Archive | June, 2012

Fight Against The Allerton Incinerator

Artists impression of proposed plant

NYWAG is an organisation opposed to incineration as a waste solution anywhere in the UK with a focus on the planned construction of an incinerator site at Allerton Park Quarry, between Harrogate and York.
They aim to persuade the council and others (and the public inquiry when they get it) that this is an unnecessary and costly proposal for which there are much cheaper, greener alternatives:
320,000 tons of waste will be transported by road to Allerton Park near Knaresborough where up to 80% of the waste will be incinerated and 12% will be fed into an AD. (only about 5% will be recycled!)

Reasons against the incinerator

  1. The incinerator will cause harm to the landscape, the environment and the wider economy.  If approved the incinerator will reduce re-cycling: the need to feed the incinerator will discourage re-cycling.
  2. Need is not demonstrated and the plant is too big: it is designed to burn 320,000 tonnes of waste a year – much more than North Yorkshire currently produces. It’ll be too big in future, because volumes of waste are going down as re-cycling increases and packaging is reduced.
  3. The case for a single site is not made.  The council’s own public consultation reveals residents would prefer to have smaller local facilities – including at Allerton Park – to reduce the number of lorries on the roads. But the incinerator proposal would put many tens of thousands of lorries on to our roads bringing in waste from all over the county. As well as adding to traffic congestion and to road deaths and injuries, lorry fumes will add to pollution and increase our carbon footprint.
  4.  There’s nothing nearby that could make use of heat from the plant.
  5. It will have big climate change impacts:  Incineration is one of the worst performing methods for waste disposal when carbon dioxide costs are calculated. Electricity-only incinerators produce 33% more fossil fuel derived CO2 per unit energy generated than a gas fired power station. By 2020, with increases in recycling and improved technology, these incinerators will be 78% worse than new gas power stations!
  6. Visual Impact: Despite the height of the main incinerator chimney stack being reduced to 70m from earlier designs, this chimney, together with the surrounding high buildings, will dominate the landscape for many miles around and will constitute a significant visual intrusion on the immediate and wider countryside area. This is the gateway to Yorkshire and will be the first you see when entering this county, which relies on tourism.

North Yorkshire County Council has backed this scheme in principle because it failed to develop a better plan for meeting targets to reduce landfill. Now the council will be judge and jury on the planning application, unless we can get the planning application ‘called in’ and decided at a public inquiry.

Things you can do:

  • You can still write to your MP to object.
  • Fund Raising – please organise events to help fundraise and spread the message!
  • Or simply just sign the online petition (and forward onto your friends)!
  • NYWAG are having their annual sponsored bike ride to raise money for public inquiry. If you are interested please see the links at the bottom of this article.

Sign the petition at:

Contact Steve about NYWAG or the bike ride or to ask for a sponsor form:

Telephone: 01423 330639


Written by: Ailsa Mummery

Posted in Features, Highlights, Multimedia, News, Views0 Comments

Art Show Review

Full story coming soon. 8-)

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The Syrian Ceasefire: Saviour or a Sham?

The UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, has outlined his peace plans for Syria and has received word from the Syrian Government that it agrees to the peace plans. But has President Assad kept his word? According to the Free Syrian Army Militants, troops from the Syrian Army are still on the streets of cities like Homs, together with tanks and artillery batteries. This was confirmed when journalists from the BBC shot secret footage of Syrian Army tanks still on the streets of rebel-held cities.

Free Syrian Army

Free Syrian Army (Photo credit: FreedomHouse)

Assad has decreed that the tanks are there purely for security measures and to fight the Free Syrian Army, which the Syrian government has branded ‘Armed Terrorists.’ The Free Syrians say they are fighting for a just cause but have refused to listen to Kofi Annan’s peace plan as they believe that the government will not respect it. For the time being they may be right.

The UN have sent monitors to Syria to see that Assad removes all tanks and soldiers from Syrian cities and that a democratic voting process is introduced. It has refused to take any military action, but will issue sanctions on Syria if the ceasefire is not acted upon properly by the Syrian Government.

However, the Free Syrians have committed  atrocities as well as Assad’s Army. A UN truck was blown up by a Free Syrian bomb in the capital Damascus, wounding the truck’s occupants. The Free Syrians have said that this was simply a mistake, but the government and the UN are wary of the Free Syrians motives.

After more bombing was reported in Homs and Damascus, the UN issued a final warning to President Assad and the Free Syrian Army, that if they did not make peace and form a coalition government, more sanctions would be appplied. The UN even threatened to use force to remove the government and install a democratic constitution, but Russia and China have vetoed this, causing outrage throughout the UN General Assembly.

