Welcome to my website.
Contained within you will find details of my aims as your councillor as well as current news articles affecting those of us in the Ryedale area and articles I have written covering subjects from Iraq to Car Parks and Farming to Government.
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Worried about fracking? You should be! Click here to see why.
Please click here for Christmas and New Year Message 2014 - 2015 - with updates regarding the Retail issues (including Wentworth Street Car park), development issues, the Council Tax and charges and the fracking issue.
For my book, "The Loner", a novel about student life at Liverpool in the Swinging Sixties, please click here.Visitors can read the first chapter for free.
Milton Rooms, Malton Click here for: What's on at The Milton Rooms, Malton. We (the Milton Rooms Committee) have the ambition to make the Milton Rooms a truly regional centre for the performing and visual arts. We have transformed the Milton Rooms into a centre for the performing arts. We also have plans to include studios etc. for the visual arts.The Centre has been relaunched and for the first time in decades Malton has seen first class performances by national stars (including Barrie Cryer and Georgie Fame). We have a first class theatre team. So please support our events.
For articles on Milton Rooms, click here.
YOU CAN DO YOUR WEEKLY SHOP IN MALTON TOWN CENTRE
Many people think they have to do their weekly shop in a supermarket. However, Malton shops are entirely independent and the town centre can stand on its own and compete with Morrisons and the other supermarkets. We do at least 95% of our weekly shop in the town centre.
We usually start with Derek Fox, the butcher, whose shop is one of the few in the county which is licensed to sell game. If there is any meat product they don’t have, Overtons will have it (and vice versa). We go to Yorkshire Trading for cleaning materials, including washing powder and dishwasher tablets etc. We get bread from Thomas’s, buy fish from the fishmonger, and go to Heron for frozen foods and general groceries. If we want any cereals, dried fruits, flour, herbs spices, pasta or other cooking and baking ingredients, we can buy as much or as little as we want from Scoops. Scoops is a real “Aladin’s Cave” – it is amazing what you can buy there. They also sell general groceries. Linton’s pet shop sells pet food, and we usually end up in Paley’s for fruit, vegetables, coal and firewood. Paley’s selection is fully comprehensive, and includes local, seasonal, produce. After Paley’s we have a cup of coffee at the Hidden Monkey. If we want to buy any alcoholic drinks, we can get them from Sainsbury’s on the way home.
We can get round the shops in just over an hour, and then go for a coffee. We get our milk delivered by a local milk man. We prefer a local butcher because their meat is hung, and therefore tastes better than supermarket meat. It is not pre-packaged and we can therefore buy as much or as little as we want. Paley’s is an amazing shop which sells an incredible variety of goods at very competitive prices. Again very little is pre-packaged and we can buy as much or as little as we like.
We have many friends and relatives who live in conurbations and normally shop in supermarkets. When they come to stay, they are very impressed with what is available in Malton. Some of them will stock up in shops like Paleys and Derek Fox before they go home.
We eat well. Our weekly in-town shop costs on average about £ 74 plus tea or coffee at the Hidden Monkey. We do not believe supermarket shopping would be any cheaper.
Incidentally, it is not being suggested that the shops named above are any better than their town centre competitors. They are simply our preference – other shoppers will have different preferences. For example, both Derek Fox and Overtons are excellent butchers, and Dales is also a very good greengrocer. There is a huge variety of outstanding delicatessens and coffee shops, including “Dickens of a Deli”, “Rory’s Bar” and “The New Malton”. The variety and competition between Town Centre shops contributes to the quality and competitive prices of their goods. This all helps to make town centre shopping a more worthwhile experience than a supermarket shop.
Malton town centre provides a comprehensive range of food shops which effectively compete with the Supermarkets, and everybody should make the best use of them. If we don’t use them, we’ll lose them.
28th January 2014
`Why not try Malton shops first?
Malton/Norton is a district centre. One would never expect to find in any district centre the kind of range and diversity or size of stores or stores with national names which one would expect to find in the neighbouring sub-regional centres of York or Scarborough. Even so, Malton and Norton Town Centres have an astonishing rich range and diversity of independent non-food shops and services. The following is just a personal view.
