At its first face-to-face meeting since lockdown Middleham Town Council heard that arrangements for Middleham’s super feast day on August 30, Bank Holiday Monday, are well in hand.
Lizzie Alderson outlined the planned events, arrangements for door-to-door fundraising and publicity as well as liaising with the town council clerk.
She said a number of funding pledges had been received, and that there was a good team of volunteers who would support the event and clean up afterwards.
The council noted that it will appeal to all residents, and agreed to donate £500.
Road surfaces. – It was reported that recently the localised deterioration of road surfaces had caused injury to racehorses, and the recent hot weather had exacerbated this due to reflected heat from buildings.
The council heard that NYCC Highways had quickly made repairs but these were likely to be effective for only a short period and that the proposed ‘anti-slip’ overlay would not overcome deterioration of the underlying layers. Cllr Honor Byford continues to liaise with Aston University concerning a longer-term solution.
Jubilee Lamp. – The council has thanked the volunteers coordinated by Mr Simon Burren who had rubbed down and repainted the Jubilee Lamp.
It was agreed that parking signs on the lamp detracted from its appearance and should, if possible, be relocated.
A resident had generously offered to purchase a new light fitting which was a much later addition and not part of the lamp’s listed status. Cllr Byford was looking for a suitable design and the clerk will check concerning the rules regarding alterations to a listed structure.
The volunteers coordinated by Mr Burren will shortly repaint the play area equipment.
Plantations. – Cllr Nigel Hopper said he had met with approximately ten residents whose homes fronted the Plantations. There was a broad consensus, he said, on matters such as hedge height, care of shrubs, and removal of invasive growth.
The volunteers from Friends of the Plantations will carry out some of the work and the council’s grounds contractor will be asked to deal with that which was beyond their scope.
Drug problem. – Cllr Sue Fairhurst proposed that a meeting be held with the new Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner regarding practical steps he would take following manifesto statements prioritising drugs which appeared to be an increasing problem during the pandemic. As it was likely Leyburn was experiencing similar issues, it was agreed to ask if its councillors wished to be present.
Burial Ground.- The council was informed that good progress was being made at the new burial ground.
It was agreed to appoint a council committee, comprising of Cllr Hopper, Cllr Lorna Skelton and Cllr Gregory Fortune, to oversee finalisation of rules, scales of charges, burial plan and other matters, so that the burial ground could be opened as soon as possible once construction work was complete.
Council business. – It was agreed that most of the clerk’s work could be undertaken by phone and email whilst working from home. This will, therefore, continue for a trial period of six months with attendance in the office one day per fortnight, with additional presence as required. The reduction in travelling would also reduce the carbon emissions.
The accounts for 2020-2021 were approved and the clerk thanked for his oversight of the annual returns process.
At the meeting Cllr Fairhurst was re-elected as chairman and Town Mayor, and Cllr Byford as vice-chairman and Deputy Mayor.
The next meeting of the council will be on Wednesday September 8.