Go Swivel

Captain Black's picture

"More than 4000 publicly owned buildings and spaces are being sold off by councils in England every year, according to a Freedom of Information request by community charity Locality. It says parks, libraries, town halls and swimming pools are among properties being sold, often to private developers to build luxury flats.  The charity warns that cash-strapped councils are making up for budget shortfalls by selling off assets which are vital community hubs for both young and old. It contacted all 353 local authorities in England and found a "consistently high" number of public buildings being sold year on year from 2012 to 2016..." 


To Market To Market ...

" We live in rapidly-moving times in terms of high streets, town centres and shopping trends: the very heart of many towns and cities are at risk of being devastated with the ongoing closure of many long-established stores – House of Fraser, BHS, Top Shop, HMV, Debenhams, M&S, Miss Selfridge et al. “Going to the shops” may be a thing of the past...

Clearly something else is quickly needed to stop the rot, and bring life back into town centres, and give them a new purpose. Scarborough is a classic example: dead shop windows, neglected public areas, apparent random developments and no real focus on where the real heart of the town is supposed to be....

This need not be the case – since 1853, Scarborough has had a vibrant heart – if you can find it, the Market Hall in St Helen’s Square. This magnificent building with great heritage has recently had the best part of £3 million spent bringing it back to life, and we must not miss the opportunity to maximise the potential this institution brings to drive change into the centre of our town.

Several other similarly-aged markets around the UK have recently undergone facelifts, and these rejuvenations have created vibrant, functional, relevant attractions. A visit to Altrincham market in Greater Manchester will give you an idea.

With the growing shift to online and out of town shopping, a successful market hall has to be a place of tradition, variety, entertainment, and modern functionality. In spite of our regular pursuit of cheaper food and better value – Aldi vs Lidl vs Proudfoot vs Tesco vs Sanisbury vs Morrisons – there is a developing trend, quite properly, to support those local producers, suppliers and entrepreneurs who have a story and message that accompanies their products. It’s not always about the price, it can be about the buying experience.

Our 165 year-old market can help us do this – a daily showcase of what is great in our local area and region, served by warm, friendly, local characters. It must be an enjoyable and effective place to shop, perhaps not every day, but it must be busy! I gather a quarter of a million pounds is earmarked for web development for online sales for market traders: this may be an important ingredient in overall success, but what a successful market needs above all else is regular footfall ie people.

Better to spend some of this cash on directional signage around the town, local signage outside the Market, and tidying up the immediate area. St Helen’s Square is perhaps not the most attractive part of town (well done Homebird House!) but it’s amazing what a bit of local pride can do. Also, once the council makes its mind up about what to do with the old Argos building, the whole centre of town will be radically uplifted. It may take a while, but the Market Hall has stood for 165 years, and isn’t going anywhere...


Once customers – locals and visitors alike – have found the Market, it’s important they are met by that exciting range of offers that are possible – there are at least six shop units empty on the ground floor – not a great welcome. Where is the fishmonger; the cheesemonger; the local pie shop; the wine bar? How about chef’s demonstrations using skills of the TEC’s students and local produce from the stallholders? I gather several enterprises have considered setting up in the Market, only to be put off by rents and business rates: a half empty Market is a disaster.

The landlord Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) must see the wisdom of encouraging new (and existing) traders with much lower (free for six months?) rentals, fit out cost support, and business plan aid. It is in everyone’s interests, (especially the council’s) to develop and establish the building as a centre of variety, activity, quality and excellence. Mediocrity must be banished!

Also, why are we promoting a monthly food market at the top of town in Westborough? Surely the logical place for these markets is in our own Market Hall to expose shoppers to what is available there on a regular basis. The resident traders are not at all fearful of competition, but they are wary of the echoing silence of no customers.

I suppose it’s all about accountability and innovation: it’s interesting to note that other successful market regenerations have often involved councils handing over ownership and control of the asset to a cooperative of trader owner/operators. The new holding company takes on marketing, setting affordable rents, management of common areas, and building a blend of offers to meet the customers’ needs. Food and drink form an important part of the Market’s activities; shopping is important, but often an incidental part of the social event.

Perhaps a new model is needed here in Scarborough to maximise the value of this precious asset. Traders and entrepreneurs with real focus, incentive and ownership make successful markets and retail experiences: landlords seldom do."

Answers on a postcard?



