Additional coffee mornings might be held at the Key Centre if there was a need for more ‘warm spaces’ during the winter due to the increase in energy bills.
At the Middleham Town Council meeting in September it was reported that the Key Centre would, at present, provide adequate access times for those who needed a warm space. If, however, more time was needed with maybe more coffee mornings, grant funding could be sought for the increase in the Key Centre’s heating bills.
Parking. – During open forum a resident, Mr Strickland, told the council that the right balance between householders and other users parking at the lower end of the market square had not been struck and that issues had worsened in recent years. The council had also received feedback from other residents and businesses regarding the fairness of current parking arrangements.
It was noted by councillors that parking was required by workers, visitors and tourists, including the approximately 40,000 who came to visit the Castle each year, many of whom also visited local shops.
It was stated that the creation of a car park would be unaffordable even if a site was found and that, if new priorities and charges were implemented in the market square, availability might not be improved and be difficult to enforce. It was agreed to continue to review arrangements through a working party comprising Cllr Greg Fortune and Cllr Sam Mashford.
Camping. – It was reported there had been an increase recently in camping on the Busks and that there had been an uncooperative response from some campers when politely approached by councillors. It was agreed that approaches should be made by a minimum of two councillors and that a future meeting options to restrict vehicle access onto the Busks will be considered.
PCSO Donald Watson told the council that the Police would only become involved where there was a breach of the peace by campers. As residents had also been concerned that horses were occasionally tethered for long periods without water in the town centre, he said such incidents should be reported by phoning 101.
It was also reported that motorhomes had been parked on the Wastes overnight.
Storm drains. – Cllr Fortune reported that during a site visit with representatives of North Yorkshire County Council’s highways department they had seen that the roadside drain covers on the road to Low Moor were blocked. He said a more frequent clearance regime would improve matters.
They had also checked the drain at West End which was partially blocked. It was believed that risk of flooding at Westwood House was likely to be prevented once the road surface was re-laid.
Canaan Lane. – During the public forum Richard Sanderson, on behalf of Middleham Sports and Welfare Association, reported that the users of Canaan Lane that he had spoken to so far had agreed in principle to contribute towards funding its resurfacing. This would include the track to the playing fields.
It was agreed that the council would consider making a contribution of £1,500 and would apply to Richmondshire District Council for a grant towards the cost of the work.
The council thanked North Yorkshire County councillor Karin Sedgwick for the £900 contribution from the county council’s Locality Budget for the purchase of an away strip for Middleham Football Club.
Community Garden. – In recognition of the contribution the late Nigel Hopper had made to establishing gardens in the town, it was agreed to support the suggestion that the Community Garden should be renamed in his memory.
Cllr Mashford agreed to investigate the potential for a suitable route for walkers and cyclists between Middleham and Leyburn.
Road work. – Cllr Honor Byford reported that the county council would hopefully undertake resurfacing the road alongside Low Moor to Pinkers Pond during autumn.
She said she had forwarded trainer’s concerns regarding the Common Lane and High Moor Road and suggested alternative surfaces might be cheaper. She expected to hear that the county council might reallocate budgets to complete the works.
Middleham Bridge. – Councillors were told that there had apparently been an increase in incidents of motorists ignoring the priority given to traffic from Middleham to cross the bridge. The councillors wondered if there was a need to improve signage and clear tree growth.
Pinkers Pond. – It was reported that many of the trees planted on Low Moor above Pinkers Pond had died during the hot and dry weather. It was agreed not to plant any further trees for the time being and obtain an update from the Lower Wensleydale Biodiversity Action Group on their current activity.
Town council. – Only one application had been received so Shaun Watson was co-opted as town councillor.
The council’s next meeting is in the Key Centre at 6.30pm on Wednesday October 26.