“I think everyone’s heard enough excuses from Yorkshire Water” – Graham Stuart MP to demand improvement from the company as he appears before Council inquiry into the Saltend stench

Graham Stuart, the MP for Beverley and Holderness, will demand Yorkshire Water puts an end to the recurring stench from the Saltend Waste Water Treatment Plant when he appears before an official council inquiry on Tuesday.

The inquiry has been called by East Riding Council following the latest incident of foul smells from the plant, which processes sewage from Hull. The Council served an abatement order on Yorkshire Water in August after the company’s failure to stop people’s lives from being blighted again this summer.

Graham has campaigned consistently on the issue since he was elected MP in 2005. Progress was made in 2011 when a new £3 million odour control unit was installed at the Saltend plant, but the problem keeps rearing its head.

Graham has met senior Yorkshire Water officials on numerous occasions, raised the issue with ministers in Parliament and urged East Riding Council repeatedly to do whatever is necessary to incentivise the company to solve the problem, which worsens during the summer at the very time local people want to be outdoors. Graham first called for East Riding Council to consider financial penalties on Yorkshire Water in 2013 – a call he repeated during the most recent outbreak.

Speaking ahead of the evidence session at County Hall, Graham said:

“It’s great that East Riding Council is holding this inquiry into how we can bring an end to the unacceptable stink from the Saltend treatment works. This summer’s outbreak was a nightmare for nearby residents and it’s high time decisive action was taken to deliver improvement – I think everyone has heard enough excuses from Yorkshire Water.

“Local people have shown their deep frustration through the petition that’s been gathered to call for an end to the stink. I pay tribute to their campaign and to the hard work of local councillors, in particular Mike Bryan who has been tireless in fighting for action in the Council chamber. When I appear before the inquiry I’m going to re-emphasise the need to put a stop to this situation once and for all.”

MP says Hollym and Withernsea residents lack trust in Yorkshire Water over water treatment works proposal

Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, has heard from residents in Hollym and Withernsea who are concerned about how they may be affected by Yorkshire Water’s proposal to re-site the water treatment works which treats Withernsea’s sewerage.

Graham said “Residents of Hollym and Withernsea have let me know they are concerned that the site Yorkshire Water proposes to move the water treatment works to will lead to them suffering smells. I understand their worries, and their lack of trust in Yorkshire Water, given that both Hedon and Beverley residents have had to put up with smells this summer from the Saltend and Beverley water treatment plants.

“I am pleased that Yorkshire Water is consulting with residents on their plans, with the next drop-in session taking place next Thursday, 24 September, at Hollym Village Hall between 3pm and 7pm. I urge all residents to go along to find out more and to ask their questions.

“I have written to the Chief Executive of Yorkshire Water to let him know that my constituents need assurance that unpleasant odours will not waft over the village, the golf course, the caravan parks, and into Withernsea. The caravan parks also need to know that the screening of the site will be carried out with mature trees and shrubs which will quickly hide the site from view. I will also be asking if there is another site which could be used which would alleviate everyone’s concerns.”

Councillor Lyn Healing said “At the Yorkshire Water Drop-In event this week Withernsea residents told me they are up in arms that this new water treatment plant might lead to unpleasant smells in the town and they need to know what to expect. I sit on the Planning Committee which will determine the planning application in due course and so I am taking a very close interest in Yorkshire Water’s proposals to make sure that when I vote on the issue I have all the information I need to come to the right decision based on the facts. I look forward to hearing more residents’ views at the Drop-In on Thursday 24 September.”

Councillor Arthur Hodgson said “I attended Yorkshire Water’s drop-in event last week, and will be at next week’s one as well. Residents told me of their worries about the potential for smells, and that they are just not prepared to have their lives blighted in that way. I am looking forward to hearing what Yorkshire Water’s Plan B is as that might resolve many of the issues. I’m pleased our MP, Graham Stuart, is highlighting Hollym’s and Withernsea’s concerns to Yorkshire Water’s Chief Executive.”

Mr Adrian Boasman, Vice Chairman of Hollym Parish Council said “I would prefer to see the site in a different location but still between the sea and the village, so that the prevailing wind takes any odours over the sea, by-passing the village completely, as it does now. I don’t understand why Yorkshire Water would build a water treatment plant on the windward side of the village. I would also like to know what other sites are possible and why Yorkshire Water has discounted them.”

