New town councillor for Middleham

Middleham Market Place.

Dominic Slay was selected as the new councillor at the last meeting of Middleham Town Council.

Three applications for the casual vacancy were received as there was no request for an election. Two of the candidates made personal addresses to the council and the clerk read that on behalf of the third.

The chairman, Cllr Sue Fairhurst, thanked each of those who were not selected and referred to the strong field of candidates that had come forward. The meeting also discussed:

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Parking issues. – There had been complaints from a neighbour about parking and also from R J Ward Racing about noise disturbance since Harmby House was converted into a seven bedroom holiday let business.

Drivers were somehow driving past bollards to park close to the neighbour’s property the councillors were told. It was suggested that the neighbour should be informed about the council’s policy about planters as some could legitimately be used to restrict access.

Canaan Lane. – The councillors discussed how repairs could be carried out along a section of Canaan Lane alongside Middleham Castle as it was not registered with the Land Registry.

It was agreed to contact some of those who use the lane about contributing towards the cost and also to obtain an estimate for carrying out short-term repairs.

Waste bins. – Rosemary Thompson had kindly provided the council with a town map marked with the location of existing bins.

It was noted that the dog waste bin in Canaan Lane needed to be replaced and that there wasn’t one at the western end of Park Lane.

It was also suggested that a small recycling bin could be installed outside or very near to the primary school if that could be provided by the district council.

Paddock gate. – Mr Murray, who rents the sports field paddock, had submitted an estimate for replacing the gate there.

Cllr Simon Wheeler offered to supply and fit, free of charge, a suitable previously-used gate. This offer was gratefully received.  Cllr Wheeler also offered another second-hand gate free of charge that might be suitable for the perimeter fence around the skate park.

Muddy cobbles. – The chairman and the clerk had inspected the cobbled area between Castle Hill and the side of Castle Keep Tearooms with Mr Robertson, the grounds contractor.

They found that the cobbles were in good repair but rainwater runoff was obstructed by vegetation outside the tea rooms. The proprietor agreed to cut this back and Mr Robertson said he would clear the accumulated mud even though the area was outside that covered by his agreement with the council.

MSCWA. – The council had received a copy of the Middleham Sports and Community Wellbeing Association’s draft statement of income and expenditure for the year ending March 31 2018. This showed a small surplus of £219 which would have been higher had the 2017 season’s ground fees been received from the Cricket Club. The cash balance was £1,642.

Tour de Yorkshire. – The councillors were impressed by the land art created on Middleham Moor for the Tour de Yorkshire as shown in aerial photographs.

It was agreed to grant access to part of the moor to the race organisers for use as a feeding station and parking area.

The following pledges of contributions had been received: Richmondshire District Council £1,720; Middleham Trainers’ Association £750; the town council £250; via the business forum £125.

Boundary review. – The councillors were pleased that the Boundary Commission’s final recommendation reflected its own preferences. The Boundary Commission had decided that Middleham would remain as a separate district council ward with its own councillor and will include all of Coverdale as well as West Witton and East Witton.

Next meeting. – This will be at the Key Centre at 7pm on Wednesday May 23.