Recently, it has been reported that the Syrian Army have been kidnapping children and torturing them to find out if their parents support the Free Syrians, and then tying them to their tanks to use as a human shield. Large-scale massacres in villages have also taken place. This has forced the UN to brand President Assad as a war criminal, even though the country isn’t officially at war!

As has been clearly shown, the Syrian ceasefire clearly hasn’t worked and the UN fear that if action is not taken immediately  the country will slide into full-scale civil war.



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Belgium 2012 Gallery preview

The Belgium Battlefield trip has become an important part of the school calendar.  Over the next few weeks we will be collating, editing and posting more photos so visit us again soon.

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Harrogate High to be rebuilt.

 Harrogate High School originally built in the 1960s is getting demolished and rebuilt from scratch as part of a government scheme.  Nationwide only 261 schools  have been chosen for investment. The government think that it will improve the conditions in Britain’s schools and academic achievement.  To minimise student and staffs disruption  the new building to be built on site before the old one is demolished. They expect the new school to open in 2-3 years time.


Harrogate high is very lucky to have this opportunity because they are the only school in North Yorkshire to be included in the programme  To ensure fair play a surveyor visited and inspected every school before deciding which ones were eligible.


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The end of an era for Year 11

Left to right; Isobel Samuel-Huskisson, Elena Harrington, Jenny Visick, Harry Woffenden, Vanessa Turnbull, Kirsten Traynor, Saskia Lawson-Tuvey and Harriet Taylor

Friday 11th May marked the end of an era for Year 11, the end of compulsory lessons and the beginning of the revision programme and examinations. It was an emotional and nostalgic occasion for many, even though the majority will return in September. The extended assembly in the morning was an opportunity to share memories, celebrate success, offer thanks and distribute prizes, as well as enjoy the music and dance. The students then went away to prepare themselves for the excitement of evening of their Leavers’ Ball.

Not even the rain could dampen the spirits of the two hundred and thirty five students and staff as they arrived to celebrate in style at the Old Swan Hotel. It was an evening of elegance and glamour and certainly one to remember for all involved – all the students were stunning, becoming film stars for the occasion. Michael Buble, alias Will Eley, made an appearance as the after-dinner soloist, followed by Indie Rock Band, The Idea, which added excitement and splendour to the occasion. Alas, the end of the evening came all too soon. What a superb year group who celebrated in style!


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Dutch exchange 2012

A picture of everyone with their exchanges

On the 20th of march to the 23rd Dutch 21 students  from the Waterings Veld college in The Hague, or in the Dutch Den Haag,   visited Harrogate Grammar.  The Hague, the third largest city in the Netherlands,  is located in the province of South Holland similar to our counties such as Yorkshire.  My exchange partner was called Ré-angelo Jarvis he was born in Aruba in the Caribbean and is 15 years old. They travelled by overnight ferry and  then came by coach to Harrogate.  On their first day  I was pretty nervous about meeting Ré-angelo but we quickly started to become friends.  I was surprised to find out he could speak English, Dutch and German and even despite knowing so many languages he had started to learn Spanish. On the first night a lot of us went to Pizza Express and  I took the opportunity to show him some of Harrogate’s famous sights. I would definitely recommend hosting an exchange student  because it is very interesting learning about their country, school and is a good way to make a new friend or pen pal.


If you hosted a Dutch student and have any stories or photos you want to share please contact me.



Harrogate Grammar Studetns

Waterings Veld Students


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Bomb Threats in the Local Area

On Monday and then again on Tuesday 29th May 2012, Rossett Acre Primary just yards up Arthurs Avenue from Harrogate Grammar received bomb threats.  The school received the emails at around 12pm on the Monday and 8:45am on the Tuesday which warned the staff that  there was a bomb inside the building and that it was real. On both days, the building was quickly evacuated by the sounding the fire alarm and the police were called.

On the Monday the children and staff were safely evacuated to the Rossett High School Astro-turf. On the Tuesday, the teachers gathered all the children up when school started at 8:50am.

North Yorkshire Police said that it was ‘malicious hoax’ on both occasions and they and the Metropolitan police were investigating the possibility of a link to series of malicious communications to schools across the UK.
On the Monday, a spokesperson from the North Yorkshire County Council said: “Investigations have established the message was a malicious hoax and the school will reopen as usual tomorrow morning.” But on Tuesday school couldn’t even start because of the new email.
North Yorkshire police said it had “fully assessed” the situation at Rossett Acre and they are now urging anyone who receives similar messages to contact the police immediately.

The critical issue is, who would really bomb  Rossett Acre and could Harrogate Grammar be next?

Posted in Highlights, News3 Comments

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