Leyburn Police Station move would not have impact on service, Middleham Town Council hears

Leyburn Police Station. Photo: Gordon Hatton.

Middleham Town Council has decided that there are no substantive grounds to object to Leyburn Police Station being relocated to the nearby Fire Station.

Police Inspector Mark Gee told the council at its meeting on February 26 that he did not feel there would be a negative impact upon police services.

There were, however, potential cost savings particularly as the police station was unsuitable for modern policing methods and required considerable expenditure.

He said he was unaware of any potential impact upon the fire service arising from sharing their building. There was, he added, an ongoing debate regarding where police vehicles should be parked as currently they were very much in view.

In future, he said, it was expected that the three emergency services would collaborate more closely  and reported that shared premises worked well in other local towns.

North Yorkshire County councillor Karin Sedgwick raised concerns that the police fleet would be reduced by three vehicles and that PCSOs were relying on lifts to reach areas of operation.  Some of the town councillors reported that there was a public perception that the police presence was being reduced.

It was noted that Leyburn Town Council was disappointed that that it had not been consulted in advance of the announcement.

G5  network – Cllr Greg Fortune reported on his review of information supplied by Dr Diane Green at the January meeting  and that from other sources.  He said he had sought to understand the underlying science and the distinction between ionised and non-ionised waves with the latter representing no risk to animal health.

He said that information available on the UK government’s website appeared to validate that 5G did not represent a risk.

In response to Cllr Sue Fairhurst’s question about how the town council should respond Cllr Sedgwick said she would ask the county council whether there would be any formal consultation with residents and local councils, and how they can raise their concerns.

Flood protection. – Councillors reported on how they had sought to help residents during the recent bad storms.  They agreed to speak to elderly residents and assist with making suitable arrangements  to prepare for any flooding.

The sandbags supplied by Richmondshire District Council  (RDC) were now stored in the barn at the playing field. These were supplied on the understanding that they were available to all and used for genuine emergencies only. Those owning properties known to be at risk of flooding were expected to make their own arrangements.

There was concern about the Key Centre’s vulnerability to flooding and how to protect it. The county council had been clearing drains along that road.

Anti-social behaviour. – Some councillors expressed concern about recent incidents of late evening noise and anti-social behaviour outside public houses as the reviews on TripAdvisor mentioning this might put visitors off.

Inspector Gee encouraged residents to report incidents at the time they occurred so that the police licensing team could investigate.

Play areas. – Mrs Kathy Wheeler described the type of equipment being considered as part of a phased improvement beginning with that for younger children and then for older children and adults. She requested that agreement be given in principle to part-funding the play areas.

It was agreed in principle to contribute up to £20,000 to be formally approved at a later date upon receipt of a detailed proposal.

The council agreed to allocate up to £300 plus VAT to cover the cost of replacement seats, ancillary components and paint if volunteers could be found to carry out the refurbishment of the existing play areas.

Playing field. – Retrospective consent was requested for laying a concrete base and the installation of a shed in the garden area. This was approved but Middleham Sports and Community Wellbeing Association (MSCWA) was asked to give greater notice of any future installations.

It was reported that a digital cricket scoreboard has been kindly donated by Aysgarth School and that water was entering the play area access road from neighbouring land. MSCWA had undertaken work to prevent this ingress and there was concern it might affect the structure of the boundary wall.

Street lighting. – A householder had requested the removal of a street light attached to their house and for which they provided the power.  The RDC had advised that there wasn’t a suitable replacement location in West End or access to an alternative electrical supply. Cllr Fortune and the clerk will try to identify an alternative location.

For the dark spot between Park House and the Key Centre RDC had provided a costing of £2,000 plus VAT to supply a new light pole. The clerk will check if this included the light and electrical connection or just the pole.

He will also write to BT Openreach to ask if consent could be given for mounting a light on an existing pole.

Next meeting. – Is in the Key Centre at 7pm on March 25.