By Betsy Everett
At the residents’ meeting which preceded the meeting of the parish council, the clerk, Gill Harrison, said she had been on a course about new housing development. While central government insisted each area had been given specific target numbers for new houses they were often not in the places where residents wanted them. In Hambleton district council’s area, for instance, houses had been built in Northallerton but these were not what residents had asked for. Meanwhile Councillor Yvonne Peacock, said council houses which were sold off in a particular area should be replaced in the same area and she had been to Westminster to argue the case.
The green. – A bigger and better mower for the village green had been donated by Nick Temple-Heald. A Roman dig by archaeologists, organised by the national park authority, had so far unearthed a 1932 coin and some Victorian pottery.
Thanks. – Councillor Brian Brown paid tribute to the clerk, Gill Harrison, for her hard work, and to the parish caretaker, Roger Duval. “Roger is an expense but an expense that is well worth paying. We get jobs done that otherwise would not get done,” he said.
Parish council. – Brian Brown was re-elected chair and Thomas Tennant vice chair. The Turner seat overlooking Semerwater which had been installed by the Raydale Project was leased from the sports association. Now the project had folded they had asked the council to take over the lease, insure the seat and accept responsibility for it. Mrs Harrison said as the council already carried public liability insurance it may not increase the premium substantially. However, further information would be sought from the sports association and a decision on adopting the seat would be deferred to the July meeting.
Cemetery. – Owners of the land next to the cemetery had complained that despite press reports of the previous council meeting they had not been approached about the possibility of selling land to the council to allow extension of the cemetery. Cllr Peacock said it had been only a general discussion and the matter would not be progressed without consultation with the owners. In the meantime money should be set aside in case the council was at any stage able to purchase the land. There had been a debacle over the design of a headstone in the cemetery. There were no written rules about what should or should not be allowed, but Pickards, memorial masons of Aysgarth, operated on a similar basis as churchyards, specifying height, width and thickness of the stone itself and the base. Karen Prudden, cemeteries superintendent, said a leaflet was needed to give to those who were booking a funeral setting out guidelines on size and materials. She would draft the document for members’ approval and in the meantime the council would have to approve any build and design. One round of grass cutting had been missed but this would soon be rectified. Cllr Peacock said it was important that the cemetery should look tidy.
Play area. – An inspection had shown problems in the playground had not been corrected, but work was scheduled to ensure it was completed in time for the half-term. Resident Gwen Scarr raised the problem of loose dogs in the area. One woman had been seen pushing her dog on the swing and letting it go down the slide. Members agreed to three new signs stating dogs should be kept on a lead at all times. A request for small, removable goalposts on the lower green was agreed. “The more children to be seen playing on the village green the better,” said Cllr Peacock.
Dog fouling. – Cllr Darren Percival said dog fouling signs had faded and needed replacing. Cllr Peacock had had complaints about the area around the national park headquarters building, in Back Syke and at Worton. Cllr Thomas Tennant said there was no dog bin at Worton and high demand meant Richmondshire district council had no more in stock.
Travellers. – Travellers would be allowed on the village green on Friday, June 2, and would have to leave the following Tuesday. Barriers would start going up on Thursday, May 25, and eventually the whole area would be fenced. Police patrols would operate from 9am-9pm daily during the travellers’ stay, providing there were no serious incidents to deal with elsewhere. David Collinson of the Rose and Crown Inn had said he would not allow overnight parking in the pub car park. He would make washing facilities available, but only to women and children.
Parish caretaker. – The caretaker had to demonstrate he was self-employed and would in future have to pay his own insurance. Members agreed it was fair he should cover his costs and thus there would be a 33 pence increase on his hourly rate, bringing it to £10.33. A budget of £1,500 had been agreed for 2017-18 for jobs that would be specified each month by the council. For May these would include litter-picking, grass-strimming round signs and posts, concreting in village signs and and replacing the window in the Worton bus shelter.
Marsett. – There had been a suggestion that a defibrillator could be fitted to the wall of the Methodist Chapel but further investigations would be needed. Up to £1,000 could be applied for under the district council’s small grants scheme which was open for applications until September.
Transparency. – The clerk reported that under the small authorities transparency fund Bainbridge parish council had been awarded £1,708.12 to buy a laptop on which parish information could be stored and accessed by future parish clerks. This was part of a government initiative to make local councils be more open and transparent.
Next meeting. – The next meeting would be at 7pm on Wednesday, July 5, in Sycamore Hall.