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Tickets go on sale for the Beverley Literature Festival 2014

Tickets go on sale today (Tuesday 26 August) for the Beverley Literature Festival 2014, which will be back in October for the 12th year running, showcasing crime, romance, food, politics, history, storytelling, poetry, magic and music.


This year’s programme has over 40 events taking place over eleven days, with a line-up including Baroness Shirley Williams, multi-award-winning author Sarah Waters, international bestseller Kathy Lette, food critic and journalist Jay Rayner and Norwegian crime writing sensation Tore Renberg.

Dorcas Taylor, Director of the Festival, and director of Wordquake, East Riding Libraries’ enhanced literature development project, said :

“We’re proud to offer another diverse programme this year. There really is something for everyone, and we want people to come and get involved with as much as possible. It’s a very exciting time for the town! We’re delighted to be working alongside Beverley Food Festival for the first time this year, and really hope this adds an extra something for foodies and book lovers alike.”

This year’s festival has been part funded by Arts Council England along with East Riding of Yorkshire Council, and the children’s programme is supported by the Beverley Building Society.

Alongside authors, historians, broadcasters, directors and journalists, director Andrew Sinclair will introduce the screening of his classic film Under Milk Wood, and Beverley Film Society will join the Festival again to host the Thursday evening film, The Heiress. Historian Tracy Borman will be returning to the festival to talk about Thomas Cromwell; Larkin scholar James Booth will be talking about his biography on the famous poet alongside readings by University of Hull actors; and authors Dinah Jefferies and Isabel Wolff will engage the audience in a lively discussion on the appeal of historical fiction.

For those who wish to develop their own literary skills, there’s a two-day intensive creative writing masterclass from writer-tutors Anthony Dunn and Helen Cross. Focussing on character development, creating a sense of place in poetry and exploring narrative voice, the workshops will aim to develop and improve writing style through a mixture of taught classes and on-on-one tutoring. There will also be workshops on Scriptwriting with award-winning novelist Jeremy Page, and Romantic Comedy with Rhoda Baxter and Jane Lovering.

But Beverley Literature Festival isn’t just for adults.

Dorcas Taylor added:

“We also have another fantastic line-up for kids this year, transforming Beverley Library and Treasure House into a riot of activity, magic and song. We are fortunate to bring spectacularly diverse and talented performers and writers to the festival yet again, and children of all ages can enjoy creative writing, storytelling, one-man shows and workshops on writing for the web, graphic illustration and poetry.”

Highlights for children include: Stan Cullimore, former guitarist from one of Hull’s most famous exports The Housemartins and author of over 120 children’s books who will have the audience writing their own songs and staring open-mouthed at his fantastical tales; Nick Toczek, a lightning-fast one-man show with poetry, puppets, extraordinary magic and storytelling; an exclusive workshop from James Giddings, the man who can even find poetry in an apple; and the return of the renowned Stephen Joseph Theatre Outreach team, inviting the audience to follow Colin the Caveman in his mission to invent the wheel (singing and dancing obligatory). Older ones might enjoy the Writing for the Web workshop with online expert Katherine Dunn-Mines, or a Graphic Illustration workshop with illustrator and designer Simon from House of Deadleg.


Councillor Richard Burton, portfolio holder for civic wellbeing and culture, added:

“We are very grateful to Arts Council England for its continued support of all our work – not just the festivals, but our lively outreach programme too. We are also delighted to welcome the Beverley Building Society on board. Their generosity has enabled us to bring this year’s children’s programme alive. I am looking forward to another very exciting and innovative Festival.”

Beverley Literature Festival launches on Wednesday 1 October with the East Riding Premiere of John Godber’s latest commission, Who Cares. In collaboration with Wordquake and Hull University, the celebrated director will introduce his most recent play, a Kafka-esque cautionary tale told with characteristic black humour and performed by students from the University’s acclaimed drama department.

Tickets go on sale on Tuesday August 26th. For more information and how to book, visit www.bevlit.org, call the box office on 01482 392699. Follow the team on twitter @bevlitfest or find them on Facebook.

Free Health Checks Rolled Out

Free NHS health checks offered to people aged between 40 and 74 years are now available across the whole of the East Riding. 

