Where on earth did those months go to.  From September through to December 2017 loads of community events including fund raising afternoon teas, dinners, lunches, raffles and community events have been the highlight. 


This year saw the Am Hams produce Tom and the Water Babies as the Panto - two lines and a line in a song for me this year! 


My highlight in December was the Christmas Day lunch assisting my colleague, fellow councillor and friend Angie Dale who master minds the event.  What a great way to spend part of Christmas Day - 70 people from very diffent backgrounds (families, singlies, strangers (who no longer are) all together to celebrate Christmas).  Can't wait for next year!


I have done a load of leafletting in the last few weeks to make sure that everyone knows how to contact me.  Please feel free to do just that.


May brings the County Council elections which I am looking forward to.  I feel that I have so much more I can do.



I seem to have been involved in washing up at dozens of events in Colburn village hall.   I try to help at the Community Cafe lunches, lunches for the sequence dance group and the various fetes which take place. 


There have been schools sports days, various community social events, trips away with the Over 55s group.


I have helped with coffee mornings at Richmond town hall for The Beacon, Volunteer Centre and Just the Job.


The summer recess has now been and gone and we are back on the meeting regime!




DECEMBER 2015/MAY 2016

Its amazing how time flies and how many events, meetings and interviews etc take place during that time.  Finally had time to catch up!   December brought all the wonderful events from school plays to carol services, and, the most memorable the first CHRISTMAS DAY LUNCH in Colburn village hall which was attended by over 50 residents; those on their own and families alike.  It was wonderful.   December also saw me in the chorus of the pantomime - something I have always fancied doing so after many weeks of rehearsals Cinderella did go to the ball.  Four performances to full houses.  Colburn AmHams led by Pru Nunn were really entertaining.  Next year who knows.....   

JANUARY saw the early meetings to decide how to provide libraries after 2018 when NYCC reduce their involvement.  I am pleased to say that because of efforts by Cllr Stuart Parsons and myself the three libraries of Colburn, Richmond and Catterick Garrison now have a strong management board which is getting itself geared up for volunteers to take over a large amount of the work.

There have been multiple cream teas at Colburn village hall which have been for charities of all sorts.  On average £400 is raised each time.  A real credit to the community and to our neighbouring areas of Hipswell and Scotton who have residents that come along on a regular basis.

FEBRUARY saw me taking my refresher Level 2 Food Handling - if you would like me to help at any events please get in touch.

MARCH was The Beacon (Homeless Veterans) coffee morning - a really worthwhile organisation which is unsung.  I also undertook WRAP training which is about anti terrorism and radicalisation.

APRIL a number of meetings to try and help set up PARKRUN Catterick.  This is being led by the Ghurka community but will be open to all to join in.

MAY delighted to be the vice chairman of Colburn Town Council where I will be supporting Cllr Mel Bell who is chairman.


OCTOBER 2015 - Making good progress with the surgery held at Scotton with Pat Middlemiss.  We also did a litter pick at Scotton and a clear up around the lovely play park behind the village hall.

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2015  Young at Heart fund raiser in the village hall.  Very good effort which raised nearly £600 towards a really well supported group.

Helen Grant




Since the last update there have been a number of significant issues not least of which was the changes to the RDC refuse colletion.   I spoke out loudly against the changes and will continue to monitor what the changes actually mean to the staff and to the public purse.  I have helped a fellow independent in a by election.  Sadly she was not elected losing against the mighty Conservative machine by only 18 votes - to someone who is yet to show their hand.   I have celebrated Just the Jobs anniversary with them at Richmond Rugby Club.  Great to be presented to Prince Charles at The George  and Dragon community pub.  Attended the opening of Princes Gate shopping centre. The charity show at The Georgian was fantastic. Really good fun and highlighted the work carried out there.   Successful outcome for safety improvements at Scotton bridge.  Numerous potholes and lights fixed. First copies of The Garrison News are out and well received. Continue to watch Facebook and address your issues.  Devolution is a massive issue for everyone   I've been involved with seminars to find a way forward.    Loads of fundraisers including Beacon coffee morning and Volunteer Centre coffee morning, various afternoon teas, Colburn Annual Dinner, Autumn fairs.  Oak Tree Court fund raiser today.  Garrison Area Partnership has paid out to the tune of nearly £5K - delighted to chair this committee. Joint Burial Board has met twice and has agreed terms of reference for the future. Scotton, Hipswell, Colburn and St Martins councils attend and everything raised has been dealt with. Attended opening of Priory House which are 24 apartments in a sensitive area. They are a great achievement.  Libraries continue to cause concern with many volunteers required.   


