Health of River Ure to be discussed at public meeting, councillors told

The River Ure near Appersett. Photo: Les Hull.

The health of the River Ure between Appersett and Masham will be the subject of a meeting in Leyburn Methodist Church Hall on Tuesday, April 30, Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council was informed at its last meeting.

Pip Pointon told the council that the Association of Rural Communities is sponsoring the meeting and all those interested in setting up a group similar to Save Our Swale were welcome. There will be a presentation by the Yorkshire Dales River Trust.

Mrs Pointon said that only by testing the river water could evidence be found to explain why there were reports of less fish and wildlife along the Ure.

Play areas. – Robin Peters was thanked for providing an excellent written report on the play parks and play equipment. He had informed the council that, after seven years working as a volunteer, he has decided it was time to handover to someone else.

The council was extremely appreciative of all the work that he has carried out over the years and thanked him for the huge contribution he has made to the community.

Mr Peters told the council that Mark Murphy had kindly agreed to take over the work he has been doing.

Pip Pointon had informed the council that, from evidence found in the Research Room at the Dales Countryside Museum, it was now known that this year will mark the 75th anniversary of the play park at Town Foot.

There was a discussion about how to get a wall repaired and a drain cleared at that play park. It was reported that the jagged metal edge on the slide had been made safe but it will continue to be taped off until all the work required is completed. Cllr Stephenson said he had checked the gate at the bottom of the play park and that was working.

Moorcock Inn. – It was noted there had been a lot of media reports about the closure of the bar at The Moorcock Inn and building being turned into a licensed tea room with three letting rooms. The council acknowledged that it was sad to lose an historic inn but felt it was perhaps unrealistic in the current economic climate to expect it to operate as a viable inn.

The chairman, Cllr Jill McMullon commented: ‘This alternative is better than it closing and being left to rot.’  The other councillors agreed and it was resolved to support the planning application.

Planning. –  The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) planning department had confirmed that the residential apartments on the first and second floors of the old Barclays Bank building in Hawes  would be for local occupancy. It also stated the plans for the conversion of the building, which includes  non-residential accommodation on the ground floor, show the ATM as being retained.

North Yorkshire councillor Yvonne Peacock said she would contact the planning department about the ATM as this was such a vital resource for the community.

The council was not in favour of the application to demolish a garage at Fell View and replace it with a one-bedroom local occupancy or holiday let because of concerns about access, bin storage  and impact upon a neighbour’s  amenity.

The council did support an application to change self-contained flats at Dryden House in Hawes to commercial office premises because it was felt that there was a need in the town for more businesses. Cllr McMullon did not participate in this decision as she is a trustee but with no pecuniary interest.

Highways. –  The council was informed that the pool of flood water by the cemetery on Burtersett Road was so big that when larger vehicles went through it water washed over the wall and onto the graves. Councillors wondered if a drain was blocked. The clerk will write to the county highways department.

Following a report about the poor condition of the road at The Holme in Hawes the clerk had contacted the Lord Trustees of the Manor. They had stated that, although they own the land, the highways department had taken over responsibility for maintaining the road surface.  The clerk informed the highways department and was informed that an engineer will prepare a report.

The council had been informed that a YDNPA Ranger had inspected the footpath near The Hill and the steps in front of Herriots in Hawes and was happy with the majority of the footpath and will take a closer look at the steps.

Cllr Peacock said she had contacted the highways department about the bad condition of the road on The Hill.

She reported there had been no progress as yet regarding repairing the road between Snaizeholme Road End and Lanaker Lane and so the traffic lights were still in place. She will continue to check on this.

Dog waste bins. – The clerk will write to North Yorkshire County asking for the dog waste bin at Beulah Bank to be moved as it is currently on private land. She will also ask for an additional bin to be sited in Gayle.

It was noted that there was a lot of dog waste on the pavements in Hawes. It was suggested there should be new signage to tell people to pick up and place such waste in a bin. Cllr David Stephenson agreed to walk around the town and prepare a report about the current signage for the next meeting.

Parish council. – Ruth Lindsay was elected as a parish councillor.

The next meeting of the parish council will be in Gayle Village Institute on Tuesday May 21.