The five-yearly checks are available from providers across the region, including some GP practices, pharmacies, East Riding of Yorkshire Council leisure centres and by the health trainers.
The checks will assess a person’s risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and dementia. By taking early action, steps can be taken to improve health and help to prevent the onset of these conditions.

As this service aims to identify people at risk of developing cardiovascular conditions, anyone who is already being treated by a health care professional for any of the conditions listed or has been prescribed medication for these conditions, such as statins, does not need to be re-assessed and is therefore not eligible for the service.

Checks take 20 to 30 minutes and are based on straightforward questions and measurements, such as age, gender, family history, height, weight and blood pressure. There will also be a simple blood test to measure cholesterol levels.

After the check is completed, the results will be discussed and advice will be offered, such as how to get help to give up smoking, to be more active, to eat healthily or to cut back on alcohol.
If necessary, the person who has had the check can be referred to other services. The results of the check will be passed to their GP.

So far over 8,000 people living in the East Riding have undertaken this offer. Now it is hoped that thousands more will take up the offer.

Residents wanting to have a check can find out more about the service at www.eastriding.gov.uk/health-checks or by looking on the NHS Choices website www.nhs.uk/Conditions/nhs-health-check/Pages/NHS-Health-Check.aspx

Councillor Jonathan Owen, chairman of the East Riding health and wellbeing board, said: “I cannot urge people strongly enough to take advantage of having a health check.
“Catching the early signs of conditions that may develop later in life means that steps can be taken at an early stage to prevent illness developing and simple changes to lifestyle can often have significant impact on living a longer, healthier life.”

Providers of free NHS health checks in the East Riding are:-

General Practice (GPs):-
Bartholomew Medical Group, Goole; Brough and South Cave Medical Practice; Church View Surgery, Hedon; Holme and Bubwith Medical Group, Holme on Spalding Moor.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council Leisure Services:-
Beverley Leisure Complex, Goole Leisure Centre; Bridlington Sports Centre; Hornsea Leisure Centre; Pavilion Leisure Centre, Withernsea; King George V Leisure Centre, Cottingham; Driffield Leisure Centre; Francis Scaife Sports Centre, Pocklington; Haltemprice Leisure Centre, Anlaby.

Humber NHS Foundation Trust:-
East Riding Community Hospital, Beverley; Health Trainer shop, Bridlington; Health Trainer shop, Goole; Pavilion Leisure Centre, Withernsea.

Pharmacies:-
East Riding high street branches of Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy and Superdrug.

Council Harnesses Power of Social Media

East Riding of Yorkshire Council is continuing to expand its use of social media as an additional channel to engage with residents and as a way of supporting the services it delivers. 

As part of the council’s business transformation programme, the authority is continuously seeking new opportunities to do things differently, better and more cost-effectively, while at the same time providing services that continue meeting increasing demands and changing expectations of local communities.

Many residents in the East Riding are already logging onto the internet every day, with many using popular and constantly growing social media platforms, including:

• Twitter- which has 10 million active users in the UK
• Facebook – which has 27 million users in the UK
• YouTube – the second most popular search engine after Google.

Through social media, the council can go to where people are already socialising, communicating, accessing and sharing information and provide a more convenient way for customers to contact their local authority.

Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The council has taken a planned approach to the use of social media and we are beginning to see these channels develop, providing benefits for both our residents and the authority.

“A significant number of residents prefer to use the web, via mobile and tablet devices, including social media for most of the things they do on a day-to-day basis. For many it’s become the norm.
“By enabling contact this way, the council can reduce the cost of enquiries and offer more flexibility and convenience for customers at times and place to suit them. It also frees up valuable time allowing customer service advisors to focus on complex cases where support is most needed.”

The council currently uses Facebook and Twitter to engage with residents, providing real-time information, updates on council services and changes and details of events and activities. It is also an effective way of communicating with communities on topics of interest and receiving feedback.

The council’s twitter account @East_Riding has over 7,000 followers and has sent over 6,700 tweets since launching.

Residents can also like the council on Facebook at www.facebook/EastRidingCouncil to receive updates on health and leisure activities, events and service information across the East Riding and to comment and provide feedback on posts.