JULY 2015 - Various meetings this month - Colburndale alterations, discussions at St John's Centre which ultimately resulted in Keir (developers at the Town Centre) providing left over tarmac, a bench and waste bin.   Colburn village hall fayre, various NYCC meetings and seminars, getting CCTV onto the scrutiny work list, attending the opening of the crazy golf at Richmond Pool, opening of The Steadings development, Just the Job coffee morning (washing up as usual!), followed by the Great Colburn Reunion afternoon tea (washing up again!!).  All 3 parish councils have been interesting recently - Colburn very concerned about road traffic from Yorkshire Water site, Scotton thinking ahead about schemes to improve pedestrian safety, play parks and looking for new councillors.  Hipswell concerned about road safety through the village and road furniture.  St Martins one of the smallest parishes which houses, Richmond Rugby Club, The Station, the swimming pool and Liberty Leisure has just had 24 apartments completed all in the ownership of a Housing Association.  Richmond Live which has such an impact on the little parish has passed over well with improved coning by NYP.   On a personal note I have just been appointed to the Police and Crime Panel for 4 years.  Also as a substitute member at the Local Government Association in London on 2 boards (Community Wellbeing along with People and Places). 


MAY/JUNE 2015 - So many places to go and things to do during the last 2 months.  Number of highlights were going to the Raising of the Flag for Armed Forces Day, attending the inaugral meeting of Parents4 Parents, becoming a volunteer for the Georgian Theatre Royal, coffee mornings for The Beacon and Richmondshire CVA including putting on a quiz for them which raised £700+ - preparing for a show at the Georgian which should do even more than that!  Helping when I can at the Community Cafe in Colburn Village Hall. 


On top of these the day job which is Town Council, District Council and County Council, newly appointed member of the Burial Board for 3 garrison parishes, visiting Looked After Childrens Home and preparing audit report with the appointed verifier.  All 3 parish council meetings and clerking St Martins. 


Invitation to the opening of the new development at The Steadings (on the Scotton Tunstall boundary) and to the opening of Priory House near the Station. 


Attending the Local Government Association conference in Harrogate and the Policing in North Yorkshire Exhibition. 


A myriad of case work issues from personal issues to pot holes, litter and dog mess.


Look forward to the next 2 months!

I am really pleased that I have been elected to represent the Scotton ward of Richmondshire District Council.  Scotton ward forms part of my County Division (Colburn, Scotton and Hipswell) so I know it very well and have had the opportunity to meet many people already.


I am planning to hold monthly surgeries in the village hall (cup of tea and a biscuit) as soon as I have completed my induction with the District Council.


I have many years previous experience so I am hoping that it won't take too long.

MAY 2015 - Success at the district election for myself and 3 others in the group.  A hard fought election in the light of the conservative successes.  Managed to find time to attend the Young at Heart over 55s lunch in Colburn village hall which was really well attended.  Also to help Cllr Angie Dale volunteering in the community cafe.  Just started a new volunteering project with The Georgian theatre which I know is going to be a worthwhile venture.  


MAY 2015 - Election fever well and truly happening - only 1 more day to go and all will be revealed.  I hope I will be successful in Scotton as their District Councillor and that all our other candidates will be successful where they are standing.   

22 APRIL 2015 - WHERE HOME IS at Wavell School today - watched Act 1 - had a significant impact on me as an ex-service child.  Intend going to another school to see Act 2.


APRIL 2015 - 2 weeks of campaigning for the local District Council election in Scotton - met some lovely people along the way - all seem to prefer 'community' rather than 'conservative' - really hope Maggie and myself are successful. 


MAY/JUNE 2015 - So many places to go and things to do during the last 2 months.  Number of highlights were going to the Raising of the Flag for Armed Forces Day, attending the inaugral meeting of Parents4 Parents, becoming a volunteer for the Georgian Theatre Royal, coffee mornings for The Beacon and Richmondshire CVA including putting on a quiz for them which raised £700+ - preparing for a show at the Georgian which should do even more than that!  Helping when I can at the Community Cafe in Colburn Village Hall. 


