Church choir to attend Christmas lights switch on in Middleham, town councillors told

Middleham Market Place.

MIDDLEHAM. – The church choir will attend the switching on ceremony for the Christmas lights on Friday December 6, the town council was told at its meeting on October 30.

The council was informed that the Stables Open Day next  year will be on Good Friday April 10. It approved a request to  use council land for parking and other activities that day.

It also agreed that the Spring Clean should be an annual event to be held just prior to the Stables Open Day.

Middleham Bridge. – A resident  had written to North Yorkshire County Council’s highways department to raise concerns about the metal bridge deck which was installed in 2008.

He said that this was causing damage to the stone buttresses due to heat expansion. Despite regular requests he had not received a direct response. It was pointed out that if repairs were required there would be considerable local inconvenience.

The council agreed to take up the matter with the county council’s bridges department.

Road resurfacing. – The initial response from  trainers was that the recent resurfacing of roads had created  improved surfaces for racehorses.

The works completed in October included horse crossings and the steep section from Spigot Lodge to the Low Moor and Common Lane to High Moor.

Camping. – It had been reported that tents and camper vans had been parked overnight on the Busks and near Pinkers Pond. The council felt that as this was less common on the Busks no action was required.

It was agreed, however, to review the signage at Pinkers Pond and regarding vehicle access across the gallops as there was a profusion of signs. Middleham Trainers’ Association will be consulted if changes were required.

A request to ring birds on council land was approved.

Future events. – Cllr Honor Byford reported that the planning meeting for the Lord of the North Festival in 2021 was well attended with a variety of Richard III groups being represented.

The council agreed to obtain further details and to canvas opinion about the VE Day celebrations to be held on May 8 2020.

Flooding. – The council was not happy with a response it had received from Richmondshire District Council (RDC) concerning the stile from the churchyard.

The council had requested altering that stile so that it held back flood water.  The RDC had responded that the recent flooding had been a “one off” event.

It was noted that NYCC highways had cleared the drains in the west end of the town including on the council’s land in front of Westwood House.

Cllr Byford  had met with the highways area manager and would arrange a further meeting to discuss the run-off issues from Low Moor and possible creation of a berm to prevent silt and other debris in flood water entering the town’s drains.

Cllrs Byford and Simon Wheeler reported that they were satisfied that the arrangements by a building contractor to construct a soakaway on to the ‘no man’s land’ beside a property in St Alkelda’s Road would be adequate and was preferable to an increased discharge onto the road.

Planning. – The applicant for the change of u se of land from agriculture and a haulage yard to a holiday chalet park at Hillside Farm briefly spoke at the meeting and answered the councillors’ questions.

The council agreed to support the application provided that the lighting on the site would be downwards so as not to have an impact upon the surrounding rural area, and that only native trees would be planted  as part of the associated landscaping.

Charity meeting. – At a meeting of the Charity for the Benefit of the Inhabitant householders of the Parish of Middleham it was agreed to ask Mr Robertson to remove ragwort from common land in accordance with Defra guidance and procedures.

A request from the MTA to burn heather on the High Moor in order to control heather beetle was approved  as long as the appropriate licences were obtained and any other permissions in line with Defra guidance and relevant codes of practice.

The draft tender specification in the Land Management Contract was updated to include some additional weed spraying and an obligation to look out for invasive weeds.

The Charity also agreed to ask Sean Stockdale to carry out the annual tree survey.

Next meeting. – The town council meet in the Key Centre at 7pm on Wednesday  December 11 and not, as previously arranged, on November 27.