Sunday, 20 March 2011

1000 Fruit tree project - Phase 2

The 1000 Trees Project is collaboration between Kirklees Streetscene Service (Parks and Open Spaces) and Newsome Councillors, funded through the Area Committee. The object of the project is to plant 1000 fruit trees across the ward. These trees will bring many benefits to the area including improved landscape quality, improved diets for locals who pick the fruit, (including improved levels of physical activity), additional wildlife habitat for some endangered wildlife species and also reduction in pollution levels.

Phase 1 involved the planting of fruit trees across Newsome Ward on council owned open green space. Phase 2 will involve 100 apple trees being planted in house gardens across Newsome Ward by the householders. Any Newsome resident will be offered one apple tree at the reduced price of £5. This will also include a tree stake, tree tie and planting /care instruction sheet. The money collected will then be used to provide plants for a proposed herb corridor along a public footpath in the Newsome Ward.

Julian Faulkner, Kirklees Social Forestry /Allotments Officer and Councillor Andrew Cooper will be at the 

Growing Newsome Seed Swap on Saturday 26th March, 10am to 12 noon at Newsome Scout Hall
to distribute trees and  to offer advice to those wishing to take part.

 For further information on the seed swap visit

Newsome green fields under threat

Great turnout for our demo to protect land in Newsome and below Castle Hill from development

A great turnout yesterday for our demo against the threat of development to green field sites in Newsome and below Castle Hill. We reckon over 150 turned up. You might have thought these fields would have been safe as they are owned by Kirklees. OK maybe you wouldn't but we are currently going through the Local Development Framework process and it is vital that local opinions about maintaining our open spaces are not only expressed but listened to and acted upon. There are significant brownfield sites which are under utilised. Allocating greenfield and greenbelt land for development will be disincentive to develop our derelict areas and therefore stifle regeneration.NIMBY is often used as a disparaging term for those who don't want building on land in their backyard but this land is everybody in Huddersfield's backyard. It is the backdrop to Castle Hill which is part of the DNA of the people of Huddersfield. The image of the Victoria Tower on Castle Hill surrounded by fields is ingrained in the local consciousness. To see it threatened by encroaching development is something everybody in Huddersfield should care about.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Bring on the wall!

Our Cllr Julie Stewart-Turner has being having the devils own job trying to get Kirklees to help out Primrose Hill Bowling Club who found they had responsibility for £20k to £40k of wall repairs to a wall that could fall on pedestrians with tonnes and tonnes of soil behind it. In the end it went to the Town and Valley Committee at our request and was passed by all Cllrs there. I wasn't at all sure how this would go and I do wonder whether we'll have something in Labour leaflets in Newsome taking credit for this one. They do have form in this regard. Here's our press release

Council steps in to help with dangerous wall

A dangerous wall in Primrose Hill is to be repaired thanks to action by Kirklees Council.

A high retaining wall holding back tonnes of earth on Malvern Road, Primrose Hill is badly bowed and could fall onto the pavement and road with potentially fatal results. Due to lease conditions with Kirklees the wall is the responsibility of Primrose Hill Bowling Club.  Quotations for repairing the wall and making it secure ranged from £20,000 to £40,000 for a complete rebuild which was beyond the resources of the club.

 Newsome Green Party Councillor Julie Stewart-Turner  took up the issue with Kirklees on behalf of the Bowling Club,

“This is not a small project and the club simply didn’t have the funding to resource it. The club’s future as a community facility was threatened by the unexpected responsibility of repairing the wall.”

Julie asked for the issue to be taken up by Huddersfield Town and Valley Committee.

“It has been a real struggle to get this issue agreed with Council officers, trying to get them to appreciate the financial realities of a small community organisation like Primrose Hill Bowling Club having to find such a huge sum but I am pleased that Councillors on the Huddersfield Committee have backed us on this one”

 “Ultimately lives could be at risk here and we can’t be arguing about where responsibility lies when the consequences of not taking action could be fatal.”

International Feltmakers Exhibition - The Climate is Changing

The International Feltmakers Association have a worldwide touring exhibition on the theme of Climate Change and it will be at the Northlight Gallery until May. Myself and Cllr Julie Stewart Turner went there today. Julie said a few words at the opening, easily falling back into Mayoral mode. My knowledge of feltmaking was somewhere near the level of my knowledge of the Guatemalan Fishing Industry but this was an interesting exhibition with contributions from as far away as Australia and Germany and all in the Newsome Ward. How did they know. The Northlight Gallery is also a good place for a meal or a cuppa so please go along

Cllr Julie Stewart-Turner - some frogs and princesses caption here I guess