The vacancy on Middleham Town Council will be filled by co-option at its meeting on March 29.
The vacancy follows the resignation of Greg Fortune. Those interested in becoming a councillor should inform the town clerk by midday on Wednesday, March 15. At the meeting on Wednesday March 29 each candidate will be invited to say a few words about themselves.
At the last meeting Cllr Lorna Skelton reported that the two-part virtual councillor training course ‘Off to a Flying Start’ had been informative and useful. She recommended it to all councillors even if they had been on a council for some years.
Second homes. – The mayor, Cllr Sue Fairhurst, had received a reply from Richard Flinton, chief executive of North Yorkshire County Council, to her email about second homes.
He had recognised local concerns around the number of second homes in Middleham and other North Yorkshire communities. He stated that the county council intended to place a100 per cent council tax surcharge on the owners of second homes once central government brought forward legislation authorising this.
Donations. – During the open forum Mrs Wheeler spoke in support of an application by the Friends of Middleham and Spennithorne Schools for £500 grant funding to support extra-curricula activity through an ‘Eco Club’ to create bio-diversity at the Middleham School site.
The council considered the benefits arising from the proposed scheme and agreed to propose to the town’s Inhabitant Householders Charity that a grant of £150 be made plus an additional £150 if the Friends can match fund with £150 from elsewhere.
Stables Open Day. – Permission was granted for the organisers to use areas of council land on the Wastes, Busks and Low Moor on Good Friday, April 7.
A request to adopt a different system for managing traffic to and from parking on Low Moor was approved. The council suggested the cobbles to the front of Neville Hall in the West End and on the Busks for the temporary toilet facilities. The toilet facilities at the Key Centre could also be offered.
Coronation Day.- By comparison with last year’s Jubilee weekend, the council noted that there seemed to be less enthusiasm for any events to mark the Coronation Day of King Charles III on Saturday May 6.
The council thought a community ‘bring and share’ family-oriented event could be held on Sunday May 7 and will approach local groups.
The Feast Day will be held on the May Bank Holiday; and the Richard III Festival will be at the Castle during the first week in August. Cllr Fairhurst will organise the seniors’ coach outing during the summer.
Objectives. – It was agreed that the objectives and priorities for the coming year will include the future of the Key Centre, the resurfacing of Canaan Lane (to be grant funded) and to investigate potential sites for car parking.
There was concern about the overall rating that the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service had received from HMICFRS in its report on ‘Effectiveness, efficiency and people’, and the risk that the service might not be able to respond adequately to emergencies.
Tree care. – It was agreed that the work carried out on trees along the Busks had improved the appearance and accessibility in that area.
A second opinion will be sought about the care of trees behind a house in St Alkelda’s Road. The clerk will follow up on the application for a tree preservation order.
Cllr Douglas Palethorpe said he would repair the stone walls alongside play areas.
Next meeting. – This will be at 6.30pm in the Key Centre on Wednesday March 29.>