Is democracy working?

student-vote-democracy-word-cloud

A big question for a little village website, you might think.

The Government claims to give you a choice. You want to have proper information to make that choice. Both sides try to bombard you with so-called facts and you sometimes end up feeling none the wiser. Occasionally one side or the other comes out with something truly outrageous.

But we’re not talking about the EU referendum. We are talking about the fracking debate, the result of which could have an even greater and more visible effect on our communities here than whether we are IN or OUT.

The first major decision will be taken by North Yorkshire County Council at its meeting on Friday and ending Monday! (see Slingsby Village website’s earlier post on this for more details). In spite of the overwhelming local objections to Third Energy’s fracking application at Kirby Misperton, officers have recommended that the Council should approve it, and the Government will be right behind them. If you are not already planning to go to Northallerton to comment, query or protest, you may be too late to influence that decision.

But whatever happens in the coming days, whether it be firing the starting gun on fracking or nipping the industrialisation of Ryedale in the bud, it will be just the start of a process.

The debate will continue and you will want to know more.

The Slingsby Village website has been heard to refer to itself as an independent news-oriented website. We steer clear of politics, on the whole. So if we were to give you a link to Frack Free Ryedale’s website, we would need to do the same for Third Energy (see further below)

We prefer, therefore, to point you to an independent website run by journalists specialising in the oil and gas field: https://drillordrop.com/

We hope you find it will be worth a moment of your time.

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http://frackfreeryedale.org/

https://www.third-energy.com/

Fracking – planning officers recommend approval

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On Friday 20th May North Yorkshire County Council is due to determine the planning application by Third Energy to frack at Kirby Misperton.  The meeting will take place at 9.30 am in County Hall, Northallerton and is open to the public. We understand that the meeting is expected to continue on Monday 23rd May.

The officers’ report to Councillors has been published today and can be viewed on the NYCC website via this link.  The report is 252 pages long, with the conclusion and recommendation in pages 247-252.  Despite over 4,000 objections (and only 32 supporters), the report recommends that the application be approved subject to conditions.

At Ryedale, district councillors voted on 15 March to override their officers’ recommendation and come out against this fracking application.  Important voices are already calling upon the county councillors, who have the final say, to act likewise, defy their officers and reflect the widespread local opposition by rejecting the application.

Anti-fracking campaigners are expected come out in force at County Hall on 20th May.

In view of the large number of people expected to attend the meeting, special arrangements have been put in place.  The Council has advised that capacity in the main meeting room is likely to be taken up by people who have registered to speak on the application.  Video relays will be provided to various additional meeting rooms in County Hall and an audio relay will be provided to the front of County Hall.  No parking is available on the County Hall campus.  Northallerton train station is across the road from County Hall.

Below, Slingsby Village website keeps you up to date with other recent developments:

  • The Environment Agency has granted the environmental permits that Third Energy need to operate at Kirby Misperton. The permits set out the conditions that Third Energy must follow to protect groundwater, surface water and air quality and to ensure the safe storage, management and disposal of wastes.  These permits are separate from the planning application that the County Council are considering.  Both planning permission and environmental permits must be in place before operations can begin.
  • Flamingo Land have written to the County Council to express their concern about the fracking application. Their letter states: “Our fear is that the current application is merely the start of a process which will lead to at least 40 local drilling sites within the Ryedale district, then tourism within our area will be negatively affected permanently.  We were informed that the used water would be piped to containers, removed and treated, but now this does not seem to be the case.  Additionally, we now have concern for our beloved, and in many cases critically endangered, animal collection’s welfare…. Over and above our animal collection we now have health concerns for local residents, visiting public and our resort guests.” (Source: York Press 5.5.2016)
  • INEOS, another fracking company which holds exploratory licences covering several areas in Ryedale, has announced that they are “firing the starting gun” on their programme. They plan to carry out surveys this summer before lodging planning applications for core drilling later this year.  They will be holding open public exhibition events in the coming weeks and months – no details yet available. An INEOS meeting for Ryedale and York councillors took place in the Milton Rooms in Malton on 11th May.

Watch Slingsby Village website for further developments on this important local issue.

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Soup-a-lunch 18th May 2016

Soup-a-lunch on Wednesday 18th May 2016 at 12 noon in Slingsby Methodist Schoolroom at the Chapel.

Come along for soup, sandwiches and a pudding.
All are welcome, especially seniors.
No charge, but donations welcome.  Numbers would be appreciated but not essential, just turn up.
Contacts are  Rachel & Stephen Prest on 628277 and Trudy Carr on 628302.

Parish Council AGM 16th May 2016

Monday 16th May 2016 at 7pm – Annual General Meeting of Slingsby, South Holme and Fryton Parish Council at Slingsby Village Hall. The agenda is:-

  1. Apologies for Absence.
  2. Election of Chair of the Parish Council.
  3. The Chair to sign the declaration of Office.
  4. Election of Vice Chair.
  5. Representatives.

To agree who will represent the Parish Council at the following meetings:-

Village Hall Committee.

The YLCA Meetings.

RDC Liaison Meetings.

6. Signatories for Cheques.

7. Declarations of Interest on Agenda Items.

8. Items raised by members of the public.

9. To agree and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 21st March 2016, and the Parish Meeting held on 25th April 2016.

10. Co-option to fill two vacancies for Parish Councillors.

11. Items raised at the Annual Parish Meeting not on the Agenda.

12. Exchange of information and items for the next agenda.

13.Planning.(To consider and make comments on planning applications received.)

14.Review of Assets.(circulated)

15.Approve Annual Accounts for 2015/16 (Circulated).

16.Parish Council’s Archive Records.

17.Review of Risk Assessment (Circulated).

18.Village Items.

Street Lights, Highways Issues, Neighbourhood Watch scheme, Bench at top of Sheep Walk, Renewal of Parish signs

19.Reports (For information only)

Chair’s report

Clerk’s Report.(circulated)

20. Finance

Members of the public and press are invited to attend.

Date of next meeting 18th July 2016.

Local History Group outdoors May 14th 2016

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Saturday 14th May 2016 from 10 a.m. Local History Group bird walk starting at The Green. A stroll around Slingsby and its outskirts lasting about two hours. All are welcome.

This is a follow-on from the LHG January bird watch, when the Group collected numbers of bird species spotted in order to update the records of birds seen in Slingsby over the last 120 years. Geoff Myers, who has extensive knowledge of wildlife around Slingsby and this part of Yorkshire generally, helped us look at the findings earlier this year and has kindly agreed to help the Group to improve bird spotting techniques on this Spring walk.