Tuesday, 26 July 2016


IS tourism in Cleethorpes being undermined by North East Lincolnshire Council failings? Yes, according to the authority's  Conservative oppposition group leader, Cllr Philip Jackson, who believes the time has come to get a grip. Below is the text of an open letter he has written the NELC's Labour leader, Cllr Ray Oxby.

Dear Cllr Oxby

I am writing this open letter to you because of three current threats to the vital tourism trade in Cleethorpes which your administration is failing to address. Clearly, we are now in the peak of the visitor season and these need to be resolved.

The first, and most recent threat, is last week’s closure of the paddling pool for, we are told, health and safety reasons. My colleague Cllr David Hasthorpe and I have been trying to find out what exactly is the problem. We have been told that it’s unsafe storage of chemicals, a shortage of appropriately qualified or experienced staff or broken down plant and equipment. Which is it and, if it is one of the first two reason, why were these not identified earlier? With regard to the re-opening of the paddling pool, we’re told, on one hand, that the necessary money is not available and, on the other, that remedial action is now underway. Again, which is it?

The second threat relates to public toilets, clearly a major issue in a very busy seaside resort with many day visitors. My colleagues Cllr John Fenty and Cllr Keith Brookes have been involved here, the latter recently calling-in the question of charging within the resort and, at the recent Full Council, asking questions about the physical provision of public toilets. It also emerged, last week, that there may be cuts in cleaning and maintenance against a background of existing public complaints about the standard of our public toilets.

The third threat is the ongoing saga of the saltmarsh.  We have been reassured numerous times over the last few years, both at scrutiny meetings and at Full Council, that spread of the Salt Marsh is being controlled and that it remains behind the line agreed with Natural England.  Following a further expression concern about the situation at Full Council two weeks ago from my colleague Cllr John Fenty, I met him on site last Wednesday when the tide was out. It was plain to see that growth has now extended well beyond the agreed line. Also, I would suggest, there is now evidence that, because the extended growth is encouraging further mud deposition, it is threatening to change the character of the beach adjacent to the Leisure Centre. Because of these concerns, I have placed an item of urgent business relating the Salt Marsh on tonight’s Regeneration, Environment & Housing Scrutiny Panel meeting agenda.

Your Administration needs to stop dithering, get a grip of these fundamental issues and sort them out! Tourism is vital to area and there’s a real danger of us losing business to competing east coast resorts.

With regard to cash to deal with urgent problems like these, in the short-term that’s why we have balances and contingencies. This Labour administration has dragged its feet with transformational projects like the Operational Services Review and Making Waste Pay and failed to introduce a much-needed Car Parking Strategy, despite considerable cross-party work in scrutiny panels and working groups. The result is failure to take out millions of pounds of costs and potentially raise extra revenue through charging which would have more than covered the cost of resolving the threats I’ve set out above.

Yours sincerely
Cllr Philip Jackson

Sunday, 24 July 2016


DEMOLITION works are due to start soon on dilapidated buildings which played a key role in World War II.

The former RAF station off South Sea Lane, Humberston, served as an early warning radar base  to detect low flying enemy aircraft.

After being vacated by the RAF, the site was occupied by the YMCA and, more recently, by the Tertia Trust which provided holidays for disadvantaged children.

However, since Tertia fell on hard times a couple of years ago, the whole area has become overgrown and much vandalised.

The land has reverted  to the owners, Bourne Leisure - operators of the Thorpe Park caravan park - who, subject to no overriding objections, intend to start demolition and clearance works later this year.

Says Rachel Davies of the firm's agents, Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners: "There have been attempts to set the buildings alight, resulting (on more than one occasion) in the attendance of the fire brigade.

"The buildings pose  a security and safety concern, and Bourne Leisure are keen to remediate the situation promptly prior to the redevelopment of the site."

There is an  electricity sub-station on the land, but this has not been earmarked for demolition.

One of the buildings earmarked for demolition

The former gym has been heavily vandalised


THE two sites most favoured by North East Lincolnshire Council for development as potential permanent Gypsy/ Traveller sites can be revealed.

They are plots of land: 

  • On Hewitt’s Avenue, Cleethorpes
  • At Grimsby’s former Western School

The first of these is being looked on particularly favourably - it is on a main road, and it is close to a supermarket, Tesco, which sells food and other goods across a wide spectrum.

Other advantages are its proximity both to a soft fruit farm and to the Altyre Way motor dealership complex should Gypsies/ Travellers wish to trade up to newer vehicles.

The following  three sites are also possibilities:

* Lindsey Lower School playing field
* Bradley Hollow
* Quantock Road amenity space

The following other Grimsby/ Immingham locations are on the list but regarded as outsiders for flood risk or other reasons:

* Cromwell Road
* Nelson Way
* Freshney Parkway
* Birchin way
* Convamore Road
* Prince Albert Gardens
* Kingston Gardens
* Manby Road
* Spring Street playing fields
* Ings Lane

The proposals are being put out to consultation before any decision is made.

Says council official Jacqui Wells: “The local authority has a duty to look after the welfare of Gyspies and Travellers who arrive in the area.

“They must be offered housing, social service support, schooling and medical support while they are resident in the borough.

“Once notification is received of an encampment, joint visits are carried out with the police to conduct welfare checks.

“If the site is owned by the council, officers will serve Travellers a Notification of Direction, requesting that the site is vacated.

“Travellers are also provided with a Code of Conduct.”