Middleham community garden expansion gets support


Middleham Town Council will support the extension of the community garden into part of the sports field paddock.

At its recent virtual meeting  it was informed that Middleham Sports and Community Wellbeing Association (MSCWA) had applied to extend the community garden.

It was, therefore, agreed to defer the four-yearly open tender process for the paddock by 12 months so that the council could liaise with the current tenant. It was noted that MSCWA would fund a new stock-proof fence.

Swine Cross. – The information board recently damaged by a car will be replaced using funds from the driver’s insurance company.

It was agreed before placing the order to check that the artwork and wording remained accurate and that the board would be moved to a safer location in the same area.

The bus stop timetable board and honesty box notice will be adjusted so that they face the other way.

Plantations. – Cllr Nigel Hopper reported that approximately eight people were interested in joining a ‘friends group’ to take care of the Plantations.

He circulated a summary of residents’ views and said there had been a broad consensus on hedge height, planting and usage.  He believed it might take two to three years to create the agreed appearance. Cllr Greg Fortune will work with him on this project.

5G in Coverdale. – Cllr Honor Byford attended a meeting of Coverham and Agglethorpe Parish Meeting to counter the perception that the town council had, in some way, consented to 5G in Coverdale.

This, the town council was told, was not the case as Coverham and Agglethorpe, along with all other councils and parish meetings, had been approached by the MANY team.  It was reported that although Coverham and Agglethorpe Parish Meeting had initially declined engagement with MANY it would now receive a presentation.

Cllr Byford reported that the parish meeting Mike Sparrow had raised concerns about the safety of 5G. She had circulated a commentary to the town council on Mr Sparrow’s paper. The council felt that there were no additional matters that prompted reappraisal of its position which is to be involved with the 4G/5G national trial.

Burial ground. – The council was informed that there had been an error in the tender process whereby a further submission had been overlooked. Once this was discovered, shortly after the tender had been awarded to Gavin Smith Ltd, the appointment was retracted.

It will also be necessary to transfer funds from the Charity for the Benefit of Inhabitant Middleham Householders of the Parish of Middleham . The tender process will, therefore, be rerun.

The charity and town council accounts were separated a few years ago. The clerk reported that the charity was projecting a reduced deficit of approximately £4,430 after some adjustments to expected receipts and expenditure. It was decided, however, not to increase the precept.

Expenditure. –  It was agreed to give the luncheon club £100. It had been decided to buy a cheaper Christmas tree at a cost of £120.

The switching on, repair and operation of the Christmas lights cost £700.  It was expected that the cost would be lower as a number of major component parts had been replaced in late 2019.

Land maintenance. – As the amount of moss and weeds on the town wastes had increased the council will consider additional spraying and a quotation will be sought for repainting the Jubilee  light on the main square.

Cllr Hopper had recently cleaned the inside of the telephone box.  BT will be asked to replace a missing panel and to repaint it. It was agreed to seek a volunteer to ‘adopt’ the box which is a listed building.

The council will also investigate how to improve the access between Grove Terrace and the playing field meadow.

It was reported that a contractor had cut back the branches obscuring the one-day sign at the top of St Alkelda’s Road.

In view of the government’s climate change programmes, it was agreed that there was a need to create car charging points in the town. The clerk was asked to investigate funding sources.

Play areas. – The council was very grateful to Mr Burren who had fitted replacement seats and shackles to the swings. The clerk will check on the proximity of the skate park to the Messy Boots area.

Next meeting.- This will be a virtual meeting at 7pm on Wednesday January 27.