action against those responsible for creating and sustaining the nuisance(s) suffered by the community. Candidates for consideration including:
The owner(s) of the tip both when the old tip was uncapped and the owners at the present date,
The operators of the tip in all their guises during the same period,
The East Riding Council for not stopping the nuisance and not enforcing the planning conditions,
The Environment Agency for not adequately monitoring the operation of the tip, allowing the height to be raised above permitted levels, allowing pollution of the local environment - the list goes on.

A legal firm Public Interest Lawyers are being consulted with a view to proceeding on a no win no fee basis but the majority of the residents polled indicated a willingness to contribute financially if this option is not available. An even more positive indication of residents anger at the situation which has developed.

It is of note that the same firm of lawyers were instrumental in having a tip being run by an associated waste disposal operator in Thomlinson Road, Seaton Carew closed down much earlier than planned. Again the local council and the Environment Agency were apparently unwilling to take action until the residents there resorted to legal process. A browse of the Hartlepool Mail makes interesting reading, especially regarding the local council.
Also interesting reading is the directors of City Plant Limited and their other directorships which can be found via Google on various company registration websites including For a brief period City Plant Ltd was registered at a Hartlepool address associated with other waste operations but this was rapidly changed to the Leatherdog Lane site. Curiouser and curiouser!

It is also of note that following the Newport meeting and its reporting in the local press, the tip operators are now talking about completion within a year! Can they be trusted? My own thoughts immediately jump to the old saying about trusting them as far as I could throw them - you may like to make your own minds up.

If the older and capped off parts of the Leatherdog Lane tip had been left undisturbed and any new waste restricted to only those areas not completed, then with the new areas piled up to the same height as the old there would have been a far shorter life for the tip and in all likelihood it would have been completed by now and be slowly fading into an unpleasant memory. The deliberate uncapping and piling on of new waste was nothing short of a crime against our community and the behaviour of the EA and ERYC utterly disgraceful.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Leatherdog Lane Tip

Further to the recent press coverage of the abuse of the local community by the new operators of the Leatherdog Lane tip. This situation has been an absolute disgrace since the original small operation sold out to big business based in Hartlepool. We now have a massive pile of decomposing waste which will prove in the long term to be a serious health hazard to the
local community.
The Environment agency has various standards which they are supposed to apply to ensure the
safety of the environment but it would appear that they have failed to stick to their own standards when monitoring the site, leaving the local people with a legacy of poisons being emitted in one form or another from this mountain of waste which has been sent to us from far and wide in the pursuit of profit by the absentee owners.
The stench from the tip is predominately as a result of the leakage of landfill gas. This contains predominately methane and carbon dioxide, neither of which smell, but also a proportion of Hydrogen Sulphide (the bad egg smell) and a proportion of organic compounds which both smell and are highly poisonous. Hydrogen Sulphide is considered a cumulative poison which
builds up in animal tissues. The organic compounds have similar properties plus they are linked to birth defects in animals. There is no way this can be acceptable or reasonable, and I believe most other local people will agree.
The operators are said to now be burning the major part of the landfill gas in an enclosed
flare in an attempt to reduce the complaints about the stench. This sounds helpful at first sight but ignores the problems this can cause. Incomplete or uncontrolled combustion of the organic compounds produces dioxins which are among the most poisonous compounds known to man. Only carefully controlled high temperature combustion can minimise (not eradicate) the production of these dioxins. I do not wish to see another Bonnybridge legacy in East Yorkshire. I would prefer our local descendants to have the accepted normal number of fingers and toes etc.
It has been suggested that the Methane is a long term asset as it can be used to generate electricity. While this is true in principle, the use of landfill gas to power an internal combustion engine to drive a generator is recognised as the dirtiest option of using the gas, as the engine has
a significantly worse performance in terms of discharging dioxins than combustion in a boiler where high temperature controlled conditions might be achieved or “cleaning” up the gas by removal of the sulphides and organic products to a standard where it could be injected into a natural gas distribution main and burnt in a dilute manner over a widely dispersed area. The last solution can of course be considered only if safe disposal of the organics and other undesirable content which are removed can be assured and that the gas network is willing to accept the methane/carbon dioxide mixture.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Solar Panels and Feed in Tariff. 12 months on

Following my foray into the world of Solar Generation a year ago I have calculated that over the 12 months since commissioning the electricity generated produced FIT payments worth £1522 This is plus an estimated reduction in my electricity bills over the same period of some £120.
I reckon that equates to a return on investment of 10.95 percent tax free. In these times of poor interest rates that is quite amazing.

The installation was carried out by Alexander Electrical of Goole and I registered my FIT generation with EDF. The registration administration was tedious but the payments started from the day of commissioning and every quarter I get an email asking for the current reading on the total generation meter.

I noticed a letter in the Goole Times today (19th Jan 2012) from someone who had had problems with an out of area installation company. This makes me glad that I chose to support a local business.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Parasite Alert

A friend of mine had an unfortunate experience yesterday. She had a call from a man who claimed to be investigating her computer running slow. Despite her being naturally wary he was very convincing and overcame her suspicions. Thus he ended up with remote access to her computer. Some malware was planted and it was only when the scammers claimed there were a number of viruses on the machine and asked for card details did the penny drop, the call was ended and the computer switched off.
After she called me I advised her if she had financial or shopping details on the machine she could have exposed her security and passwords to the scammers. Consequently she phoned her bank, stopped all her credit cards and changed passwords then we ran a system cleanup and restored the machine to a few days ago. Everyone needs to be on their guard against these parasites and if you get such a call refuse to give any details or allow them any way of getting into your machine. (although getting their details would be extremely useful to the police).