Many residents have been getting involved on social media about the upcoming Boundary Referendum and commenting as to what they think about remaining as part of the East Riding or becoming part of an expanded city of Hull.

Over the last six months, the council has seen a growth in the number of questions posed by residents about council services through social media. Potholes and areas affected by flooding are both examples of how the council can quickly guide followers to online solutions on the website, giving people an instant online fix to their enquiry. This has generated positive feedback from social media users and updates other followers too.

The council also offers a range of informative and instructive videos on its own YouTube channel, from British Sign language videos on council services to the redevelopment of Bridlington Leisure World. YouTube works alongside Facebook and Twitter, supplying more in-depth and visual information, with more content being developed for this channel over the coming months to provide easier access to information for residents.

Councillor Parnaby added: “East Riding of Yorkshire Council will continue to develop and grow as a presence on social media, offering a more open and transparent relationship with customers and offering new ways of involving residents in local news, events and activities.”

For information and updates, residents can follow the council on Twitter @East_Riding and like the authority’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EastRidingCouncil or subscribe to their YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/eastridingyorkshire/feed

East Riding Schools Hold Their Own Against National Drop in GCSE Results

Many schools in the East Riding are celebrating improved GCSE results, despite national changes which have seen a drop in results across the country.

Indications are that 60 per cent of students in East Riding schools and academies attained the gold standard of five or more A* to C grades, including English and mathematics, this year.

Many East Riding schools are reporting significantly improved progress measures, which are used by Ofsted as the main measure to judge achievement, and a number are celebrating improvements in their top grades, despite the national dip.

Bridlington School, Beverley Grammar School, Hessle High Academy, Howden School, The Market Weighton School and Woldgate College are among those celebrating improved results.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council is equally pleased that most other East Riding schools have maintained and consolidated their good outcomes this year, improving their progress measures in English and mathematics at the same time.

The results for students achieving the gold standard mark are in the table below:-

Beverley Grammar School 74
Beverley High School 70
Bridlington School 54
Cottingham High School 57
Driffield School 53
Goole High School
Headlands School 50
Hessle High School 63
Hornsea School 55
Howden School 64
Longcroft School and Performing Arts College 62
South Holderness Technology College 54
South Hunsley School
The Market Weighton School 66
The Snaith School 66
Withernsea High School 42
Woldgate College 67
Wolfreton School 62

The national drop in standards this year has resulted from three changes:

• vocational subjects make a smaller contribution to scores,
• only single entries for exams are allowed and
• changes to English examination grade boundaries.

Kevin Hall, the council's director of children, families and schools, said: "We are tremendously proud that year after year young people continue to achieve even better GCSE results in East Riding secondary schools in a wide range of qualifications.

"These impressive results are underpinned by many outstanding stories of hard work and application as well as committed teaching and support. We look forward to improving Ofsted inspection outcomes for East Riding schools building on the foundation of this year's improved outcomes

"We are delighted in the improvement: these results affirm our position as a local authority that aspires for and gets the best for our young people
"The performance in the gold standard of five or more A* to C grades, including English and maths, shows that key numeracy and literacy skills continue to thrive alongside other subjects and that we have got the balance right in our secondary schools.

"We are proud of the work done by young people throughout the East Riding, with the support of their carers and families. We greatly appreciate the hard work of head teachers, teaching and support staff that has contributed to these results.

"That young people achieve this improvement against a backdrop of the very low level of funding for East Riding schools from the Department for Education is a testament to their commitment to pupils' achievement and success.

Councillor Julie Abraham, portfolio holder for children, young people and education, said, "We are delighted with the improvement that many East Riding schools have brought about this year: this is down to the hard work of young people and their families supported by dedicated school staff.

"The East Riding of Yorkshire Council is committed to improving East Riding Schools until we have the some of the best in the country. This year's GCSE results are a pleasing move in the right direction.

"Together with improving A-level results last week, they show that young people in East Riding schools are achieving the success they deserve and going onto employment, education and training of their choice. This is confirmed by the above national average destination data for school and college leavers at 16 and 18 in the East Riding."