Graham Stuart to mark World Alzheimer’s Day with East Riding Dementia Action Alliance

Graham Stuart MP will mark World Alzheimer’s Day on Monday when he attends the East Riding Dementia Action Alliance celebration event at St Mary’s Hall in Beverley.

Graham will present certificates to organisations in recognition of their work with the Dementia Action Alliance to become dementia friendly.

The East Riding Dementia Action Alliance aims to support communities and businesses located or operating within the East Riding of Yorkshire to take low cost actions that enable people with dementia to be active and involved.

Graham said, “The Dementia Action Alliance is doing tremendous work in the East Riding to support people living with dementia.  This is a condition that affects 850,000 people across the UK and it’s great that the Dementia Action Alliance is working with businesses and institutions to ensure dementia sufferers can continue to lead a full life.

“World Alzheimer’s Day represents a valuable opportunity to celebrate the progress that is being made and the hard work that is being put in.  I want to congratulate all those receiving certificates on their work to create a more dementia friendly society.”

Graham Stuart says “PCC vindicated on rural crime focus”

Graham Stuart, Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness and Chairman of the All-Party Parliament Group on Rural Services, chaired a meeting in Parliament this week on rural crime. Also in attendance were Lord Harris of Haringey (the Chairman of the APPG on Policing), Julia Mulligan (National Rural Crime Network Chairman and Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire), and Simon Prince (Chief Constable for Dyfed-Powys and National Policing lead for Rural and Wildlife Crime).

The focus on the meeting was the recently published National Rural Crime Network report, ‘The true cost of crime in rural areas’, which suggested that rural crime could cost more than £800 million every year, the equivalent of £200 for every rural household.

Graham chairs meeting on rural crime in Parliament

Graham chairs meeting on rural crime in Parliament

The survey also indicates that farmers and young families are the most common victims of crime. The average cost of these crimes is over £2,500 for a household and over £4,000 for a business. The report also found a vicious circle of low expectations, leading to chronic under-reporting, anger, frustration and worry.

As a consequence of these findings, the NRCN is making seven recommendations including fair funding for rural areas; more joined up working with partners and communities, building on rural resilience; embedding best practice; developing new policies and ways of working; and ensuring a more targeted approach within rural communities.

Graham said: “This report on rural crime shows why Matthew Grove, the excellent Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside, has been completely right to make rural crime a priority and tackle the bias towards urban areas. It also shows the importance of having a directly-elected Police and Crime Commissioner, who is accountable to local people and their policing needs.

“In July, I held a street surgery in Withernsea with Matthew Grove to discuss with local residents their concerns about neighbourhood policing in remote rural areas. I am particularly grateful to Matthew that he has maintained levels of neighbourhood policing in our rural areas, even at a time when he has had to find savings in the overall budget.

“I would also like to pay tribute to the National Rural Crime Network for producing such a detailed and important report. I am glad to see that rural crime is getting the attention that it deserves. Many people assume that, because of the natural beauty of our countryside, there is little or no crime. We now know that the reality is very different.

“As Chairman of the Rural Fair Share Campaign, I know that too often rural areas get a raw deal from national funding formulas. As this report shows, policing is no exception. Rural and urban policing should be given equal funding and importance.”

Graham Stuart champions older people’s issues with Age UK

Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart will meet the Chief Officer of Age UK in the East Riding, Julie Woolley, this Friday to discuss older people’s issues and learn more about the charity’s work in the area.

Graham, who became one of Age UK’s “Age Champion MPs” in June, will meet Julie at Age UK’s office in Beverley. By signing up as an Age Champion, MPs agree to work to help make the UK and their community a great place to grow older.

Graham said, “I’m looking forward to meeting the Chief Officer of Age UK, who do fantastic work supporting people across the East Riding and championing their interests. I was delighted to become an Age Champion MP this summer and am determined to stand up for older people in the House of Commons.

“We all know people today are living longer than ever before. This is a tremendous thing but it means it is increasingly important to cater properly for people in later life. For my part, I am glad that this Government is standing up for older people by delivering the triple lock on pensions, protecting universal pensioner benefits and investing in our NHS so that it can meet the challenges of the future.”

I’ll help Sproatley get their pedestrian crossing, says MP

Graham Stuart, MP, for Beverley & Holderness has been contacted by a number of constituents in Sproatley to say the village needs a pedestrian crossing on the main road, near the village shop.