On top of these the day job which is Town Council, District Council and County Council, newly appointed member of the Burial Board for 3 garrison parishes, visiting Looked After Childrens Home and preparing audit report with the appointed verifier.  All 3 parish council meetings and clerking St Martins. 


Invitation to the opening of the new development at The Steadings (on the Scotton Tunstall boundary) and to the opening of Priory House near the Station. 


Attending the Local Government Association conference in Harrogate and the Policing in North Yorkshire Exhibition. 


A myriad of case work issues from personal issues to pot holes, litter and dog mess.


Look forward to the next 2 months!

 MARCH 2015 - really useful day with Parents 4 Parents.  

MARCH 2015  -  3 wise men at TESCO funding raising event.  Avoided the lycra and cycling - had a bucket waggle instead.    


AFTERNOON TEA in aid of Colburn Mayor's charities.

Got away before the washing up this time!



Get them involved at a young age - my grandson's and fellow councillor Angie Dale's daughter off on a litter pick outside the village hall.  Clean as a whistle when they were finished.

MARCH 2015 - With fellow Richmondshire Independent councillor Angie Dale at her fund raising event.


Putting up the bunting made by the newly formed Colburn Town WI.  


Community cafe serving the Young At Heart Over 50s group  - the Eve's pudding was great payment for my favourite task of washing up!


Supporting Colburn School talent show - proud nana of the budding poet.



Happy couple of days at the village hall in Colburn decorating this wonderful facility.  Community cafe is under new management and the place is buzzing.

DECEMBER/NEW YEAR!!  One of my current 'pet projects' - one of the damaged speed bumps at Hipswell.  I am on to it!


After months and months of trying to get the lights back on at St Oswalds roundabout down towards Richmond and latterly the lights at White Shops - most are finally on!


13 DECEMBER - fund raising event at St Mary's Church Richmond representing Friends of the Beacon - £700 raised - mulled wine and nibbles went down a treat.  (Please note 26 February at Richmond Town Hall coffee morning another fund-raising event for this under-represented group - homeless veterans.) 

18 DECEMBER 2014 - Last year's photo!  Waiting to get an up to date one - but wanted to say that Maggie Smith and her colleagues (along with me as commis chef - promoted from dish washer!) had a wonderful time and gave Christmas dinner courtesy of Scotton Parish Council to 32 people. 

28 NOVEMBER - School hall just before 300 + people decended!

28 NOVEMBER - Early Colburn Primary School Christmas Fayre - fantastic community santa!  In excess of £1700 raised in about 3 hours.  

OCTOBER 2014 - I was invited to the HMS Heroes service at Ripon Cathedral in support of the garrison children.  HMS Heroes supports the children of serving personnel while they are away on duty.  Uplifting experience with more than 600 children singing their hearts out.

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014  Fantastic effort at the beck Old Colburn Village nearly 40t of stone shifted into gabions by volunteers and local company staff.  Not only was the work done free but the two companies each gave £400 towards the cost of the stone.

JULY 2014 - Colburn Village Hall Summer Fayre.  Really successful morning with the garden competition winners being presented with their cash prizes and first prize trophies.  Something like £780 in 2 hours - not a bad day's work.

JULY 2014 - Scotton parish Picnic in the Park - fantastic community event on a wonderful day.  The wrecking ball was my spot for an hour or so - tug of war later (not a team member) was won by Sven and Iain's team (parish councillors) and their crew.

JULY 2014 - In London at the Local Government Association (LGA) Conference in Bournemouth.  For those who do not know, I sit on Community and Wellbeing as one of only 20 people NATIONALLY.  Very interesting couple of days where the 100 days document was launched.  Basically LGA telling the incoming Government in 2015 what they expect them to do within the first 100 days of their term.

Just a few people at the Scotton ABF event.

28 JUNE 2014 - What a fantastic day.  Armed Forces Day coffee and cake this morning at Scotton village hall with Cllr Mark Bradbury.  Followed nicely by BURNFEST the first Colburn music festival at the Sports and Leisure Centre - great music and atmosphere.

JUNE 2014 - I have recently become a director of Just the Job a social enterprise which give employment to young people with disabiities of one form or another.  I have also taken a trustee position with the Richmondshire Volunteer Centre which is integral to the distribution of volunteers, accessing funds and focusing attention on user groups throughout the district.

