Barwick-in-Elmet Historical Society
Today's News (Tomorrow's History)
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We have experienced a mild winter and now the spring flowers are out and so are the lawn mowers. Barwick in Bloom are busy and Barwick looks in good shape. Nationally we are exasperated by the lack of agreement amongst the political parties in parliament about how, when or whether we should leave the European Union. The House of Commons looks as if it needs the treatment which the building which it occupies is receiving to its outworn structure. In my lifetime I have never seen as much dissension as we are witnessing now.
Life may be changing in the whole parish in "suitable residential areas" and throughout the rest of Leeds by introducing a proposed 20 m.p.h. speed restriction in those residential areas
. It will have a effects on rush hour traffic by making so-called rat runs less attractive. The scheme is due to start in a few months and it is hoped that it will be implemented throughout Leeds by the summer of 2019.
After 21 years running the society's web site I am moving out of Barwick and handing the maintenace task to a new editor. I have always operated as an unnamed editor so I will leave the choice to the new editor as to whether to keep the role anonymous. Even though I have operated anonymously a discovered in conversations in the neighbourhood that my identity was known to locals. C'est la vie. Expect the web site to change; I am sure I would if I were starting again as a younger person.
For those of you reading this in the hotter than usual southern hemisphere the last few weeks here have been relatively free from snow but it has been cold. As the month has progressed it has been mostly sunny and on Valentines Day my garden had two daffodils in blossom.
The project to build nearly 800 houses in Parlington has been finally stopped. In the last stages of this wait the news came through that the tree known as Nellie's Tree, which is close to the site, was declared UK Tree of the Year. In Scholes there is no news yet on the outcome of an enquiry to build 300 houses.
Scholes has lost the services of Mr Satnam's corner shop which he has closed after 42 years service to the village. This leaves Scholes without a shop so residents have to use the shops in Barwick or Crossgates. In addition residents in Scholes have no local access to newspapers and there is no home delivery service for newspapers. In Barwick there is a shortage of young people who are willing to deliver newspapers.
As the month draws to a close the days are very warm and birds are appearing in their summer plumage. On 25th a temperature recording in Wales of 20.6C was U.K. record for February.
It is a common weakness for diarists to overlook contemporary events because their long-term significance is not apparent. For the last few years this diary has not mentioned a very significant national event which future readers will puzzle about. The event is what is on the tip of the tongue of most people - Brexit (a term which describes Britain exiting from the EEC (European Economic Community). Within a few months (29th March 2019) the UK is due to leave the Community and stand on its own to face trade with the rest of the world without any mutual trade agreements. This has resulted from a referendum in 2016 in which Britons narrowly decided that they no longer wanted to belong to the EEC. The decision facing voters was a yes or no vote about a very complex question.
This has divided the country into two groups (ignoring those who could not decide about the simplified proposition) - Brexiteers or Remainers. For the last three years the people have been faced with news about the consequences of leaving the EEC. At first, most people remained quiet about how they voted on this issue. As the factors involved in the issue have been revealed many people have had to face up to changes which are due to take place and in dialogue more and more are revealing how they voted. The atmosphere must be somewhat akin to how people faced up to the start of the Civil War in the early 1640's although the outcome will not be one of civil unrest. The process has put immense strain on the established political parties and Parliament is in such a parlous state that, even at this late stage, the outcome is far from being decided. The one item which has caused problems with recruitment of skilled staff many of whom have been recruited from abroad. It has also caused disquiet for those British citizens who live abroad or spend time in personal property overseas.
There is better news on local issues. Planning inspectors have advised Leeds City Council to remove two green belt locations (one of which is the proposed Parlington
development) from its site allocations plan in order for the document to be found sound. This has brought a sigh of relief from local inhabitants. We await the formal rejection of the city's proposal.
The month has progressed to the point that the days are getting slightly longer and we have better weather to look forward to. The cloud cover seems to have been making more gloom than usual and, with so much bad or confusing news about our future, the future appears bleak. Let us hope that all the forecasts are over-exaggerated.
Earlier editions of Today can be found at :
Today January 2001 to December 2002
Today January 2003 to December 2004
Today January 2005 to December 2005
Today January 2006 to December 2007
Today January 2008 to December 2008
Today January 2009 to December 2010
Today January 2011 to December 2012
Today January 2013 to December 2014
Today January 2015 to December 2018
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