Middleham Town Council has agreed to be involved with the 4G/5G national trial which will probably include Coverdale.
The council heard that Mobile Access North Yorkshire, a project being undertaken by North Yorkshire County Council, was seeking local partners and decided that, as there was no conclusive proof that 5G was harmful and the scheme would be beneficial to residents and local businesses, it would engage with the project.
During the public forum session at the start of the virtual meeting Christine Horner raised concerns regarding the potential dangers to health for humans and animals arising from 5G. She advocated that future Wi-Fi improvements should be via landlines which would not only be safer but faster. She said some local authorities worldwide had suspended the roll-out of 5G.
A resident, Neil Mabbott, who had been asked by the Council to look into potential risks from 5G reported that, based upon his research, there was no scientific evidence available from authoritative sources to show that 5G was harmful to health.
Plantations – Two councillors reported on their meeting with the grounds contractor who provided costings for substantially cutting down the hedges and clearing roots. They suggested a Friends of the Plantations group be established to carry out maintenance, but it was accepted that initially professional assistance was required.
It was agreed that the Plantations should be improved and the views of residents sought.
Devolution. – The councillors discussed the government’s proposals for reorganising local government.
District councillor Sue Fairhurst reported that Richmondshire District Council was opposed to the creation of one large unitary authority and closing down district councils. Her immediate thoughts were that smaller rural communities would be disadvantaged as there appeared to be a focus on larger settlements such as the Garrison.
North Yorkshire County councillor Karin Sedgwick advised that the driver for change was reduced administration and enhanced local control of expenditure. She explained how the county council’s proposal for a single large authority would work.
Burial ground. – Draft specifications for walls, path and gateway, tender documents and suggested contractors were noted and approved. It was also agreed that a management committee for the new burial ground would be useful.
How to stop water running off from the moors was discussed and whether a retention scheme could lead to flooding elsewhere in the town. It was agreed to find out more about landowner’s rights and responsibilities before paying for professional advice.
Development funds. – The council was informed that, under the agreement with the district council, the company which will build new houses behind St Alkelda’s Road will make a financial contribution of £57,594 towards the enhancement of existing nearby children’s play areas in Middleham and the linked footpaths, prior to occupation of the 15th open market dwelling.
It was agreed that this was in line with the council’s expectations and that work on the play areas should not begin until the funds had been received as they could not be transferred for expenditure on a different project.
Safer roads. – Councillor Honor Byford reported on the successful outcome from the meeting she had convened with the county council and racehorse trainers in July. North Yorkshire County Council announced at the meeting that critical sections of Common Lane, the Moors Road to Pinkers Pond, and that from Wensleydale to Agglethorpe would be resurfaced or redressed.
Councillor Nigel Hopper questioned the omission of certain sections of the Moors Road. Cllr Byford felt that trainers would use the available off-road walks alongside those sections but also accepted the trainers may need to improve the walks
Accounts. – The council had received a ‘clean’ report from the internal auditor and approved the accounting statements.
The next meeting will be a virtual one at 7pm on September 30.