By Betsy Everett
Askrigg parish council, which has been asked to nominate a trustee to serve on the board of the Low Mill Outdoor Education Centre, should look for somebody strong, outspoken, and probably female, members heard at their recent meeting.
“There are no women at all on that board. It needs somebody local, somebody really strong who’s not afraid to speak their mind,” said Councillor Greta Kirkbride.
Clerk to the council Karen Lynch said Low Mill had told the council it wanted to strengthen ties, and although the nominee need not be a council member, he or she would be a representative and report back to members. Anyone interested should contact Mrs Lynch on 01969 650909, email email@example.com or see any member of the parish council.
A resident, Cathy Gosling, who had pointed out to the last meeting the dangers of exiting Silver Street into the main road, asked again if there was a possibility of lowering the speed limit through the village to 20 miles an hour. Visibility was poor both left and right, she said, and suggested a mirror might be helpful.
Council chairman Bruce Fawcett said he believed mirrors could increase the danger, as they often gave a false view of distance, making vehicles look further away than they actually were.
County Councillor Yvonne Peacock said the best solution was to seek a site meeting with highways officer, Ian Beighton, who could look at all suggestions from members and residents and put together a plan.
“The problem with the 20 mile an hour limit is that the police will say they can’t enforce it, but you can always ask the question. Slow signs, white lines, mirrors or whatever – Ian will look at them all,” she said. Members agreed a site meeting was the best way forward.
The daughter of a resident had complained about the lack of gritting on the road leading to The Heugh, which made it difficult for her father to get out for hospital appointments. Cllr Peacock told members that there was a helpline people could call if their road was not being cleared and gritted: 01609 780780. All calls were logged.
The Askrigg Foundation reported that the three affordable homes to rent created in their property in Main Street – two flats and a cottage – had now been let subject to contracts being signed, carpets laid and decoration finished. Meanwhile Rachel Oliver of Sanctuary Housing in Leeds said they had been unable to let a flat in Parkins Garth despite advertising locally and they would now advertise through Rightmove and Gumtree.
Cllr Fawcett said a number of other council or housing association properties in the village were empty or due to be vacated. “The problem isn’t a lack of housing it’s that there’s no jobs for youngsters round here except in pubs and hotels,” he said.
The new owners of Wharton Cottage and Mildred House, both of which would be renovated to be “environmentally friendly” and used as holiday lets, asked the council for permission to pave the grassed area in front of the cottage to allow parking and provide an electric vehicle charging point. The request was rejected, as members agreed with Councillor James Hodgson that the village could not afford to lose any more green areas.
Cllr Hodgson reported that a number of complaints had been received about plastic milk cartons and other litter which was being blown out of the district council’s recycling collection lorries. Cllr Fawcett said this was because operators were not shutting the doors properly. The clerk would bring it to the attention of Richmondshire District Council.