Date set for Middleham Christmas lights switching on ceremony

Middleham Market Place.

The Christmas light switching on ceremony and carol service in Middleham will be on Friday, December 2.

Middleham Town Council agreed at its last meeting to cover the cost of light repair and switching on unmetered electrical supply and the purchase of a Christmas tree.

It will also contribute towards the cost of the Children’s Christmas Party on December 10. Invitations will be sent to maximum of 30 children aged nine or under that live in Middleham.  The Seniors’ Christmas Lunch on December 15 will be self-funding.

Past events. – It was reported that the Civic Service to mark the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II was well attended, as was the Community Harvest Celebration.

Cllr Sam Mashford said the Oktoberfest would be repeated as this year’s was well attended and that the participating licences had a successful day.

In preparation for Remembrance Day the council agreed to donate £105 to the Royal British Legion.

Key Centre. – It was reported that of the £20,000 grant received from Richmondshire District Council (RDC) to investigate feasibility for conversion of part of the Key Centre for affordable housing, a balance of £17,130 remained.  No further activity was being undertaken at the present time.

Suggested potential options for future operation of the Key Centre were being explored including an outline proposal for conversion for part use as a welfare and fitness centre.  These would be discussed further when a report and recommendations were received from the Key Centre Trustees.  The local community would be consulted by council as part of this decision.

Benches. – The councillors were disappointed at the rapid appearance of rust on the benches which were refurbished earlier in the year. The contractor has agreed to carry out remedial works to both benches without moving them, with all the areas affected by rust being wire brushed and hand painted.

The council had been successful in obtaining a grant from the RDC’s Lower Wensleydale Area Partnership to cover 75 per cent of the cost of two new wrought iron benches. It was agreed to locate one on the grassed area by the junction of Park Lane and The Springs and the other at the eastern end of The Busks.

Tree maintenance. – Following advice from a tree specialist it was decided not to give permission for some trees behind a house in St Alkeldas Road to be topped. A resident had asked for permission so as to improve light falling on proposed roof-mounted solar panels

The council also discussed the need for work on the trees along The Busks and to cut back some hedges in Park Lane, as well as the safety of trees in the church graveyard.

Unitary authority. – Sue White, the business and community manager at RDC, gave a short presentation about the upcoming public consultation concerning the new unitary North Yorkshire County Council which comes into being next year.

Following Ms White’s departure, some concerns were expressed that North Yorkshire was a larger area than others that had successfully transferred to a unitary authority and the reduced accountability due to smaller number of county councillors.

Burial ground. – As the first burial would take place on November 8, it was agreed that a ‘dogs must be on leashes’ sign should be posted on the noticeboard.  Four exclusive rights of burial have been purchased.

Civility and Respect. – It was agreed that the council should sign up to the Civility and Respect Pledge being promoted by local and national county associations and the Society of Local Council Clerks. This is in response to a national trend of worsening behaviour within smaller councils.

Next meeting. – Will be in the Key Centre at 6.30pm on Wednesday December 14.