Malton and Norton are near Dalby forest, which is full of mountain-biking trails. It is also close to the Wolds Way. We now have a top class bicycle store which specialises in top of the range mountain and sports bikes. We have several garages, which together provide a full range of car sales, repairs and services. Both towns are in the centre of a country area, where horse riding for leisure or equestrian sports is very popular. Robinsons provide a full-range of equestrian equipment, and riding and top-class country clothing. Yorkshire Trading also sells a range of casual country clothes. There is a gun shop for country sports. Some of the shops serve the farming community, but Yates also provides a comprehensive range of cookers, fridges, washing and dish-washing machines and other kitchen equipment, as well as casual clothes, and DIY kit. Another farmers’ shop, Woodalls, was originally a “rope-maker”. They don’t make ropes now, but when I had a trailer tent, I used to take the canvass cover into them for repairs, and they have also repaired the Dacron and nylon sails of my yacht. Some months ago I was considering replacing the sail-cover on the boom of my boat, and was surprised to hear friends from Scarborough Yacht Club say: “did you know there’s a shop in Malton called Woodalls – they’ll make one for you.” There is a toy shop under the cinema, and some years I have done all my Christmas shopping in Malton
Stitches Interiors sell and fit top-range soft furnishings. We bought our lounge curtains from them. Greens sell good quality furniture. We’ve bought three beds from there. We have three jewellers which attract customers from outside the district. Smash sells ladies’ fashions, and is always very busy. There is also a men’s Smash, with a variety of top-range men’s clothes. There are other clothes shops, several chemists, shops selling ladies’ perfumes, make-up and other perquisites, shoe shops, three bookshops (Hoppers, WH Smith and The Works) a camera shop etc.
TVC Electricals sells radios, TV’s and other electric and electronic goods. There is a specialist office stationer, and Computer FX will repair, service and maintain computers. They also sell printer ink at half the price the printer manufacturers charge, as well as computer accessories and some programmes.
Malton has a livestock market and the branches of all the usual banks and building societies. There are accountants, estate agents, auctioneers, solicitors, printers, a dozen pubs and bars, many good hairdressers (like Escape or the award winning Goodys), two barbers, several dental practices, three chemists, a large surgery, a chocolatier, a hospital, and at least four opticians. There is a wide variety of restaurants (Italian, Thai, Mexican and Indian and the top of the range restaurant at the Talbot which is directed by celebrity chef, James Martin). There are two Chinese take-aways, two fish and chip shops, and three miles away in Swinton a hugely successful Cantonese restaurant selling top class Chinese food. Many pubs in the surrounding villages sell food which varies from ordinary pub grub to top of the range (eg.at the Grapes, Great Habton).
The Palace Cinema is run by a former media specialist and punches well above its weight. Its audience has grown over the last ten years, and state of the art digital 3D projectors have been installed. New films often come to Malton on the day of their release. So there is no need to go to York or Scarborough to see the latest films. The Palace Cinema also relays live performances of ballets and operas from Covent Garden.
The Milton Rooms is a multi-purpose entertainment centre. It has an art-deco theatre with an interesting history, and a proper sprung dance floor. In the last few years, professional actor Garry Cooper and West End producer Nick Bagnall managed the Milton Rooms and brought to it top range national entertainers (eg. Barry Crier) and produced top class performances of plays such as Midsummer Night’s Dream (professional actors supported by amateurs and children from local schools) and “A Christmas Fair”. Nick and Garry have gone now, but the work they put in place to repair, refurbish and modernise the building continues and has the support of Ryedale District Council.
You can buy most things locally and the town centre is vibrant and full of vitality.
Prices are, generally speaking, comparable with prices paid elsewhere. We are lucky to have so many good shops. So, if there’s something you want to buy, ask yourself if you really need to go to York or Leeds. Why not try Malton or Norton shops first?
18th Feb 2014
Malton Roman Festival. The last one was in 2010. For a chance to see scenes from this show, please click here..If you want to know something about Roman history, Roman Malton or Roman civilisation, click here