The recent incidents on local roads which had resulted in horses and riders being injured has caused considerable concern the town council was told at its last meeting.
The councillors were told that there was also frustration that a date for jetting road surfaces had not yet been provided by North Yorkshire County Council as it appeared the focus had been on preparing suitable surfaces for routes for the UCI cycle event.
The racehorse trainers had indicated that the improved surface recently laid along the B6108 was highly suitable for horse traffic.
Cllr Honor Byford reported that Aston University had allocated £40,000 to the Middleham Safer Roads project and it was hoped the Royal Veterinary College would match that. She also said she would follow up with the county council about getting the roads jetted.
Flood review. – The councillors discussed how some homes in the town had been affected by flooding on July 30 and the subsequent report from the county council’s senior flood risk management engineer Meirion Jones. He had visited the moors with Cllr Byford and the clerk.
It was felt that some sort of diversionary drainage or a bund might be necessary to stop the highways drains from being blocked by anything washed down from the equine walkways and that, once more was known, this would be discussed with the racehorse trainers.
Play areas. – A survey of local residents had shown that the majority strongly agreed that the council should improve the facilities at the play areas.
The council reviewed the inspection reports received from the district council and RoSPA and Cllrs Martin Cade and Simon Wheeler will assist with maintenance work. A further review will be undertaken in the spring.
Litter problems. – During the open forum residents reported that rubbish was being blown about the town either from recycling boxes or from the tables outside pubs.
The council noted that white rubbish bags and bin covers were obtainable from the community office in Leyburn.
When questioned about the large area being rented to pubs for open-air seating the council stated that this had been a long-term practice and all the pubs paid rental with the receipts being spent within the town. The council would place metal studs to prevent unauthorised enlargement.
There had been a number of complaints about the commercial waste bins. These included the noise at the bottle bank, wasps and flies during the summer, bad odours and how pedestrian access was restricted in what was a prominent and attractive location near the town centre.
Climate change. – When discussing the government guidance on climate change the councillors thought a suitable project might be to create a wildflower meadow and the clerk was asked to look into the feasibility and potential sources of funding.
It was agreed to look into convening a meeting to consider forming a local ‘action group’ of the Friends of the Earth following an email from that association.
Electric cars. – It was pointed out that there were very few charging points for electric cars locally.
The council felt that charging points would be beneficial to visitors and residents as few houses have private parking adjacent to them. It was agreed to look into available funding and explore a suitable location.
Burial ground. – The church had agreed to additional interment of ashes in the closed burial ground and the viability of the area will be discussed with Richard Sanderson.
A detailed grave plan and a hydrogeological report for the new burial ground had been received. It was noted that an accurate number of burial plots would be required as part of the planning process.
Festival plans. – It has been proposed to hold a Lord of the North Festival in 2021 to mark the 550th anniversary of Richard Duke of Gloucester (later King Richard III) becoming the Lord of the North.
Cllr Byford agreed to attend a feasibility meeting convened by English Heritage and will report back to the council.
She will also check the regulations governing firework displays where livestock are close by in preparation for this year’s bonfire night at the playing fields.
Tupgill Park. – The council agreed not to support the planning application for changes to Bell Barn at Tupgill Park as its requests for strategic plans for the further development of the park had not been received. It pointed out that the park had been developed substantially on an incremental basis.
Next meeting. – Is in the Key Centre at 7pm on Wednesday October 30.