Hawes council will take over admin of charity with £14,000 in the account

The K2 heritage 'phone box at Gayle may be included in the scheme

By Betsy Everett

Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council are to take back administration of the Poor’s Charity, established for the relief of poor people in the parish. Members were told there was £14,000 in the account.

Chairman Councillor John Blackie said a previous clerk had left 10 years ago and although he had kept it going with the vicar and a number of other residents he was now moving to York. Members agreed to meet the current directors and see how they wanted to proceed. Cllr Albert Sunter asked if students knew how to obtain a grant from the charity and Councillor Tony Fawcett said it had been advertised in the past but no-one had come forward.

Cllr Sunter said it seemed “pretty obscure” and nobody seemed to know about it. “Maybe it cold help something locally, like the school for example. Two or three hundred pounds, perhaps.” Cllr Blackie said he and the clerk, Fran Cartwright, would arrange a meeting with the board and report back to the council.
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Crime spree – Sheds and garages had been broken into in Hawes and Gayle and police had been “rather half-hearted” in trying to catch the culprits, said Cllr Blackie. One night, 20 sheds had been broken into but there had been no extra police activity and no-one had been caught. Cllr Sunter said there was no incentive to intervene and stop criminals. “If you did anything to stop it it would be you who was in trouble. I’m not built to fight I’m built t run, but that’s where it’s all wrong,” he said. Cllr Blackie said there was a police station in the community office but in four months he had only seen a police officer in there once.

“We have a police station in the community office and in the last four months I have only seen the police there once,” he said. He would raise it at the appropriate committee but when he had invited the police and crime commissioner to meet him recently in Hawes she had “suggested Richmond.”

Phone box – The K2 heritage telephone box by Gayle Mill was under threat. BT had reduced the wayleave paid to the owners of the land on which it stood and had said that if there were any more problems it would be removed. Cllr Blackie said when BT removed the one from Little Ings it was on the understanding they would leave the one in Gayle. It worked, it could be used in an emergency, and was “an essential community facility.” Members agreed to pay £40 a year to the landowners to maintain the ‘phone box, which provided “a classic, picturesque scene. If we don’t pay we stand in peril of losing it altogether” said Cllr Blackie. Meanwhile BT had agreed to replace missing glass panels in the ‘phone box at Simonstone and would provide paint if the parish provided the labour.

Gayle bridge – Highways department employees had visited and identified a fallen parapet. It was estimated that it would cost £5,000 to repair. Resident Rob Ward said it could be fixed in a day “Two blokes stood under the waterfall and poked about with pongo sticks saying they were looking for the bridge.  I pointed out they were nowhere the bridge. They did nothing.”

Flooding – There had been severe flooding at Haylands Bridge in heavy rain due to the collapse of the riverbank. Highways said it was private land and not their responsibility, the Yorkshire Rivers Trust had no money in the kitty to pay, the environment agency would do nothing to help, Yorkshire Water were coming to look at it, and Cllr Blackie said Northern Power Grid were prepared to pay £20,000  to move their electricity pole rather than £5,000 towards the cost of solving the problem. Cllr Tony Fawcett said a coalition of the various agencies could be brought together . “They can move mountains these days if they want to. It’s just a question of getting together,” he said.

Planning – Turpitts Barn, which had originally had planning permission as a painter’s store, had subsequently been converted to include a kitchen and central heating, and let to holidaymakers. Cllr Blackie said the planning authority had allowed the conversion to stay as long as it was let at an affordable rent to local people. The owner, Myles Metcalfe, had now requested that it be let at the market price. Cllr Blackie said he had sent a letter stating the council could only support the continuance of the conversion if it remained local and affordable. He sought the approval of members for the response and it was given.

Book of Bridges – Ruth Annison of Askrigg told members a book had been placed in the Dales Countryside Museum by British Rail, containing many of the Midland Railway’s original 1870s engineering drawings for the closed Garsdale-Hawes branch line. It was at least two feet high and a yard wide (closed) and in a fragile state. It had been digitally copied by experts, and replicas could eventually be made, but the original book is in urgent need of conservation and restoration. It would be kept in the museum, and Mrs Annison requested a donation from the council of £100 towards the estimated £3,100. “It is not pretty pictures but a valuable historic document with detailed architectural and engineering drawings,” she said. Members agreed to £100 donation. The next meeting of the council will be at the Gayle Institute on Monday, January 8, at 7.15pm.charity

The Poor’s Charity