Tuesday, April 25, 2017
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Streets littered with rubbish are angering residents who claim the council are biased as to where they clean and how often they clean.

Residents in Bradford are calling for the council to step up their game regarding the amount of litter on their streets. Neighbourhoods in Heaton, Great Horton, Undercliffe and Girlington are voicing their concerns at the lack of council activity sweeping up their streets. One resident in Girlington said that it has almost been “three months” since they witnessed a road sweeper in his street and that he himself physically brushed part of the street to keep the litter away.

Mrs Tahir of Howarth Road, Heaton states, “We have lived here for four years and over the last two years the litter in our area is getting worse. It attracts stray cats, birds and rats and at night you can hear them going through the rubbish. I do not know how often the council are supposed arrange for cleaners in our area.”

The council states, “Research carried out by Keep Britain Tidy reveals a quarter of Britain’s streets are strewn with cast off food cartons, drink cans, and pizza boxes. If there is a litter problem related to particular kinds of commercial premises, such as takeaway restaurants, cinemas, sports centres, service stations and others, then the Council has powers to make Street Litter Control Notices requiring businesses to take responsibility for the waste created from their premises.”

Apart from streets full of litter, it does not help when certain car drivers throw litter from their windows. Eating food by individuals in a car parked on the road or street and disposing of the wrappers through the window is often witnessed by residents with anger and disgust. Mr Smith of Undercliffe tells us, “Young lads always park in my street in the evening as it is a quiet cul-de-sac. I can hear them talking loudly and once they have finished eating, they just simply throw all the rubbish out of their car and drive off.” With anger etched on his face, Mr Smith continues, “Once I approached them and told them not to throw the rubbish outside my house and they simply abused me and drove off.”

There are many cases similar to that of Mr Smith and the council are aware of the growing problem. According to the Bradford council website, “Littering from vehicles is a major problem. Keep Britain Tidy research has shown that 23% of people are likely to litter from their car. Smoking related litter is now the UK’s biggest litter problem, with cigarette litter reported to be on 78% of our streets.”

Fly tipping is also a growing problem in Bradford as we all too very often see the old sofas and mattresses dumped in alley ways and barren roads. Though the council are trying to deter offenders with a hefty fine of up to £50,000 and one year imprisonment, it seems offenders are unperturbed by the outcome of their selfish actions if caught.

Bradford council states, “If someone fly tips on private land, it is then down to the landlord to arrange for the clearance of the illegally dumped waste.”

For certain residents who live in the inner city areas, they claim that the council pick and choose where they clean and how often they clean. One resident from Manningham who did not want to be named claims, “If you go to the affluent areas there seems to be no rubbish but when you drive around the Asian areas here in Mannigham, Lidget Green or Toller Lane, you never see any road sweepers or any council workers. It’s as though they don’t care about the Asian areas and want us to clean up our own mess.”

If you have a problem of littering on your street or witness anyone fly tipping you can report it to the Bradford council by calling them on 01274 431000.

***URBAN ECHO EXCLUSIVE***

On August 31, 2012, Bradford businessman Omar Khan proudly walked on to the Odsal stadium pitch alongside friend and seasoned politician Gerry Sutcliffe to the rapture of the partisan crowd who were relieved at the fact that their beloved Bradford Bulls had been saved from potential obscurity. Two years later, what started as a fairy tale romance has ended in a rancorous battle between the Bull’s former owner and the new owners.

Urban Echo has been contacted by Ryan Whitcut, the former general manager of the Bradford Bulls during Omar Khan and Gerry Sutcliffe’s reign at the club. He spoke exclusively to Urban Echo of his version of events and his reasons as to why he thinks the breakdown in trust and continuing suspicions contributed to the end of what could have been a golden era for the Bradford Bulls.

A statement by Ryan Whitcut, former general manager, Bradford Bulls:

When I agreed to purchase the club along with MarkMoore in September last year it was to continue along with the good work that had already been done. It was clear to everyone involved that there was a deficit in 2014 of £500k and that this figure would need to be found, it was never the case that cost cutting would be the way forward.

I had attracted a large investment which was coming from a development company known for its development of sports stadiums and complexes, they were to take a share of the club as well as develop the stadium and adjoining land at Odsal. The initial input into the rugby club was £1m for 2014. I had also attracted a number of smaller investors into the club to help with its running. These people were given sight of the full accounting position and shortfalls known to the club. When it was clear we were not going to be able to pay Omar the agreed amount on the date agreed I approached him and got an extension, I had agreed that we would pay the costs he incurred during that time. My fellow directors at the time thought they could legally and I guess morally just not pay what was contractually owed. I would like to point out that I am being pursued for over £150k still.

When I left the club in November last year, there was no debt to HMRC and the Purchase Ledger was running at about £300k. The threat of a winding up petition by HMRC was down to those in charge after I left.

Numerous meetings were had with the RFL and again at no point were cost cutting measures spoken or even thought about. We all wanted the Bulls to be successful and cutting costs would jeopardise the chances of a play-off position. After a meeting at the RFL at which I was not present I was informed by Mark Moore that Blake Solly had said that they didn’t have to pay Omar Khan and he also said that I had failed a fit and proper person test and should leave the club immediately as per the RFL. This came to me as a bit of a shock as I had been running the club and been an “influential person” within the club for the previous 12 Months. I haven’t to date received any correspondence from the RFL to that effect. The board then approached the developer directly, who after seeing the way business was being conducted decided to walk away.

A number of blatant lies were told by the trio as well as Robbie and John Bateman. At all

times everyone was kept informed. John phoned me and said, “I want to leave the Bulls”.

The meeting was set up with Ian Lennigan and Andrew Calvert was going to come along.