Graham said “I heard from residents that it can be hard to cross the main road which they believe is effectively splitting the village in two. I know traffic flow surveys have been carried out which show no need for a pedestrian crossing but the strong feeling in the village is that the perception is one of excess heavy traffic and that some sort of pedestrian crossing is required.

“I am told that many school children, the elderly and disabled, have to cross to “the other side” of the village on this road and are either frightened to do so or require assistance. One resident says it is a shame her eight year old daughter cannot go and visit her Gran on “the other side” whenever she wants; she has to wait for an adult to chaperone her across the busy road. Another told me her son, who has mobility problems and suffers from difficulty with his balance, has become a recluse and will not attempt to visit the local shop, having fallen on numerous occasions while trying to cross the road.

“Having heard these stories I was more than happy to see if there is something I can do to help the village and yesterday met the Director of Environment and Neighbourhood Services at East Riding Council to explore ideas to solve the problem. The Director, Nigel Leighton, told me the Council had no objection, in principle, if the funding could be found to pay for a feasibility study and installation. Although it’s disappointing that the Council does not have the funds to pay for the pedestrian crossing I shall keep looking for a third party to pay for the feasibility of it. “

Ms Pat O’Berg, a resident of Westlands Road said “I’m glad Graham’s trying to sort out a safe way to cross the road for us as something needs to be done before there’s an accident. I know some people just won’t risk trying to cross it and so can’t get to the shop or to visit friends and family. Lots of people have to cross the road with dogs, like I do, and I’m always terrified the dog will slip his lead and cause an accident.”

Carolina Rudd-Baggaley of Westlands Road said “We certainly need a crossing. It is like playing Russian roulette crossing the main road in Sproatley.”

Traditional Holderness on-shore fishing under threat says MP

Graham Stuart, Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness, has written to the Fisheries Minister, George Eustice MP, calling for a special dispensation for the local Holderness fishermen from new EU regulation.

EU member states recently voted for the minimum landing size for sea bass to be increased from 36cm to 42cm, in order to encourage the recovery of stocks, following a 20% decline in numbers over the past ten years.

Five fishermen currently hold licences for intertidal sea bass fishing on the Holderness coast. They fear that their businesses may no longer be viable after the regulation comes into force in September this year. This follows the recent introduction of a new bylaw which requires the fishermen to attend their nets at all times.

Together with the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Graham has proposed that the fishermen be given a special local dispensation from the EU regulation, recognising the unique local conditions and fishing techniques. He has written to the Minister responsible for fishing to request a meeting, so that the Holderness fishermen can inform the Minister first-hand what the impact of the regulation will be on their businesses and the local economy.

Graham said: “The Holderness on-shore net fishermen have been fishing in this sustainable manner for centuries; they are part of our local culture and heritage which we treasure and wish to see continue long into the future. These regulations would be extremely damaging not just to their businesses but to the economy of the whole area. It is vital that we get a special dispensation for these local fishermen so that this traditional fishing method can continue.

“I understand the need to conserve the sea bass population. However the small scale of the Holderness on-shore fishery would mean that a local dispensation would not prevent a recovery in numbers more broadly. It would be a tragedy to lose this industry from our coastline and I intend to take this issue to Ministers and press them to safeguard this important part of our fishing heritage for future generations.”

Shaun Wingham, a local on-shore fisherman from Withernsea, said: “I am delighted that Graham has taken up this issue with the Minister and is taking our case to the highest level. With these new regulations, our livelihood is under threat and it is vital that we get this dispensation so that this traditional method of fishing can continue on the Holderness coast.”

Yorkshire Water risks prosecution if the Saltend Stink returns next year says MP

Following East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s investigations into Yorkshire Water’s performance at its Saltend Water Treatment Works the Council is, today, serving an Abatement Notice on the water company ordering it to stop the nuisance of the smells emanating from the Treatment Works.

Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, says “I am very pleased to hear of the Council’s rapid action to serve the Abatement Notice on Yorkshire Water. The Council has taken this decisive step following a summer of horrendous smells suffered by residents in the area around the Saltend Water Treatment Works. For years I have been campaigning to stop the stink and I hope this shot across the bows to Yorkshire Water will prompt it to sort it out once and for all. While progress was made with the introduction of the second odour control unit in 2011, Yorkshire Water has not got a grip on controlling the foul odours during the summer pea season. Today’s Abatement Notice puts Yorkshire Water on the spot – sort out the smells before next summer or risk finding yourself in Court being prosecuted for them.

