New board formed to take forward Upper Dales Community Partnership

The Upper Wensleydale Community Office, which is run by the partnership.

The Upper Dales Community Partnership has a new board following the death of John Blackie, the long-standing chairman and driving force of the organisation.

The board met for the first time on December 13.

Allen Kirkbride, of Askrigg, and Joe Pilling, of Gayle, have remained on the board. Allen Kirkbride is the vice-chairman and Joe Pilling is the chairman.

They have been joined on the board by John Moore, former finance director of North Yorkshire County Council.

Yvonne Peacock, who now represents the Upper Dales on the county council and is also a member of Richmond District Council has also joined, along with Peter Metcalfe, a businessman from Appersett.

The other board members are Lynn Irwin, manager of the medical practice serving upper Wensleydale, and Michael McGarry, a solicitor with a practice in Hawes.

The new board is committed to serving the local communities of the Upper Dales in the tradition established by John Blackie.

The partnership said in a statement: “For the time being the priority will be to make sure that the post office, library, business units, Little White Bus, petrol station and other community facilities continue in good shape.

“For the next few months at least, the board will be meeting every four weeks.”

A branch of Newcastle Building Society will be formally opened in the community office early in the New Year.

In the New Year the Partnership says it be seeking more volunteers to drive a bus or work in the petrol station or, for the first time, to work in the community office where the library is based.

“All the directors will be happy to hear from members of the community who have something to say about the partnership,” the organisation said.