He called me that morning and said he couldn’t make it due another commitment. Before

any offer was accepted, all four of them agreed to the sale price. Amazingly, at the fans

forum, they then say that they knew nothing about it.

Other stories relating to hidden costs which they knew nothing about again are stories, all

of them had full access to all documents and accounting systems in place. The pre pack

administration was to get rid of Omar’s debt without paying him a penny and not for any

other reason. The parties behind this were Ralph Rimmer, Blake Solly, Mark Moore,

Andrew Calvert, Ian Watt. The administration was put together with the RFL’s full backing

and knowledge since December 2013. This has left the club in limbo once again.

From the moment I was asked to leave the club I have refrained from making any comment, publicly or privately, after seeing the absolute debacle of yesterday I felt the need to set the record straight.

When the Club was placed into administration again the year the RFL had no other option but to deduct points and I fully agree with this, however why this time was there no mention of having Central distribution monies taken away? Why is this different to last time when the Hood regime entered into administration?

I believe this has to do with the purchaser. Omar and his team were never wanted in the Rugby League circle and the implementation of in essence a £1.25m fine, the 1st of its kind within rugby of both codes and football. This never gave the bulls a chance of staying within losses that were manageable.

It’s clear that the Rugby Football League didn’t want Omar’s ‘sort’ or the investment I had attracted in the game. They should have shown more guts at the time and said NO. Instead there was a lack of cooperation, extreme penalties, a general lack of support and an intention to prevent payment to Omar Khan which ended a bright future for the Bulls.

I heard that the administrator David Wilson spoke out loud at the creditors meeting and stated that he had tried to contact me on numerous occasion about the alleged financial irregularities. This never happened. I have since sent numerous emails to Mr Wilson requesting the correspondence sent whilst he was allegedly trying to get in touch, again to this date I have received nothing.

The Bulls was a major part of my life and I wish them every success in the future. If the performance against Warrington was anything to go by, they will be fine.

Gerry SutcliffeOver the past few weeks I have been sad and disappointed to read the numerous articles in the local press and unnamed commentary from individuals attacking Omar Khan in relation to OK Bradford Bulls.

At the time I was asked to be involved, the only motivation of us all was to save the club and to try to take it forward in difficult circumstances. The club was within half an hour of liquidation when Omar invested large amounts of his own money to secure it and save its super league status.

When he asked me and other board members to step down in September as he was selling the club to others due to illness, there were no outstanding issues as far as I was concerned.

It appears that the debt entered into by the new directors as result of a loan to the club by Marc GreenGerry Sutcliffe 2resulted in Mr Green putting the club into administration. He subsequently bought the club from administration, beating rival bidders.

Omar Khan has challenged that administration process legally and from his own pocket paid for the legal challenge in an attempt to make transparent the whole process.

In relation to the loan from Bradford Council to the rugby club, this was a commercial loan agreed within the appropriate council procedures.

As far as I am aware, Omar is repaying the loan as the guarantor. His character and integrity is being unfairly maligned for political gain.

Gerry Sutcliffe, MP

LATEST – The National Media Museum secures £1 million hand-out from Bradford council to secure its future for the next three years. The Science Museum group have also matched the offer by contributing a further £1million. A spokesman for the Government’s Department for Culture, Media & Sport said earlier: “Today’s announcement is great news for the National Media Museum and a fantastic example of the types of commercial and local partnerships that can help all museums continue to thrive.”

For the last decade, the National Media Museum has witnessed a steady decline in visitor numbers and this latest news will inject renewed passion and optimism for staff and the Science Museum Group hierarchy.

With the Westfield project well underway as well as the potential development of the old Odeon building looking more and more realistic, Bradford, it seems, could well be bouncing back.

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DO WE TALK ENOUGH? 

Well I have been given a column to write… so now what do I write about?

“The world is your oyster!” many have said to me, but I wonder just how much truth is in this statement. As a teenager, you often become subject to people as most times your parents thinking you are irresponsible despite them pushing you to become more independent. However this becomes an almost impossible task when you’re not allowed to do anything! I think the turning point in my life to becoming an ‘adult’ was making my first doctor’s appointment. Sad but true!

I just remember my mum saying “I’m not your personal secretary!” and then handing me the phone. I could feel the tension rise as I am waiting for someone to pick the phone on the other end and then I had the daunting task of actually talking to someone on the phone.

That was three years ago and now I feel much more at ease of speaking to anyone on the phone, depending on the individual of course.

I guess I should be thankful for the moment when my mum told me to book my own appointment. It was a phrase I never thought I would say, but in hindsight it is true. I have friends now who find making an important phone call an incredibly nerve-wracking task. “What do I say? I don’t know what to say!” are one of the few things they always ask me.

Some of you may think this is bizarre but talking over the phone is becoming a bigger problem than it seems. The world is becoming mute. Nowadays talking on the phone has lost its appeal whereas texting has proven more popular than ever before.

Why? TECHNOLOGY. Following a 2012 Ofcom report into the growing trend of texting, Ofcom’s director of research James Thickett commented that the popularity of smartphones has increased due to them offering “newer forms of communications which don’t require us to talk to each other”. Next time you sit in a room and spend time with your family or friends just think about how much time you actually spend talking to one another with eye to eye interaction. Compare it to how much you spend time on your phone either texting or interacting with friends and family via Twitter and Facebook. We are ALL guilty of it. I for one am definitely a culprit.

So how do we overcome this problem before we turn into a world that just doesn’t speak anymore? First put down your phones and talk to people in the same room as you, then maybe making an important phone call won’t seem like such a daunting task.

And as for the world being my oyster, I will have to get back to you on that.

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