Spuds & Spads


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An MHCLG spokesperson

"A two-month consultation to help Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick make the decision will start this month, local leaders have been told, when officials are also expected to announce if May's North Yorkshire county council elections will go-ahead as planned.

But The Yorkshire Post understands that the main focus of the consultation will be gathering the view of local 'stakeholders' such as the NHS, police, fire services and business as well as neighbouring councils.

Members of the public are allowed to respond but their views are not expected to be 'front and centre' in the decision made about the best model for local councils.

The main factor is likely to be which outcome Whitehall officials consider to be most likely to improve local government services and which represents the most "credible geography".

It means the model chosen by Mr Jenrick may not be the one with the most support amongst the population of North Yorkshire."


"Local communities will be at the heart of plans to make sure that new developments in their area are beautiful and well-designed, under proposals outlined by Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP today (30 January 2021)."




"You can't compare the Moors with the Dales because it would be like comparing an orange to existentialism or Celine Dion to a JCB."



"And now we're saying, 'Let's sit down with a blank sheet of paper and create a plan that's workable'?"

"the promises made by various levels of government around turbo-charging tourism had so far failed to deliver anything additional to help existing operators prosper, or enhance the visitor experience.

"The only thing that's consistent is the business operators are here every day," he said.

"[They're] opening up their businesses, welcoming people, employing people — we've been doing the heavy lifting now for years as far as the economic transition goes."


"The last sandmining lease, held by Belgian company Sibelco, expired in 2019."

Baldrick !!! I have a cunning plan... ;-)

"Sand is the single most mined commodity, eclipsing minerals and metals by a colossal margin. Around 85% of the material we pull up from the earth is sand, gravel or other aggregate materials. Sand is also the most consumed substance after water, being used in virtually every construction or manufacturing process, even used as an ingredient in toothpaste. 

Globally our annual aggregate consumption is somewhere around 53 billion tonnes – the equivalent to every person on earth using 20kg of sand every single day. And with rapid global urbanisation, particularly owing to economic growth across East Asia, the demand for sand is only increasing: since the early 2000s, China has used more sand every three years than the United States used in the entire 20th century.

Sand is everywhere, but we’re running out of it

Our planet is covered in sand. The Sahara Desert alone covers 8% of the land area on the planet, and at 9.2 million km2 is roughly the same size as China. Sand dunes in the Sahara can be up to 180m high, the height of the City of London’s skyline staple The Gherkin. There is, to put it mildly, a whole lot of sand in the Sahara, and that’s just one of the world’s many deserts.

The problem with desert sand is that it is functionally useless. The grains have been weathered by wind, leaving them smooth and rounded – and impossible to work into concrete, which the overwhelming majority of harvested sand is used for.

The sand we need is the jagged, angular grains you might find in riverbeds and banks, in lakes and along shorelines. Here is where you’ll find silica sand, which is melted down to make glass for windows, windshields, and smartphone screens. So ravenous we are for that material that coastlines are being eroded, ecosystems destroyed, and entire islands removed from maps in Indonesia.

Existing regulation isn’t doing enough

Despite forming the bulk of mining activity, and being one of the top traded commodities by sheer volume, aggregates are highly unregulated. A 2014 report by the UNEP estimated annual sand consumption somewhere between 47 and 59 billion tonnes, but that figure is based on a proxy: we can track cement production far more easily, and every ton of cement requires between six and seven times that amount of sand to produce. 

Scientists estimate that the weathering of mountains and rocks by rivers and glaciers delivers 12.6 billion tonnes of sediment to oceans each year. By the most conservative approximation, we are extracting sand more than three times faster than nature can replenish it.

In a 2019 UNEP report into sand sustainability, it was concluded that existing legal frameworks can provide a starting point to regulation, but they do not go far enough. The breadth of the commodity’s reach across multiple industry sectors, as well as conservation efforts, means that the issue requires a fully integrated view on governance, planning, and management of the resource – or sand extraction risks falling through the cracks into informal, potentially illegal practices.

People have been killed for sand

Police officers have been crushed to death, journalists burned, and protesters shot. Sand is a vital resource, and can command a high price, so has attracted the attention of criminals. So-called sand mafias – illegal and often violent sand miners – are groups that illegally dredge sand from prohibited areas. Indifferent to environmental regulations, their actions have caused untold environmental damage, with the UNEP warning that their activities are removing natural flood protections, exacerbating pressures on shorelines and riverbeds already threatened by climate change. Along Morocco’s Atlantic coast, the UNEP says illegal sand miners “have transformed a large beach into a rocky landscape between Safi and Essaouira.”

Sand mafias are a particular problem in India. In January of this year, 36-year-old Sangeeth Balan was bludgeoned to death with the arm of an earthmover when he resisted a gang of illegal sand miners who arrived at his residential compound with trucks and excavators. Sand mining is regulated in the country, but these regulations are difficult to enforce, and rumours of corruption undermine confidence in tackling sand mafia activity. 