Oh, OK :  

Dig out the details :

Property Investment Strategy

•Intended to generate net financial returns for the Council (i.e. after all transaction costs)
•Maintain valued service provision to the Borough’s residents, businesses and visitors
•Innovative and creative solutions as a means of narrowing the projected £5 million budget gap
•£600k savings associated with the strategy
•Asset challenge to maximise yields and rate of returns & rationalisation for capital receipts
•Stream 1
–Traditional investment in prime and near to prime real estate that will provide a secure long term income stream to the Council
–Well established investment criteria - location, tenancy and tenure status, length of lease and building condition
–Investment criteria matrix
•Stream 2
–Traditional investment in prime and near to prime real estate that will provide a secure long term income stream to the Council
-Also aimed at generating economic growth and development
-Socio economic benefits within our wider economic partnership areas
-Criteria to be considered by Audit Committee
About that Yellow Chopper & Moon Light Cinema ...
Best not mention the Projector & Joanna... 
Ah, so ... A Garden City?

"It's time to acknowledge facts, and to embrace a decisive change that would be economically and socially beneficial, as well as rather liberating for Conservatives in showing sensible new opinions are welcome," he wrote. "Can British Conservatives be as bold as Canadian Liberals? We ought to be."

Erm,  if you have to smoke weed to feel normal what does that tell you?

Gates?  For medicinal purposes only.   
One for the Jerry Grumpy show.
Oooh ... anyone got a bulldozer?
Foucault's Pendulum.
Hi Ho Hi ho




Captain Black's picture

The Un-Amused

"2:05pm 21st June 2018   Trading days at Whitby Market are going to be restricted.

Those working there say they are unhappy at the lack of consultation on the issue.

A statement from Scarborough Borough Council said:

"Following the appointment of a new Market Superintendent for Whitby and Scarborough earlier this year, a comprehensive review of the operation and management of Whitby Market is underway.

"In the medium and long term we want to improve the viability and appeal of the market to customers and traders, introduce best practice and modern operating protocols where required and look at an investment plan, including potential capital investment in existing facilities.

In the short term however there are some actions that we need to do quickly, to ensure market operations conform to the necessary regulations and legislation. This will ensure that the market is placed on a sound and sustainable footing before moving forward.

"Actions include ensuring that traders are registered with the council and have the required insurances to operate, and that trading is carried out only on regulated days and times. As a matter of priority, all the traders have been contacted and fully informed of this process.

"In order for the council to effectively manage the market and ensure compliance with regulation, as from Monday 16 July trading days will be restricted to Tuesday, Saturday (the official chartered market day), and a seasonal farmers' market on a Thursday."

Anne Marshall is a trader and said:

"As a regular trader on Whitby Market for some years now, having built up a business that is tailored specifically to the tourist trade and particularly to Whitby, I am studying a letter from Mr Alex Richards, Acting Regeneration Services Manager of Scarborough Council, entitled "Changes to Operation of Whitby Market" dated 14th June 2018.

This is the first direct communication I have had from anyone at the council with regard to changes at Whitby Market.

While I have no issues with the short term objectives outlined, I am concerned that any changes should be implemented fairly, with due consideration given to everyone affected, and not rushed.

On its website the council refers to markets as an important part of creating vibrant high streets and safeguarding jobs.

It also says market stalls are small businesses and provide employment for substantial numbers of people.

My own business provides full time work for myself and one other person as well as several seasonal workers each summer.

Depending as it does on the summer months and in particular the school holidays, it would not survive the proposed reduction of trading days to two per week, and being given four weeks notice that this would take effect from the start of the school holidays, after months of planning, buying stock etc strikes me as especially unfair.

I hope that in the days between my writing this letter and its publication the council will have taken steps to make sure that everyone who has a stake in this issue feels they have been properly considered and fairly treated before completing stage one and moving on to stage two of the planned changes."

Councillor Bill Chatt, Cabinet Member for Sustainability said:

"The market will continue on the current market system of every Tuesday and Saturday.

But at this moment, Sunday market won't operate next month unless something changes.

That's an operational matter and they're doing that to make this market compliant with the market regulations.

We're not consulting whether the market should comply with the law, the market should be compliant with the law regardless.

What they're doing at the moment is they'rep utting sysmtems in place where people can book or pay a ptich for the day.