Finally got this picture up which shows Russell Lord, Chairman of RDC with Angie Dale, Chairman and Mayor of Colburn with myself as County Councillor and Cllr Lynn Nassau with Cllr Jaganesh Sharma our deputy mayor.  This was a presentation in recognition of the hard work which has been undertaken to upgrade the play parks.

First Surgery at Scotton Village Hall on Saturday morning with Cllrs Whitehead and Bradbury along with PCSO Gale.  We hope that this will continue into the future and the next surgery will be held on 28 June 1000-1200 (Coffee and Cake).

If you would like to read more about the event go to

MAY 2014 - A very busy day today, firstly the sod cutting for the new Catterick Garrison sod turning which was undertaken by Colonel Stephen Padget, Paul Cullen, myself and Stephanie Todd - me as the County Councillor and the other 2 District Councillors.  Fabulous that this is actually going to happen.


Later in the day along with Cllr Paul Cullen attending the afternoon event organised by Bernard Bateman, chairman of NYCC to acknowledge the wonderful work undertaken by volunteers in Richmondshire.


April 2014 - Great news for Catterick Garrison. After an enormous amount of paper and discussion, fantastic fb intervention and genuine interest - the 7 screen cinema which was the catalyst for the new development has been approved. The first sod is to be turned on or about 28 April and completion of this massive job is due to take about 18 months. No doubt there will be absolute chaos on the roads at some times but focussing on the end result should keep us all calm. The Garrison Area Partnership will be held on 12 June and I hope to have a representative there to give us all an update.

MARCH 2014 - At the LGA logging in with Cllr Paul Cullen at the Community Wellbeing Board and Children and Young Persons Board - both have been interesting - discussions about Children's Mental Health, Public Health Commissioning and Special Educational Needs and Disability.  


JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 - Amazing how quickly the year disappears.  The Hildyard Arms in Old Colburn village has reopened in its newly refurbished welcoming way.  14 February is the launch date for their menu.  Colburn Lodge refurbishments have started and a new business is expected sometime this year - a massive job.  Andrew has been chosen as the new vicar with his wife Joy.  Helped judge Colburn's Got Talent at the primary school.  Restrictions to try and solve rat running through the old village have been put in place.   


Scotton Parish Council are concerned about the speeding traffic on Bedale Road I am trying to have the 30mph sign moved which may help. Work continues to choose a suitable MUGA.  Looking forward to the Scotton Summer Event.  Tryng to get a meeting between RDC planners, Barratts and the Parish to find a way forward regarding overgrown trees.   I have leafleted 3 estates to make sure everyone knows how to get in touch with me. 


Hipswell Parish Council have many concerns related to a lane which I am trying to solve with the help of Highways, Defence Estates and the Parish.  Keeping an eye on a number of road safety items and the vast number of lights in the parish.


St Martins have decided to move the location of their quarterly meetings - this will be at the Rugby Club on Theakston Lane.  I've attended all the parish meetings, County meetings and a number of LGA related events.



This has been the busiest of times starting with the wonderful Pantomime at Colburn Village Hall in November!  Colburn Am Hams do a wonderful job and the Pied Piper was fantastic as usual - even if the new fire alarm system worked when the 2 flashes went off!


A visit to Eldon Square with the Over 55s group from Colburn which turned out to be an 'eat fest' with lovely company.


During the run up to Christmas I ran a by-election for the Hornby Castle ward in which I was the runner up - always worth giving the opposition a run for their money!


There have been school fairs, Church fairs, village hall fairs, dancing group Christmas lunches, seniors lunches where I have had great fun helping (best stand in washer upper!).


Colburn Gardening Club had its Christmas lunch - always looking for new members (first Wednesday of the month).


The Garrison Area Partnership had an excellent meeting at the Risedale Youth Centre - representatives from MOD and Phoenix House gave an update on the current Garrison developments.


I had the opportunity to meet the 2 candidates who were to be chosen for new vicar at Colburn and Hipswell (I look forward to hearing the outcome).


I am very much looking forward to 2014 and to continuing the hard work which forms part of being a County Councillor and to the run up to the District Council elections too.



September 2013 - Along with Cllrs Angela and Mary Dale providing a three course lunch to the Afternoon Tea Dancers at Colburn Village Hall.