Singapore is the biggest importer

Singapore is the world’s largest importer of sand, owing to its land reclamation activities which have seen the city-state’s land area increase by 20% in 40 years. Singapore had traditionally used sand from neighbouring states, before using up the resource and turning to importing from Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries. Export of Indonesian sand to expand the land area of Singapore has put at least 80 of Indonesia's 17508 islands at risk of disappearance due to sand extraction . Owing to the economic and environmental burden Singapore’s sand imports placed on these countries, nations including Cambodia, Malaysia and Vietnam have since moved to ban exports to Singapore entirely.

However, lax and often unenforceable regulation of the global sand industry has seen Singapore’s acquisition of sand go relatively undisturbed: a 2014 UNEP report into global sand mining observed a shortfall of 120 million tonnes between Indonesia’s reported sand exports to Singapore versus Singapore’s reported imports of Indonesian sand between 1995 and 2013.

The best current solution is to rethink construction

In 2019, the UNEP noted existing solutions that could be implemented to reduce damage to ecosystems, as well as risks to communities and workers around sand extraction sites. 

The report called for an overhaul of how we design and construct buildings and infrastructure to reduce sand and gravel demand to responsible levels. One way to do this is through reducing unnecessary consumption of sand: almost a third of Dubai’s office space was vacant in 2014, and the report cited the Burj Khalifa as a symbol of prestige rather than a building designed to serve a necessary function. Dubai’s 828m tower was constructed with a record-breaking 330,000m3 of concrete and 103,000m2 of glass. 

To reduce sand consumption, we need a radical rethink of our infrastructure and construction projects, and the UNEP says this sustainability focus must be designed-in to future projects.

Innovation could reduce sand consumption

One avenue to reducing sand extraction is implementing a more rigorous recycling infrastructure and moving toward a circular economy for concrete. In the US, most recycled concrete is used as aggregate in road base, with less than a quarter being used to produce new concrete.

Recycling glass into glass sand has demonstrated qualities similar to natural sand, with no loss of strength. Using larger particles of crushed glass to produce concrete can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 18%, and studies have shown recycled glass can be used for beach replenishment, both reducing shoreline damage by sand extraction while also reducing the amount of glass that goes to landfill.

Research from the University of Bath and India’s Goa Engineering College found that sand sized PET particles from recycled plastic bottles gave the best results when testing plastic as a potential replacement for sand in concrete. The plastic alternative achieved a target compressive strength of 54MPa, similar to the strength of concrete. By replacing just 10% of the sand used in concrete with plastic, the study estimated that 820 million tonnes of sand could be saved per year."

What year was chimney sweeping forbidden for children?

"As the climate crisis worsens and clean energy prices plunge, governments around the world have been weaning their economies of coal and other fossil fuels."

"Water security and profitability are the Achilles heels of the plan.."

"It is also studying the relaunch of the Las Rosas power plant in the central state of Querétaro, which was built in 1949 and is completely inoperative."

"In statement, the company said it still employed 51 people on the island — engaged in the rehabilitation across three main sites."

The "Whale on the Hill" ...


"At present, no one even knows exactly how much sand is being pulled out of the earth, nor where, nor under what conditions. Much of it is undocumented. “We just know,” says Bendixen, “that the more people there are, the more sand we need.”



The exciting bit... ;-0


Thou must not Squander...

"With a completely new suite of seven instruments on board, it could not only help answer one of the most fundamental questions about life in the universe, it could also change the face of space exploration for decades to come.

This is what sets this mission apart."

Sleep Tight.



'Not Up to Standard'

"Kevin Hollinrake said:

"There has been issues with Brexit and issues at the border in terms of food and shellfish exports etc, and we need to resolve that but also, we need to eat more of our own. We've had this situation in the past where we've exported loads of stuff and imported lots of other stuff. Well I think it's time to look at that again.

"We tried a relationship based on common standards with Theresa May and it wouldn't get through Parliament. You can blame whoever you want for that, I voted for that deal every time, and that would have meant the fishing business in Bridlington would not have gone out of business but we would have had to follow EU rules. Did we want that? Well of course we don't want that.

"This was always going to be a very thorny problem so it will be a situation where business and consumers will have to do things differently. We should be buying more British and local produce and that will help our local businesses.

"I think there will be some modest improvements but I don't think there's a real imperative for the European Union to do the sensible thing. I mean at the moment, our standards are exactly the same as the standards before we left the European Union, so I don't think there will be a major change. I think businesses will have to adjust to the new way of working.

"Part of the reason we left the European Union was common fishery policy and it contributed to that massive devastation of fishing fleets on the east coast. We're getting 25% more quota back. So there'll be some period of adjustment and we should support those businesses through this, and the Government has put more money in to do that. I didn't meet any fisherman prior to Brexit who were in favour of remaining.

"Part of the deal we have with the European Union is tariff free, quota free trade on fish and fishing products. The difficulty is the checks at the borders and we need to streamline those checks and get businesses more used to using them. So it will get back to a point where you can export, but it will never be as easy as it was. We're not part of the single market now and we're not part of the customs union.""