Joinery students secure work outside College

u.2.joiners.JPGJoinery students from East Riding College have been securing commissions before they have even finished their course.

Kim Hornshaw, 23, from Beverley, and Cameron Seward, 18, from Hutton Cranswick, have been asked to carry out domestic jobs as news of their skills has been passed among friends and family.
With the advice and support of tutor Craig Leach, the quality of their work has been so high that they are quoting on even more as word of mouth has spread further afield.

And Kim is finding that being a female joiner is opening doors for her, especially with other females who are often more comfortable discussing the work with her than with male joiners.
Kim said: “Being a female joiner is a unique selling point so the minute people find out, they are very curious.

“Mostly females have asked me to do jobs perhaps because many feel more comfortable talking to a woman joiner.”

She added: “I’ve already completed some work and I’m quoting on others at the moment. The basics that we are learning in the course give a foundation to be able to go out and figure out what to do if you’re commissioned for a job.

“For example, I’ve hung a door but never a gate but that transfers across and I always talk to Craig to get his thoughts. It’s great to know he’s here to give support.”

Cameron said: “I’ve had jobs through from friends of family and friends of friends because a lot of people get to know what you’re doing,

“I’ve hung doors, re-hung doors, completed a deck and quoted for two more. It’s a real confidence boost because I’ve worked hard over the past two years and I’m going out and getting the work.”

Tutor Craig Leach said: “Kim and Cameron have worked really hard in producing professional quality items for customers outside of course hours, utilising not only their joinery trade skills but applying essential skills integrated into their studies, from communication with customers to the design and costing of various projects.

“Developing the entrepreneurial skills which are strongly encouraged in the course has allowed for them to link their theory and practical work in College to real life projects, allowing for a greater understanding of their course of study.”

Kim is now looking to progress to the Level Three Diploma in Site Carpentry while Cameron is considering whether to be self-employed or continue his studies at level three.

For more information about joinery and other courses at East Riding College, go to www.eastridingcollege.ac.uk or call 0845 120 0037.

Dedication to learning earns recognition for Heather

u.2.heathereastcollege.JPGHard-working mum and student Heather McNulty has been commended for her commitment to learning by the organisers of Adult Learners’ Week.

Heather, 34, from Bridlington, received a certificate of achievement following her nomination by East Riding College tutor Bronia Davis.

She said: “I am thrilled with the award and glad I can inspire people. With hard work and determination, I have proved that anything is possible; you just have to put the work in and believe in yourself.

“Receiving this award makes me very proud of how far I have come and I cannot thank Bronia and my other tutors enough for recognising the hard work and effort I have put in and for nominating me.”

Having achieved a level three qualification in beauty therapy in 2012, Heather decided she wanted to qualify as a tutor and enrolled on the Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) course.
The course, in which she completed several assignments and some “micro-teaching”, gave her a taste for the work and she then enrolled on the two-year Certificate in Education course.
On completion of the first year, she enquired about doing an assessor’s qualification – to enable her to check learners’ competence at tasks in work – as she would need that as well to secure a teaching job.
Despite the additional workload, she enrolled on an Assessor Award and then increased it to a more demanding Assessor Certificate, to ensure she would be employable to teach and assess all types of beauty therapy qualifications.

Heather attended College one night per week on the Certificate in Education course and was a voluntary tutor every Friday.

Alongside this, Heather not only taught but also assessed the learners with the Friday group, she also travelled to the Beverley site by bus and train to assess the NVQ learners there, all while working nights with adults with learning difficulties and being heavily pregnant.

After completing the Certificate in Education in the summer of 2013, she took some time out to have her baby and then carried on with her Assessor Certificate and completed it in the November, six months ahead of target.

Even then, Heather was keen to continue learning and is now studying towards a BA in Education and Professional Development.

Learning and development tutor Bronia Davis nominated Heather for an Adult Learners’ Week Award because of her dedication to learning.

She said: “Heather’s professional approach and enthusiasm have been inspirational to the learners she has helped and continues to work with.

“I believe that she is living proof that through each qualification she has achieved, she has gained more confidence in her ability to succeed.”

