Safe – for now – the village ‘phone box that could be a life-saver

Looking smart - Marsett Green and the 'phone box that could become a life-saver.

By Betsy Everett

Residents of Marsett have asked for a life-saving defibrillator, possibly sited in the telephone box, to be installed in the hamlet above Semerwater which has no mobile telephone signal.

Bainbridge parish council was told the box had a working light and could be adopted by the council for £1.

The lack of a mobile signal in Marsett made it impossible to summon help quickly in an emergency, an increasing concern now a new campsite had been opened.

Councillor Yvonne Peacock said the community would have to pay for the defibrillator and suggested they approach the Upper Dales area partnership who could award up to £500 for community schemes. She asked the parish clerk to obtain information on where to source the life-saving equipment.

Meanwhile, the ’phone box itself was in line for repair and although BT had earmarked virtually all ’phone boxes in Richmondshire for removal the parish council supported action to retain all those in Bainbridge parish. Cllr Peacock said the district council had called for the retention of all ‘phone boxes in rural areas.

Residents also complained of part-buried farm machinery left “lying around” on Marsett green and presenting a health and safety hazard.The whole area had been in a “terrible mess” for some time and the clerk was asked to write to the Lords of the Manor to ask for the obsolete machinery to be removed.

Parish caretaker Roger Duval had received a letter from the clerk requiring him to provide accurate time sheets and invoices detailing the work he had undertaken. He expressed concern that this would be difficult to manage as some of his tasks were ‘linked.’ He believed time sheets alone, which he had submitted in the past, would be sufficient, but Cllr Peacock said he was self-employed and must invoice the council for work undertaken in line with the practice of other contractors. Mr Duval confirmed that he currently works six hours a week for the council, which was 288 hours a year. Tim Prudden was working on prioritising repairs to benches in the village to assist the caretaker in completing them.

The clerk was asked to confirm a quote from a playground equipment company of £531.33 plus VAT for repairs to the net and the zipwire, and to then place an order for the work to be done. Cllr Peacock said she would request a contribution towards the cost from the village’s millennium committee.

Cemetery superintendent Karen Prudden presented the cemetery plan to members and said there were still a number of grave spaces available. However, Cllr Peacock said she would contact Lamberts, owners of the adjoining field, to ask if they might donate some of the land for an extension. Mrs Prudden also reported that two new monuments had recently been placed in the cemetery without permission or payment.  One did not meet the criteria and looked “very out of place.” Councillors agreed she should contact the families concerned to seek payment and request the removal of the inappropriate gravestone.

Members agreed the budget for 2017/18 and that the precept remain at £6,500.

The next meeting of the council will be on Wednesday, March 1, at 7pm in Sycamore Hall, Bainbridge.


  1. Marsett green has nothing to do with the Lords of the manor…… it’s the gate holders who have ownership of the green and the common. As far as I’m aware.

    • Thank you, Hannah. My report is taken from the parish council minutes which clearly state that the clerk will write to the Lords of the Manor requesting removal of the machinery. I’ll pass on your comments.

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