“East Riding of Yorkshire Councillors Mike Bryan and John Dennis have done sterling work over the years to hold Yorkshire Water to account on behalf of residents who have been badly affected by the disgusting odours, and I hope that next summer we will see that their hard work has finally paid off”.

Councillor Mike Bryan commented “Last month, when the vile smells returned with a vengeance, ruining everyone’s summer, I asked the Leader of the Council to consider whether or not it was doing everything in its power to stop them. I was pleased that, as a result of my intervention, immediate investigations into Yorkshire Water’s operations at Saltend were swiftly carried out, which has led to the good news today that my residents can expect to have a summer they can enjoy next year and in the years after that. It’s taken a massive amount of work to get to the Abatement Notice but it will all have been worth it if my residents can sit outside next year to enjoy their gardens.”

Graham Stuart MP welcomes news that the Royal Mail pub is regarded as a valuable community asset by East Riding Council in planning dispute

The property developer behind the proposed closure and demolition of the Royal Mail pub in Thorngumbald, and its replacement by a Coop supermarket, will have to justify the loss of a valuable community facility before local authority officers make their recommendation to councillors for consideration, it has been disclosed.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s planning authority has asked New River Retail, the property developer which owns the Royal Mail, to provide further information to justify the loss of the public house, which officials consider to be a valuable community facility – as do many members of the public and Thorngumbald Parish Council.

The information the Council has asked for includes details of the financial viability of the Royal Mail pub as well as how it has been advertised for sale by the developer. Officials will then consider this before making their recommendation to East Riding councillors, who will then vote on the issue.

The information was disclosed to South West Holderness Councillor Mike Bryan, who inquired into the issue after local concerns were raised about the loss of the Royal Mail pub.

Responding to the news, Graham Stuart MP said,

“I completely understand the concerns of those people in Thorngumbald who want to keep the Royal Mail pub open and oppose a new supermarket, fearing that a part of village history would disappear as a result.

“Councillor Mike Bryan has done a great job of looking into this issue on behalf of local people. I know the news he has uncovered will please a lot of people who view the Royal Mail as a key part of Thorngumbald life.

“Although this is good news it is not the end of the road. The additional information the Council has requested from the property developer could still sway its recommendation – and ultimately the matter will be decided by democratically elected local councillors. I will continue to monitor the issue closely and look forward to hearing people’s views when I visit the Royal Mail pub with Mike on the 1st of September.”

Councillor Mike Bryan said,

“The planning process is still not complete and officers’ final recommendation to the Planning Committee, on which I sit, will be affected by the extra information the property developer has to try to provide to justify the loss of a valuable community asset.

“I am grateful to Graham for his support on this issue and we will both be at the Royal Mail pub from 6pm to 8pm on Tuesday 1 September to meet residents and hear their opinions.”

Graham Stuart MP responds to Council announcement of an urgent review into the Saltend stench

Graham Stuart has welcomed today’s announcement by East Riding Council leader Stephen Parnaby that an urgent review panel will be established to investigate how Yorkshire Water plans to solve the smell from the Saltend Waste Water Treatment Plant, which has seriously affected local residents this summer and on and off for several years previously.

The review panel, which will be made up of East Riding councillors, was announced in response to a question from South West Holderness Councillor Mike Bryan, who has been at the forefront of the campaign to ensure Yorkshire Water is held to account.

Graham said,

“I am delighted that East Riding of Yorkshire of Council will conduct an urgent review into the longstanding problems at the Saltend plant. This has been an issue I have campaigned on for many years and although progress has been made, not least with the addition of a second odour control unit in 2011, this summer’s outbreak has revealed that the plant’s systems still cannot cope with high levels of demand.

“Yorkshire Water have informed me of the measures they are taking to address the problem in the short term, including the delivery of 17 tanker loads of fresh bacteria a day to deal with the excess, and also their plans to prevent this problem recurring next year and in the years after that. This Review can examine those plans in detail and ensure people can enjoy their summer rather than have it ruined by the stench.”

Councillor Mike Bryan said, “I was extremely pleased with the action proposed by Cllr Parnaby and the fact that he shares our frustration over disappointing performance of Yorkshire Water. A Review Panel made up of East Riding of Yorkshire Councillors will be able to look in depth at this issue which has blighted the lives of residents and local businesses for so many years and come up with recommendations. We owe it to our residents to ensure Yorkshire Water find a permanent solution.”