East Riding College is now taking applications for courses starting in September. For more information and to browse courses, go to www.eastridingcollege.ac.uk
Ends

62 % Recycling Rate in East Riding Area

East Riding residents recycled 62 per cent of their waste in July, one of the highest recycling rates in the country.


The government’s recycling target for this year for all councils is 50 per cent.

East Riding residents have smashed through this target partly due to the more frequent collections of the blue recycling bins.

The fortnightly collections of the recycling bins, instead of four-weekly, was introduced by East Riding of Yorkshire Council due to popular demand by residents.

The annual recycling rate in the East Riding has shot up from 18 per cent in 2004 as the council began collecting more materials for recycling, including paper, glass, plastics, food and drink cartons, aerosols and cardboard.

The East Riding’s 135,000 brown bins were rolled out in 2009 and now collect food waste as well as garden waste. Last year more than 40,000 tonnes was sent for composting, the same weight as 5,000 double-decker buses.

From April, the council’s new waste contracts begin and will provide better value for money as well as making use of newer technologies.

The council has negotiated for the contractors to return some of the monetary value of recyclables, such as glass, paper and plastics, to help offset the costs of the waste collection and disposal services.

Last year, 31,000 tonnes was collected from the blue bins and sent for recycling. That is the same weight as 25,000 family cars.

The amount this year will be higher because all 150,000 blue bins in the East Riding are now emptied alternate weeks since the collection was rolled out in Goole in June.

A further big step forward is that waste in the green bins will no longer be dumped in landfill but will become an alternative fuel to make electricity. The days of sending millions of pounds in landfill tax to the government will be over.

Under the new contracts green bin waste will be sent to a power station at Ferrybridge for energy recovery.

Councillor Symon Fraser, portfolio holder for environment, housing and planning, said: “Sending waste to landfill was always an expensive bug bear for East Riding residents. They wanted us to find a way of putting that green bin waste to better use than paying millions to put it in a hole in the ground.

“The new contracts deliver just that for East Riding council tax payers. At the same time, the new contracts mean that the more we recycle the more money we save.

“Perhaps now is the time to review our recycling target. Should we all be setting a more challenging, higher recycling target? I am being asked, what about 70 per cent? Can we do it? My answer is that if anyone can, East Riding residents can.”

It means that the materials collected as waste by the council from around the East Riding will be used as resources and not simply as rubbish.

Last year, the council made 11.7 million bin collections, that is the number of times the East Riding’s blue, brown and green bins were emptied.

The council’s waste contracts are joint with Hull City Council and will manage the recycling and waste across a combined 263,000 households and 13 household waste and recycling sites. The contracts will cover the next 10 years and are worth around £200m.

The contracts will deliver value for money for council taxpayers and more flexible disposal services for the recyclable materials.

Register For Sky Ride Bridlington Area

This summer is all about cycling, as the Tour De France returned to British Soil earlier in July. But it doesn't stop there. There is still time to sign up to free Sky Ride Local bike ride this summer.

British Cycling have found the best routes, trained up ride leaders to guide and support you, and picked some cracking places to visit around the East Riding. With three different levels, there is something for everyone – whether you are building your confidence or looking to stretch your legs on a cycling challenge.

Sky Ride Local has already been successful in the East Riding this summer, with places being filled weekly on each ride. There have already been 12 rides that have taken place in the East Riding, all have been popular.
Visit goskyride.com/east-riding to find a ride near you and to book your free place.

Upcoming rides in the Bridlington area include:

Date Ride Location Ride Level
24 August, 10am Bridlington Challenging (23 miles)
14 September, 10am Sewerby Hall Easygoing (3 miles)

East Riding Top Of The Energy Group Buying Hotspots

As a new YORSwitch collective switching scheme for gas and electricity opens for registration this week, a league table of previous scheme registrations has highlighted the East Riding as the top performing region.

In previous schemes, 29,140 East Riding households have registered to join forces to get better deals from energy suppliers. This places the East Riding in the top spot of the league table of 160 participating authorities.

Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “I am delighted that the East Riding is the top performing region, though not surprised, given the excellent teamwork that goes into our YORSwitch schemes and the sheer depth of our engagement with local communities across the area. YORSwitch offers unrivalled support to our vulnerable residents, and I would urge as many residents as possible to consider signing up for one of the YORSwitch schemes.

"It's worth noting that, even in the latest auction, 35% (that's 1253) of the 3500 registrants from the East Riding have switched, realising savings on average of £221 each. This amounts to more than £275,000 per year that East Riding residents will save, as well as the £200,000 plus from previous auctions."
The latest YORSWITCH scheme launched this week. East Riding households are invited to register for the scheme, organised by East Riding of Yorkshire Council, as part of the Big Community Switch and administered by the UK’s leading collective switching expert, iChoosr Ltd.

East Riding households wanting to register for the next scheme can submit their details at www.eastriding.gov.uk/yorswitch (for people without internet access, a friend or family member can do this on their behalf); call 01482 393939; or visit their local East Riding of Yorkshire Council office.

Once households have had the opportunity to register their interest, a reverse auction will be held to invite energy suppliers to compete with their best offers. The scheme is free for households to join and there is no obligation to take up the winning supplier’s tariff offer. The scheme is open to all households which pay monthly, quarterly or via a pre-payment meter.

The group buying phenomenon is growing in the UK. So far schemes run by iChoosr on behalf of councils have attracted over 350k household registrations and over 40k households have saved over £6.5m by switching. The average saving for those switching in 2014 through collective schemes run by iChoosr is £215.

Filip Vissers, UK Country Manager, iChoosr commented: “Group buying, as promoted by local councils, is storming in to the consciousness of households throughout the country. People want help in finding a good deal on their energy bills and most people are comfortable seeking this help via their council. Many who find the switching process baffling end up doing nothing and paying more than needed.”

“Group buying offers a straight forward solution. The more people who register, the more interested the suppliers are in winning them as customers and so the better the deal they offer. People who register are offered a deal after the auction and they choose whether to take it or not. Yes or no. Simple, but you have to register to have a chance to take up the saving so register today and tell your friends, family and neighbours to do so too.”

League Position Region
1 East Riding
2 Norfolk
3 Lancashire
4 Hampshire
5 Essex
6 Lincolnshire
7 Cheshire East
8 Energydeal (Tunbridge Wells, Dartford, Dover and Gravesham)
9 Walsall
10 Sandwell

Councils Transport Fleet Services Shortlisted for National Award

The Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) has nominated East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Fleet Services as a finalist in its prestigious Best Service Team Award 2014. This is in recognition of the transformation work undertaken by the council to improve performance and reduce costs.

As part of the council’s business transformation programme, a series of projects designed to save £31 million by 2019, the authority has developed a centralised approach to vehicle management, through greater standardisation across the fleet, resulting in significant savings and improved service for customers.

Changes made include:

• more effective use of vehicles
• reduced fleet size
• reduced vehicle downtime
• increased service productivity
• swift evidence of statutory compliance
• shared benefits with community partners

Innovative use of technology is transforming the council’s fleet services into a leading national performer of a safe, compliant and efficient fleet operation. Among the improvements are:

• Digital tachograph analysis systems, which have reduced driving infringements to 0.8 per cent against an industry average of 30 per cent dropping to 10 per cent over time.
• Vehicle tracking software which identifies performance of vehicles and drivers and has allowed the council to reduce its fleet size by making better use of existing vehicles. This has resulted in savings of £549,000 per year from refuse collection vehicles and savings of £188,000 on vehicles for housing repairs
• Over £100,000 savings from outsourcing the stores function to an independent supplier.

However, work is still ongoing and an automated fuel management system is being installed which will save up to £300,000 per year from the council’s fuel bill.

Councillor Jonathan Owen, cabinet portfolio holder for transformation and strategic partnerships at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Being shortlisted for this prestigious award is a great achievement for the council and demonstrates its commitment to utilising new technology and in striving to deliver the very best service for our residents.

“The council has an excellent track record in the APSE Awards and securing this coveted title would recognise the hard work and dedication of our work force who continue to do an excellent job during these challenging economic times.”

The winner of the APSE Award for Transport and Fleet will be announced on Thursday, 11 September 2014.

 

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