The East Riding of Yorkshire Council leader’s column with Stephen Parnaby OBE

Work started on the new flood alleviation scheme in September.
Work started on the new flood alleviation scheme in September.

The past 12 months have been huge for the East Riding with lots happening and lots making the news.

With 2018 drawing to a close, I’d like to focus on some of my personal highlights in this column.

For sports fans, we were treated to not just one but two major announcements relating to professional cycling.

First, during the summer, we had a huge announcement from Innsbruck, Austria, confirming the race route and schedule for the Yorkshire 2019 UCI Road World Championships.

The nine-day celebration of cycling will take place between 21-29 September and commence in Beverley on the Saturday with a ground-breaking para-cycling event running alongside the Championships, which will act as a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

After the start in Beverley, riders will then pass through Market Weighton, Holme on Spalding Moor, Foggathorpe and Bubwith before heading into North Yorkshire, via Tadcaster and Wetherby, and finishing in Harrogate.

We had two Tour de Yorkshire announcements for next year as well.

During the summer, Bridlington was confirmed as one of eight host towns for the 2019 edition of the race.

At the full route announcement, earlier this month, was confirmation that Pocklington would again see part of the competition, with the riders set to pass through on Thursday 2 May.

The council has also continued its huge capital investment programme with work started on the £4.7m Pocklington Flood Alleviation Scheme getting underway in September.

The scheme involves the construction of a dam, to create a water storage reservoir, upstream and north east of the town, off The Mile.

The dam is designed to capture and store flood waters from Pocklington Beck at times of heavy rainfall, to prevent it from causing flooding in the town.

The dam will be capable of storing up to around 90,000 cubic metres of water – the equivalent of 36 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The works will involve the construction of a large embankment approximately 600m long and up to 4.5m high, at its highest point, plus the construction of a flow control structure. Together they are designed to hold back flood water and release flows in a controlled manner.

The project is due for completion in spring 2019.

This year has also been a record-breaking one, with the East Riding securing the title of number one recycler in England for a second year, coming out on top in the national results released annually by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – out of a total of 345 local authorities in the country.

Thanks to the huge support of residents, East Riding of Yorkshire Council was able to recycle or compost 64.5% of all household rubbish in the 2017-2018 financial year. The average national recycling rate for England was 44.8%.

East Riding schools also celebrated their best ever GCSE results, amid further changes in the grading system and tougher examinations for many subjects. East Riding schools improved the proportion of students achieving a standard pass, or grade 4 or better, in English and maths to 70 per cent.

The figures, which were published by the Department for Education in October, showed that the East Riding was one of the highest performing areas in the Yorkshire and the Humber region, with some of the best Attainment 8 and Progress 8 scores in the north of England.

Finally, I would just like to wish all of our residents a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.