Never, Mind.

'Cumulative Impact'

“Touchdown confirmed! Perseverance safely on the surface of Mars ready to begin seeking signs of past life”


"Below the surface, though, some important questions linger: whose countryside are we talking about? Who exactly controls the rights of way that we walk and run along? How should we reach, access, enjoy the countryside? Beyond the bucolic image, politics as usual reaches everywhere.

Those questions used to be thought of as straightforward. In the immediate postwar period, a mix of socialist principle and concerns about the health of the British people came together to create the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 – a law designed to open up the land to everyone.

The national parks were of course the flagship achievement: but the act was also supposed to lead to a definitive map of rights of way in England and Wales, with local councils drawing up a draft version within just three years. It never happened: many customary paths were indistinct; conflicts between landowners and those who wanted access to their fields were too acute; and the whole process was far too complex to administer, let alone finalise."




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The Cybernauts

"With the sudden rise of popularity in extreme sports over the recent years, in part due to the Olympic Games’ inclusion of skateboarding in the upcoming games, indoor facilities have started to appear all over the globe, giving riders the chance to hone their talents and learn the etiquette."

"Elections for all the county council’s seats were due to take place on May 6, but this will now rescheduled because of the likelihood that the authority will soon cease to exist, the Minister said in a written statement. He said: “Elections in such circumstances risk confusing voters and would be hard to justify where members could be elected to serve shortened terms.”"






"At the time of drafting the Council still awaits the outcome of submissions for funding to the Towns Fund for Scarborough and Whitby (up to £25m each). In preparation of a positive outcome to these applications the Regeneration Team is drafting delivery and resourcing plans to ensure we are set to move to detailed development and delivery in the spring."


"That’s not fair. None of it was inherited or handed on a plate to us. My wife and I have both worked jolly hard,’ he told Simon Walters"


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Rent A Mob

"I hit a wall in late February and felt that life had taken on a quality of stultifying sameness.   Work, read, exercise, eat, repeat. Like nearly everyone I know, I have settled into a state of dreary uniformity.

Early last fall, I was so bored being stuck at home that I went out to buy an air conditioner (it was still pretty hot), and spent an inordinate amount of time in a real store with real people talking about the mechanics of air conditioners. When I returned home, I was nearly ecstatic.

I had assumed I was in the doldrums because I missed my friends (I did). But apparently I was starved of the excitement of the unexpected and unpredictable."


"For young people, exposure to novelty is especially important because their neural circuits are being sculpted and are particularly sensitive to the effects of experience. This so-called critical period of learning is a finite opportunity; after a certain period of time, the window shuts, and it is much harder to make up for lost learning."



""As of last week, rules will allow for individual campaigners to deliver leaflets and to engage with electors on their doorsteps - but they should always be socially distanced and not enter inside people's homes.""


"I’m pleased official statistics released last month confirm the number of people sleeping rough has fallen for the third year in a row. And since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, the number of people sleeping rough has nearly halved.

Now we want to ensure that no one needs to sleep rough. But to succeed we must tackle its root causes, which are multi-faceted and complex. That means raising the safety net from the street and addressing the causes and consequences of rough sleeping directly. At the heart of our strategy will be the marriage of housing and health."



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Garden Furniture

"As part of its town centre strategy, the council is looking at ways of breathing new life into the high street so more people can be attracted to the town centre.

The Scarborough town deal investment strategy aims to broaden leisure, learning and living opportunities in the centre of the town.  The council believes rejuvenating the high street can no longer be achieved using a retail model."


"The deadline for the Government's EU Settlement Scheme is on June 30.

Only citizens of EU or EEA countries or Switzerland resident in the UK before December 31, 2020, are eligible.

Without settled or pre-settled status, they cannot, regardless of their age, continue to live, work, study or access free healthcare or other services in the UK after June 30."

"Most of the talk about local media is about it being in crisis, as regional papers are forced to close down because of falling advertising and newsstand revenue. But when events on our streets are being manipulated by politicians to fit their narratives, local media feels more important than ever."


“EU citizens are our friends, neighbours and work colleagues and are a part of what makes Yorkshire such a special place to live. I would encourage all EU citizens, who have made Yorkshire their home, to apply for the scheme and secure their rights as soon as possible."


“We are confident places like the Brunswick Centre will continue to be at the heart of a future Scarborough town centre.”





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A Designated Area

"With the ending of the stay at home rule this week the Landowners network, which includes Yorkshire Water, Forestry Commission, National Trust, NFU, Woodland Trust, Anglo American, The Bolton Abbey Estate, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, the RSPB and the Country, Land and Business Association, has urged people to continue following government guidelines and respect Yorkshire's countryside."

"Mr Goodwill thinks the Yorkshire Coast could be in for a bumper summer season as more people holiday in the UK."








Hmmm ...


"My goggles became fogged, the water was suddenly murky and I remember being shocked and confused,"

Keep the Bonfires & Barbecues on the Beach?

They put you in a Coma for a reason.

Bonanza Style.


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