Where evidence of their insurance is in place, that's legislation. We have no choice over that.

The consultation, when this comes in, will happen soon and then we can come across and talk to the market traders and see what they want and see what's available to do that."

Councillor Bill Chatt tells us where we are at now:.."

Brass... Tracks:

"6:30am 22nd June 2018

Scarborough could see a new cinema complex by the end of next summer.

We told you at the end of last year how a new target opening date had been set for Easter 2019,   but developers Benchmark Leisure says there have been problems.

They've centred around satisfying the operator's requirement to have high street restaurants chains as part of the development.

Under new plans, it will have 5 or 6 screens instead of 7, local restaurants rather than High Street franchises - and 75 apartments rather than around 30.

Some have doubted whether the project would ever get off the ground, but Chief Executive of Benchmark, Roland Duce, says he wants it open next year..."


Don't spose there's a tunnel between the Castle & the Market ...





Ah, so ...


"The only good news for Scarborough was the decision in London not to destroy the castle, but to restore its curtain walls and barbican and maintain a permanent garrison there..."

Dig Dig.

"These Royalist reinforcements, by Parliament’s press named “Walloons”, French-speaking, Catholics from the Spanish Netherlands, refused to retreat to the castle when Bethell’s soldiers stormed the town on September 15, 1648. Scarborough became a battle-ground. The “Walloons”, who were in fact a motley collection of Irish, Scots, Welsh and English, were massacred in an orgy of street fighting, some before surrender, some after. All were thought to be Irish Catholics and as such, by order of Parliament, could be put to death legitimately without delay or mercy. Since they were said to have ill-treated Scarborough’s civilians, the motive might also have been revenge.

The second siege of the castle lasted just three months. Again, as in 1645, all 260 soldiers in the garrison were allowed to return to their homes, or given passes “to go beyond sea”. Horses were made available for those who could afford to hire them. Officers were permitted to keep their swords and pistols, but other arms were to be surrendered on Scarborough Common."


Benefitz Betty's picture

Ludicrous Mode

Elon Musk And The Dangers Of Hero Worship

"Hero worship can blind you to certain realities. You may believe that Musk will figure it all out, that he'll meet production goals for Tesla, colonize Mars andpower the world with batteries. But what if he doesn't? What if Tesla runs out of cash before all these visions become a reality?

The word 'visionary' is bandied about far too often. It's easy to forget sometimes that Musk is merely human like the rest of us. His deification in the media and by his followers often is a distraction from his role as the leader of a company that continues to lose money, burn through cash and not meet production targets.

Let me be clear: Musk is undoubtedly contributing to the betterment of humanity and I respect and admire him for that. His work with SpaceX, Tesla and Neuralink will make all of our lives better. His Twitter antics and "Farting Unicorn Mug" controversies can be tolerated because of all he's accomplished so far and all he hopes to accomplish.

All of that should be meaningless to you, however, if you're a Tesla shareholder. As an investor, your primary goal is to make a profit on your investments. As the estimable Benjamin Graham wrote about the difference between investing versus speculating:

An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis promises safety of principal and an adequate return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative.

If you're investing instead of speculating, you want a company that actually has positive earnings and hopefully pays you a dividend...

"A good leader inspires confidence in his employees, leads by example and promotes an environment conducive to success. It's hard for those of us who don't work for Tesla to believe Musk fits these characteristics when he sends a company-wide email late on a Sunday night  accusing an employee of sabotage.

"There must be a point where someone, anyone, is stretched too thin. Besides the aforementioned Tesla, SpaceX and Neuralink, Musk also founded The Boring Company to try and solve traffic problems in Los Angeles by digging underground tunnels.  Oh, and he also has five children and he created their own school because he wasn't satisfied with their education.

"The fact that Musk recently purchased millions of dollars woth of Telsa shares can be taken as a good sign for other investors, or perhaps the captain will just go down with the ship.

If you can handle the volatility that comes with investing in a company with a volatile leader nad don't mind gambling, then by all means, jump in and set your portfolio to Ludicrous Mode. Hopefully, you won't be taken for a ride over the long run."


One in a million ... or just a face in the crowd...

Mebbe he was here for the Morris Dancing?


Tick Tock ... On the Clock.

