Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council opposes removal of BT phone boxes


Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council is vehemently opposed to the removal of any BT payphone and telephone boxes as they are a much needed lifeline in an area where mobile telephone coverage is still poor and power outages are common, it was agreed at the last meeting.

North Yorkshire councillor Yvonne Peacock told the parish council that, by failing to notify North Yorkshire Council before putting up notices and sending emails about the proposed closure of the boxes, BT had not followed the legal procedures.

She said she had advised BT in the strongest terms that the telephone boxes were extremely necessary due to poor mobile phone coverage. The parish council clerk said she had written to BT but no response or update had been received.

Play area. –  It was reported that the play equipment had been repainted and looked fresh and bright. There was a proposal that the council should consider planting a mixed hedge along the current fence. It was also reported that the signage needs updating and the boundary wall at Beulah Bank needed attention.

The council wondered whether anyone living locally who can repair dry stone walls might consider doing this on a voluntary basis.

Road maintenance. – In response to a North Yorkshire Council survey it was agreed that the highest priority for spending should be road maintenance, repairs and drainage. This was because of the importance of tourism to the area with easy access being required for both tourists and those running businesses.

It was noted that no date had yet been given for repairing the resurfacing work at the junction by Café Curva.

Cllr Peacock said the bridge at Appersett had been repaired but the weight limit restriction was still in place as more work was required. She had suggested to the county highways department that the potholes should be filled in at the same time but this had not been done. The parish council was still concerned about the poor state of the A684 between Appersett and Garsdale, and the road to Hardraw.

It was reported that no work had been carried out yet on the road awaiting repair between Snaizeholme Road End and Lanaker Lane. It was noted that the temporary traffic lights had been blown down in the recent high winds. The clerk will again write to the highways department about this.

Land ownership. – The councillors were told that some areas in town which need repairs are partly owned by the Lords of the Manor.

It was reported that responsibility for the area around The Holme may be shared between the highways department and the Lord Trustees of the Manor. The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) may also be involved regarding the steps up The Hill opposite the White Hart and those in front of Herriots.

The clerk will write to North Yorkshire Council requesting a map showing exactly who owns what areas.  She will also write to the Lord Trustees and the YDNPA about the council’s concerns.

Lunds. – The highways department had installed new signs at Lunds to warn drivers about dips and bends in the road.

Local residents had informed parish councillors that they were pleased as these signs seemed to be working and drivers were slowing down along that stretch of road.

Defibrillator . – It was reported that the town’s defibrillator had been repaired and was back in use. As the cabinet was in a state of disrepair it was agreed to order one which would require the least maintenance.

Parish council. – It was agreed that, despite the rising cost of living, the precept could remain at £17,500 for the next financial year.

As David Colley resigned as a parish councillor at the meeting there is now a vacancy on the council. He said he had enjoyed his time as a councillor and was thanked for his work on the council by the chairman, Cllr Jill McMullon

Donations. – It was agreed to make a donation of £100 to the local Citizens’ Advice Bureau as its assistance to local residents was appreciated by the council.

The council had made donations to Hawes bonfire and fireworks night of £250, and to Hawes in Bloom of £600.

Next meeting. – will be in Gayle Village Institute at 7pm on Tuesday, January 30.

1 Comment

  1. Re phone boxes: not everyone has a mobile phone, not everyone takes one every time they go out, batteries run out …. My worst fear about them is not being able to find the keypad in an emergency. They have to be switched on and a PIN entered before one can even start looking for it, in my case after finding my specs, which I wouldn’t necessarily have with me, especially if just going to the letterbox or for a walk. Phone boxes (working) are a lifeline, especially in rural areas.

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