Signage set to be improved in Middleham, town council hears


Direction signs in Middleham will be reviewed by Middleham Town Council and English Heritage will be asked to improve signage to the castle.

This followed a report at the town council’s  meeting on March 23rd by Coun Sam Mashford that many visitors asked for directions to the public toilets, the castle and other attractions and facilities.

Coun Simon Wheeler will be asked to repair and replace the sign in the market square planter which was damaged by a vehicle.

Road surfaces. – Following the council’s request for roads from the town to the Moors to be pressure-treated this had been carried out by North Yorkshire County Council.

This, the council was told, had improved the grip for horses although less noticeably so in the Spigot Lodge area as the road surface was more badly worn.

Parking. – A kind offer from a resident to contribute towards creation of additional parking spaces in the central green space in Park Lane was appreciated.  It was understood that the works would be very expensive and additional external funding was unlikely to be forthcoming.

The clerk will ask Richmondshire District Council (RDC) if it was able to undertake the work. Depending upon the response, the council will look into the costs of construction.

Waste bins. – The council decided to order a four-compartment recycling and general waste bin for Park Lane. This will cost £747 inclusive of installation but excluding VAT.

Prior to the meeting the council was informed that the dog waste bin at the play area end of the Park Lane open space would be relocated by the RDC following an apparent accident by a bin vehicle reversing up the track. The RDC stated it intended to move the bin to within four metres of the highway in accordance with its policy.

The town councillors, supported by feedback from residents, had lobbied strongly that this was an unnecessary expense which would move the bin from its most convenient location to encourage dog walkers to pick up.  The town council will continue to advocate that the bin remains in its current location.

Clean-up day. – Councillors Sue Fairhurst and Lorna Skelton reported that the Spring Clean in February was successful.

Much of the rubbish collected appeared to be windblown items from recycling boxes, an additional reason to be cited to RDC when raising concerns about the inadequacy of the containers.

Key Centre. –  Coun Honour Byford reported that she and four other councillors had been appointed trustees on an interim basis, whilst a business review of similar scope to that undertaken five years ago was repeated. Gratitude was expressed to all retiring trustees and in particular Mike and Lesley Sweeting.

Play area. – It was reported that construction of the new play area was almost complete. The clerk reported upon very satisfactory communication with Streetscape which he felt boded well for ongoing support for the installation.

It was agreed that the old swing frame could not be easily relocated and reused, and Mr Fletcher had kindly agreed to arrange for its removal.

Some concern was expressed at the uneven surface of the Safa mat rubber mesh cum grass matting and whether the edging constituted a trip hazard.  Although this was not mentioned by the independent assessor, the clerk would raise this with RDC’s play area inspector.  The independent assessor had recommended installation of an additional area of Safa matting, which was beyond applicable requirements, which Streetscape would install at its own cost.

It was felt that the issues raised by a householder immediately adjacent to the play area about its impact upon her privacy and enjoyment were reasonable and understandable. It was accepted that direct consultation should have been undertaken prior to construction starting.

Platinum Jubilee. – It was agreed to approve a financial contribution of up to £1,000 to the events in the town on Thursday June 2 and Friday June 3 as a contingency to cover additional expenditure.

Coun Fairhurst reported that the RDC funding application process has been very time consuming. She was pleased to confirm that £2,000 had been received. An outline of events was provided.

Coun Byford reported that central government regulations no longer permitted road closure applications other than by fully certified companies and individual operatives who have undertaken the correct training and been assessed to do so.  Accordingly, from now on, an additional cost would be incurred for closing the short section of access road in front of the Wensleydale Hotel.

Town meeting. – It was agreed to invite North Yorkshire County Councillor Karin Sedgwick and PSCO Helenor Gwatkin (a member of the local police licensing team) to give talks at the annual town meeting which will be held at the Key Centre on Wednesday May 18.

Town council. – The next meeting of the town council will be at the Key Centre at 6.30pm on Wednesday May 11.

1 Comment

  1. I agree with coun Sam Mashford we need better signs in Middleham. So many times for years have people asked me how to find there way to the toilets from the Castle area down the back street as there is no sign on the wall showing them where to turn off the back street down the pub yard steps to the toilets.

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