Saying it with flowers: Askrigg parish council will give hanging baskets to residents

Askrigg in bloom. The west end entrance to the village enhanced with flowers.

By Betsy Everett

Askrigg and Low Abbotside parish council have agreed to supply residents with hanging baskets and securely fitted brackets to encourage the planting of more flowers over the spring and summer to brighten the village.

“We will be doing the flowers and the tubs again this year very shortly and they’ve been a real success, but I’d like to see the village looking a lot brighter and encourage people to put hanging baskets, tubs and window boxes up the main street of the village,” Councillor Allen Kirkbride told the March meeting. The White Rose and Kings Arms could also be asked to do the same.

Currently tubs were placed around the market cross, on the walls outside The Greets, by the village hall and last year near Hillgarth, and flowers had been planted in front of the signs leading into the village.
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Councillor Bruce Fawcett said: “We could supply people with hanging baskets and fix them with brackets and they could then plant their own flowers and maintain them.” Parish clerk Karen Lynch suggested a small working party to take the scheme forward. Members agreed, said they would consider how many residents would be interested, and ask a local builder if he would be willing to fix the brackets to the walls.

Speeding vehicles continued to be a problem in the village and Cllr Kirkbride suggested speed bumps might be the answer but chairman Councillor Bruce Fawcett said: “We don’t want them here. They shake your teeth out.”

“That’s the whole idea of them,” said Councillor Martyn Alderson.

Cllr Kirkbride told Cllr Fawcett: “You criticise people for coming too fast through the village and then you don’t want to do anything about it.” Cllr Fawcett said cars generally did not speed through the village, and if they did people should get their registration number and report them.

But Councillor Greta Kirkbride disagreed. “You are joking,” she said. “There’s a man in a blue car and his partner in a red one who come so fast through this village you don’t have time to get their number.” Members agreed with Mrs Lynch that the police and highways department be invited to the next meeting of the council in May.

Cllr Krikbride said he had attended the recent consultation on the future of the BAWB (Bainbridge Askrigg and West Burton) federation of schools. “There were an awful lot of governors and officials there,” he said. “People have said to me the children should all be in just the one building, but I represent all the parish councils round here on the national park authority and other parishes all want to keep their own schools so I find it very difficult to give an opinion. No  doubt to start with it will have to go with all three [schools remaining open] but how long that will last I don’t know.”

David Madley, a member of the BAWB governing body, said the option the governors recommended was for funding all three schools in a new format. However, the county council had underwritten the funding for only the next five years when somebody sending their child to school wanted the security of seven. The problem was that the new funding system was set up to work for a single site with 210-230 pupils, not three sites with 79.

“My brother is a governor in Manchester and they have 400 kids on one site and he can’t make ends meet, so it’s difficult for everyone. We need to keep good education in the middle of the dale because that’s how you keep families in.”

On the subject of the annual Askrigg Sports event in May Cllr Hodgson said a complaint had been made three years ago about the fancy dress parade holding up the traffic with the result that the event was now on the police radar. Organisers had been told by police they were individually responsible if anything went wrong.

“The chances of anything going wrong are pretty low but if it did then the organisers could be liable for an awful lot of money. It means they have a lot of  hoops to jump through but the chair of the committee is pretty confident it will be sorted,” he said. Cllr Kirkbride said Hawes and Bainbridge did not have similar problems, even though they held events on an A class roads when Askrigg was only on a C class road.

There was a problem with dog fouling on the grass verge down Beck Bits with a known dog-owner who regularly stopped to look at the lambs, said Mrs Lynch. Cllr Alderson said a similar problem had been reported to him in Thwaiteholme Lane and the resident said it had been happening for some time, again with the same person in the same place each time. Councillors said members of the public should take photographs of the culprits and they could then be reported to the authorities. “We know who you are and we will report you,” was the message.

At the start of the meeting Cllr Fawcett told members that the proceedings were being recorded by the press which he and some of the other councillors did not approve of, but could not stop. “It’s the way of the world,” he said.

The next meeting of the parish council will be held on Thursday, May 17, at 7.30pm in the back room of the village hall.

Back row: David Madley, James Hodgson, Bruce Fawcett (chair), Martyn Alderson. Front, Karen Lynch (clerk to the council), Allen Kirkbride, Greta Kirkbride.