Narrowing of river causing flooding in Appersett, meeting told

Widdale Beck. Photo: Roger Templeman.

The narrowing of a river is one of the major causes of flooding at Appersett, Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council was told during its Zoom meeting last week.

Cllr Peter Metcalfe of the parish council’s flood working group reported: “Widdale beck has narrowed and needs to be reinstated to how it was.” The work, however, would need financing, the councillor added.

It was agreed at the meeting on Thursday that the working group should prepare a report, including the cost, and this could be submitted to the Environment Agency which has overall responsibility for rivers.

Flood risks. – Several members of the Flood Risk Management Department of North Yorkshire County Council’s Business and Environmental Services attended the meeting.

They reported that the cause of local flooding in three areas of Hawes had been investigated. They said a report would be available later this year which would outline possible solutions.

Premises licence. – Lindsey McIntyre of Feather & Fern told the parish council that she had applied for a premises licence so that she could include small bottles of prosecco with orders for flowers.

“I don’t want to open an off licence – it is just for add-on items. This is a big thing these days.”

Highways. – North Yorkshire County councillor Yvonne Peacock said the timetable for resurfacing the road through Hawes had slipped due to Yorkshire Water still working in the town.

The county council was in discussions with Yorkshire Water to find out when that work will be finished so that the road can be resurfaced before the main tourist season begins.

The parish council agreed to ask to see the plans for the resurfacing of laybys.

As it had received complaints that potholes on Gayle Lane had still not been repaired  the chairman, Cllr Jill McMullon asked Cllr Peacock to investigate that, which she agreed to do.

A Keld resident had informed the parish council that the road over the Buttertubs had once more not been gritted in good time during the recent bad weather. This, Cllr Peacock said, was due to it being a Priority 2 route for gritting.

Play parks.- Robin Peters reported on the maintenance of the play parks on behalf of the volunteers.

The parish council agreed to obtain new benches to replace the broken ones.  Cllr McMullon said she would ask Richmondshire District Council if there was a tree specialist who could check the trees at Town Foot play area to ensure there were no health and safety issues.

She reported that she had spoken to the parents of the children who had vandalised the playhouse.

Anti-social behaviour. – Cllr McMullon reported that four to five youths had been involved in anti-social behaviour in the town for several months.

This had included knocking on doors and running away – the sort of behaviour that might be expected of six-year-olds rather than those who were 15-years-old, she said.

“It has caused a lot of stress for elderly people,” she added. Since the anti-social behaviour had been reported to the police the situation had improved but it was, she said, something  to keep an eye on.

Motor bikes. – Cllr Yurek Waluda reported that he had attended the meeting of the Garsdale Parish Council Motorbike Action Group in January.

It had been agreed that there was a need for more police patrols and the local members of parliament had been contacted.

There was also a noise problem, especially as the motorbikers often arrived in large gangs, and would all be throttling down and throttling up when entering a town or village.