September 2013 - helping NYCC Conservation Volunteers at the local SINC - 2 hours of hard slog each year which results in a beautiful array of wild flowers which is getting better every year - Transforming Richmondshire (TRY) take away the meadow-rich grasses and use them throughout the district.

August 2013 - Visit to Scotton dog walking area with representatives from Richmondshire Districct Council Scrutiny Committee.  This is an example of forward thinking by a Parish Council which may be replicated throughout the District. 

2013 - Really pleased to have introduced the Ghurkha/Nepalese community to Just the Job - a fantastic community effort to remove and dismantle a portakabin to create a storage area.

JUNE 2013 - 5 hours work made such a difference to the beckside and clearing the debris.

June 2013 - Environmental works with members of the community, town council and Ghurkha troops.

2013 - following many months work Albermarle play park has now been completed and is being used by dozens of children on a daily basis.  


Although pictures have appeared in the local press I am not loading them on here as I don't have the permission of parents.  Myself and Cllr Angie Dale had a wonderful time at the park when we went there with the class of children who helped to design it.  3 more to go and a MUGA hopefully by the end of the year.

2013 - Fantastic community event in Colburn cleaning out a beck which caused incredible floods last year - 19 loads!  Great help given by the Gurkha community.

2013 - Pack holiday cooking for the Brownies in the Esk Valley - everyone survived!

March 2013 - Continuing to follow up a significant tree growth problem in Scotton - a very long haul!

Feb 2013 - Evidence of fly tipping seen during walkabout.

2013 - my new photograph on the NYCC site.

JANUARY 2013 - Identifying areas which are litter strewn before the leaves come back in Spring

JANUARY 2013 - Arranging for the bus stop to be moved slightly down the road so that elderly residents can access it more easily

JANUARY 2013 - Cars blocking the entrance to Hildyard Row car park - working hard to ensure that the area has appropriate street marking.

December 2012 - Old Colburn Village - work awaited on the road following the extreme storms - to be completed in the New Year.

December 2012 - Helped Parish Councillor Maggie Smith with the seniors Christmas lunch - great fun and a lovely way of getting to know people.

December 2012  -  Works continue with the footbridge. 

November 2012 - Checking out which drains had been damaged during the storms and making sure that they have been reported.

October 2012 - work continues at Scotton footbridge.

September 2012 - Investigating TPOs at Scotton on behalf of a resident.

September 2012 - Morning at the Habitat (Army Welfare Services) Catterick Garrison helping with a community day run by Debut Services.  The end result is well worth a visit.

September 2012 - After over 20 years in the making NYCC finally deliver the much needed footbridge to residents at Scotton.  I am delighted to be part of that delivery and look forward to watching the Parish Chairman cut the ribbon!

September 2012 - Cutting back of buddleia which had overgrown the pavement down the hill towards Bedale Road.  The elderly residents and mums with buggies were having to walk out onto the road to avoid it.

August 2012 - Visit to a permissive path with a local resident which had become overgrown.

August 2012 - The pathway went from bad to worse - but - the landowner has agreed to cut it back which will allow Scotton residents to walk freely and exercise their dogs in safety.

August 2012 - A local Scotton resident looked for support when the beck in front of her house became flooded - parish council are taking this forward which should fix the problem.

This is the photograph you should look for on the North Yorkshire County Council website.  The text next to it will give you details of how to get in touch with me.

Early June - a week away with 1st Colburn Brownies at Marske by the Sea as their cook - 17 brownies and 5 adults.  Thankfully they all survived!


Cooking for Colburn Brownies - Just how many dumplings can you get in a stew pot!  Worth the effort.

10 May 2012 - as a Branch Executive member of the PCS Trades Union I along with other local members picketed against pension cuts.

Early in May 2012 I was involved with local residents, the water authority and owners when the Colburn Lodge became flooded.

The car park at the Colburn Lodge was running like a fast stream - unfortunately in mid- June the problem is still ongoing.  Yorkshire Water don't have responsibility but RDC are working with the owners to resolve the problem.


16 May 2012 - Myself, District Councillor Dale and her daughter went to the play parks in Colburn today to assess the play value children get when they play there.  Colburn Town Council hopes to improve a number of sites by accessing funding.  Madeline's input was invaluable. 

26 May 2012 - day out at the march to preserve maternity and children's facilities at the Friarage Hospital along with >2K other like-minded people.