New councillor to be selected onto Middleham Town Council

Middleham Market Place.

A new councillor will be co-opted onto Middleham Town Council at its meeting on Wednesday January 23.

Applicants have been invited to make verbal presentations at the meeting before one is selected.

Burial ground. – At the November meeting the council accepted Cllr Dominic Slay’s suggestion that four burial plots should be dug to a depth of 10ft in the proposed new burial ground to test the situation regarding the water table as an alternative to the much more expensive method of sinking boreholes.

This survey is required to obtain consent from the Environment Agency to create a burial ground on the site. The digging of the burial plots will be supervised by a hydrogeologist.

Pavilion. –  Cllr Simon Wheeler reported that work on the pavilion and shed had been completed and it was hoped to obtain a refitted kitchen at little or no cost.

He said Middleham Sports and Community Wellbeing Association (MSCWA) had held a successful pie and pea supper to raise funds and that there were encouraging signs of greater community participation. A number of bookings had been made to use the pavilion for events.

In addition MSCWA had received a grant for land maintenance and donations towards installing a bench and planting trees.

Richard III Festival. – Cllr Honor Byford reported that English Heritage would not formally support a festival in 2019 although the local manager would open the castle for the event. She added that if the festival did go ahead it was likely to operate on a lower budget than in previous years.

Housing development. – A full set of printed documents concerning the proposed residential development on land behind St Alkelda’s Road had been made available to the council.

The councillors noted that some of the concerns regarding massing of buildings near existing housing on the boundary of the development had been resolved. There was a positive reaction to the number of new houses being reduced from 70 to 55 and the councillors agreed to support the amended application for outline permission.

Agincourt. – The council decided that it was not able to write a letter in support of a campaign by the mayor and community of Agincourt to prevent the installation of a large windfarm within close sight of the Battlefield of Agincourt as it was not fully aware of the background. Middleham is twinned with Agincourt.

Precept. – A further meeting was held on December 12 when the precept for the following financial year was set at £12,000. In previous years the precept was £11,500.

Road grit. – At that meeting Cllr Byford reported that the racehorse trainers were disappointed that the county council’s highways department had not supplied grit to them in advance of the winter weather.

Christmas lights. – Cllr Wheeler was thanked for installing the attractive display of Christmas lights in the town.

Next meeting. – Is in the Key Centre at 7pm on Wednesday January 23.