10/07/18 11:05

"Elon Musk's mini submarine was not needed

The US tech billionaire behind SpaceX and Tesla has mounted an impressive PR campaign: developing, testing, and transporting a mini-submarine to the cave system, from where he updated his social media accounts with news of his arrival.

With an established rescue tactic already in place that has so far worked well, the Thai authorities had no use for the submarine.

"Even though their equipment is technologically sophisticated, it doesn't fit with our mission to go in the cave," said rescue chief Narongsak Osotthanakorn."

He was there. Up there with the 'others'.

The Unexpected.

Benefitz Betty's picture

'Hips n Hops'


"Taking centre stage at the 20th edition of Seafest will be a huge music and beer marquee on West Pier, hosted by The Great Yorkshire Brewery, offering more than 35 locally sourced real ales, including old favourites and brand new beers from micro-brewers from around the region.

The brewery has been producing award winning ales for more than 25 years and this year has created an exclusive beer to celebrate Seafest’s special anniversary. The beer, called ‘Endeavour’ in a nod to the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s first expedition to the South Seas, is already a world record breaker, being made from 2018 different hops!.."

How about all hopping it off to the Market Hall?

Gosh, that's far too sensible.

Ohm Ohm  ...


Benefitz Betty's picture

Malton Livestock


"... Of a number of options, the report recommends the authority build and own the livestock market and ancillary buildings - with a projected return of about £100,000 a year in rent.

First, however, it recommends spending £150,000 on the development of “a business case, specification and procurement exercise” to ensure value for taxpayers’ money...  “The livestock market is an essential part of the local community and provides a sustainable place for the sale and purchase of livestock.

"Not only does this reduce food miles and encourage local food production, but it benefits the welfare of animals by reducing the distances required to transport livestock..."

Meanwyle ;-)

"A safari park has said it is not a "petting zoo" after a family were left "terrified" when a bear attacked their car..


A spokesman for the park said the deputy head of the carnivore section was on patrol at the time, but that nothing was heard."



"Scientists from the Marine Institute in Galway found a black coral previously undocumented in Irish waters."

Four ;-0


Benefitz Betty's picture

The Break Even Point?

Knit one pearl one ...

“Greek governments have traditionally found it convenient to blame profiteers, arsonists, terrorists, and even foreign agents,” Tsipras’s former finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, averred. “With such incendiary claims … officials avoid having to admit their lack of preparedness and their failure to adopt and enforce appropriate laws and safety regulations.”


"In the beginning what made me a storyteller was not so much a place as the lack of a place...

The most magnificent buildings in Bradford were Victorian, black with age and in various states of decay. Derelict mills were everywhere, with empty windows full of nothing but sky. We lived in the ruins of a lost civilisation. Glory and romance were in the past, almost out of reach, but there were still warriors in the woods if you believed hard enough."

"Field is one of four Labour MPs, including John Mann, Graham Stringer and Hoey, who backed the prime minister’s Brexit agenda. Their critics argue that had the Tories lost the vote, which it won by a margin of three, May might have been forced to call a general election.

Field’s constituency in Birkenhead, Wirral, voted in favour of leave in the 2016 EU referendum.

He said that during his 39 years as an MP he had “always voted to free our country from the tightening stranglehold of the EU” on behalf of working-class Labour voters and that it was important to do so now.

“For most, if not all, of those votes I did so alongside Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell,” he said “It would have been a betrayal of the principles I have held for my entire political life, had I voted against the legislation two weeks ago.”

Both Labour and the Tories committed themselves to honouring the leave vote during the 2017 election, he said, meaning “such legislation would have been introduced by whichever party was in power”.

Laura Parker, the national coordinator of Momentum had called for the deselection of all four rebels, saying: “There is no room for Labour MPs who side with the reactionary Tory establishment.”




Letting off steam ...

Space tis a wonderful thing.



Captain Black's picture

The Magic Bus





"Scarborough is the setting for a new comedy series written by the creator of 'Benidorm'.

'Scarborough' is a brand new comedy series from Derren Litten, the creator and writer of the award-winning sitcom Benidorm.

It follows the lives and loves of a small handful of residents in Scarborough, who meet most nights in the local karaoke bar where they swap gossip and sing 80’s classics.

It will star former Coronation Street star Katherine Kelly, comedian Jason Manford and veteran actress Stephanie Cole.

Made by BBC Studios, the 6x30' comedy series will be filmed on location in summer 2019."

Ah, so ...