75% turnout for EU Referendum in Richmondshire

It may have been the poll that no-one wanted but turnout locally for the EU Referendum was high with Richmondshire council area showing a 75.1% turnout.

And just as in the country more widely, the final tally shows a divided area. 56.8 per cent of those who voted going for leaving the EU, while 43.2% wish to remain.

The final tally was:
Remain – 11,945 votes.
Leave – 15,691 votes.

Check our local results against the other parts of the country using the BBC results service here.

William Hague slams Brexit fantasists

William Hague

William Hague

Former Richmond MP William Hague has entered the EU referendum fray with a stance in direct opposition to the current MP Rishi Sunak.

The former foreign secretary, who represented this constituency for 26 years, urged voters to reject the Leave campaign as it would not be a method for controlling immigration and would harm British interests.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme earlier this week, Lord Hague said he remained a critic of the EU but said that it had changed in recent years, and called for a “clear-headed” decision from voters going to the polls on 23 June.

“We are in an imperfect world,” he said, “many of the choices we make in life are between the lesser of evils….. leaving the EU as a means of controlling immigration……it would affect British people wanting to move and work elsewhere in Europe.

“This is not the issue on which to decide how to vote in this referendum.”

The BBC also reported that, in a speech made later on the same day, Lord Hague accused the Brexit campaigners of peddling ‘utter fantasy.’ You can read the full report here.

Coming up this week – Knights, Maids, EU debate and more

A pick of what’s on in Richmond this week:

* Got an event to share? Pop it up on the noticeboard here and we’ll help spread the word.

In the news
From the other Richmond comes news that our local bell ringers cycled 350 miles to Richmond-upon-Thames where they were welcomed to St Mary Magdalene Church for a bell-ringing session.

Richmond MP hosts EU referendum QandA sessions

eu_qa_add_2_0_cropped2Rishi Sunak  is to hold a question and answer session in the town before the EU referendum in June.

In a total of four meetings across the district – also in Northallerton, Stokesley and Leyburn – he says he will give constituents the chance to ask their MP about whether Britain should vote to leave or remain in the EU.

On his blog today, he said: “The interest in the EU question is tremendous. People have to make a difficult judgment about a very important, complex issue and these meetings should help constituents do that,” he said.

The meetings will be chaired and independently moderated by Chris Lloyd, chief feature and political writer of The Northern Echo and Darlington & Stockton Times, Cllr Russell Lord, Mayor of Richmond, and Cllr Stewart Brennan, of Stokesley Parish Council.

Sunak, who has previously declared that he will vote to leave, said: “The meetings will not be about me campaigning for Brexit. Obviously, I will make my standpoint clear but I will also acknowledge there are opposing views.”

The Richmond meeting is on Wednesday, June 1 at Richmond Town Hall.

The other dates and venues for the meetings are: Monday, May 30 – Northallerton Town Hall; Tuesday, May 31 – Stokesley Town Hall; Thursday, June 2 – Tennants Auction Rooms. All start at 6pm.

Seating at all the venues can be reserved by registering with the constituency office on 01609 765330 or by email at rishi.sunak.mp@parliament.uk.

Voters warned about social media misinformation over EU voting

Residents are being urged to ignore a social media message about their eligibility to vote in the EU Referendum in June.

In a press release issued by Richmondshire Council, residents are being advised that, to be able to put a cross in the box on June 23, electors simply need to be registered to vote – there is no special registration just for this election.

And householders have an easy way of knowing if they are already on the electoral list – they will have received a polling card for the Police and Crime Commissioner Election on May 5.

Anyone who hasn’t needs to head to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

The online process is very simple and only takes about five minutes – all that is needed is your National Insurance number. Registration can also be done by post – download application forms from the same website or call at Richmondshire District Council offices for a form.

This process will take longer – and you must be registered by June 7 to be eligible to vote.

“Time is running out to make sure you can take part in the Referendum, so I’d encourage everyone in Richmondshire to take action now if they’re not already registered to vote,” said Tony Clark, electoral registration officer for Richmondshire.

“Our message is simple – ignore the social media message, you do not need to be specially registered for the EU vote. However you can’t vote if you aren’t registered by 7 June. It’s easy and only takes a few minutes online – just head to gov.uk/register-to-vote.”

Euro referendum public meeting

A public meeting – together with a question and answer session about the important decision that lies ahead with the European referendum- was held in the town hall today.

Sadly, we heard about it too late in the day to get along to report the proceedings. However, if any of the organisers, or people attending, would care to share some details about what happened there and any future meetings, we would be very pleased to hear more about it.

We can be contacted via the comments below, via email at RichmondNoticeboardATgmail.com, via the RichmondNoticeboard Facebook page or on Twitter @RichmondNYorks.

‘There would appear to be no contingency plans’ says landscape guardian

Everyone’s heard about farming subsidies and most people know they provide a huge amount of funding in our region. But it’s not just farmers who receive this EU cash. Luke Catchpole spoke to one beneficiary who receives a subsidy to look after some of Richmond’s most-loved public spaces.

Jacqui Singleton-Turner is the land manager for the Richmond Landscape Trust, the community land charity that looks after spaces such as the pastures at Westfields, the nine acre field (OS9100), Jack King’s Wood, South Bank near the Station Bridge and Sleegill.

She explained how the Trust received funding for land maintenance via these subsidies.

“The Basic Payment Scheme is paid to farmers and is calculated per hectare (acre) on the basis of the amount of land you own. The hectares are then translated into entitlements and you receive a fixed amount per entitlement.”

This formula has led to the Trust receiving E 31,668.07 of assistance since 1999 for activity such as rebuilding stone walls, planting hedgerows, and producing wild flower meadows.

And they are not alone. Along with many other bodies and businesses not primarily about farming, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has also been receiving subsidies through the scheme.

That Authority is an independent body tasked with “conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park” plus “promoting opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the area by the public.”

It has received E 19,926.69 since 1999 for its work.

So what would an exit for the EU mean for these organisations?

Mrs Singleton-Turner raised concerns that there could be a lack of ring-fenced cash made available in the future if the UK left the EU.

“From a farming point of view membership of the EU is clearly beneficial. There would appear to be no contingency plans for UK farming subsidies in the event of leaving. Instead of being ring fenced, agriculture would have to take its chances alongside health, education etc. The outlook does not seem promising.”

* You can browse and search the data of all recipients of EU farming subsidies here at FarmSubsidy.org, a project of Journalismfund.eu, a non-profit organisation, and powered byOpenSpending of Open Knowledge.

What does the EU referendum mean locally?

Flag_of_Europe.svgThere’s 100 days to go until we all go to the polls and decide the future of Britain’s relationship with the European Union.

Across Richmondshire, and far beyond of course, a major complaint often aired about the current debate is that there’s just not enough nonpartisan information being made available.

Here at the Richmond Noticeboard we wanted to do what we can to play our small part in rectifying that.

So, on the run up to the referendum vote we’ll take a look at different aspects of the EU and the local area which you can access via this dedicated section.