‘Someone will get killed on this road,’ resident warns Dales parish council

A dangerous junction, says Askrigg resident.

By Betsy Everett

An Askrigg resident who was knocked down by a car as he crossed the main street in the village has asked the parish council to take seriously the problem of “illegal” pavement parking in the village.

Tony Hutchinson, of Brecon Bar, told a meeting of Askrigg and Low Abbotside parish council in a letter that “sooner or later someone will get killed. No more procrastinating; this illegal parking on the pavement throughout the village has to be taken more seriously and addressed as a matter of urgency”.

Another resident, Cathy Gosling of Silver Street, raised the difficulty of exiting the street into the main road.

Many people drove too fast down the hill and if vans or large cars were parked outside Skeldale House on the right, or the village shop on the left, it was “virtually impossible” to see what was coming, the meeting was told.

Mrs Gosling asked: “Is there any possibility of putting a mirror on the island opposite Skeldale House or, even better, getting the speed restrictions in Askrigg put down to 20mph?”

Chairman Bruce Fawcett said he thought the problem would be solved once building work had finished on the Askrigg Foundation building [next to Skeldale House].

In a separate report Councillor Allen Kirkbride, a trustee of the Askrigg Foundation, said the work to convert the building into three affordable homes was nearing completion and applications were being considered.

Councillor Fawcett said he understood the builders (NA Dinsdale] had done “an excellent job”.

Clerk to the council Karen Lynch said there was a lot of waste still in the cemetery which need to be placed in the bin provided by Yorewaste, who would collect it once a month, or more often if necessary.

The speed matrix at the west end of the village had been taken away by the manufacturers and returned. Adjustments ensured it was not being triggered too early and the battery was also lasting much longer, said Mrs Lynch.

Councillor Allen Kirkbride said the national park’s local plan had gone out for consultation and comments were being invited from parish councils on what they wanted in the way of new housing.

He would prepare a response on behalf of the council and ask for Newbiggin, Nappa Scar and Woodhall to be included on the list. Meanwhile members noted that a two-bedroom, ground floor, flat at Parkins Garth had still not been taken and Councillor Greta Kirkbride said another two-bedroom flat owned by Richmondshire District Council in Mill Lane was standing empty.

Councillor Fawcett noted that two housing association properties at the West End would also soon be vacated.

Askrigg Community Energy (ACE) which has been funded nationally to carry out a feasibility study on green energy, had been told that two electric charging points could be installed on the wall of St Oswald’s Church allowing two charging spaces on the cobbles.

However, Councillor Allen Kirkbride said they would be better placed at the top car park at Parkins Garth as parking in the centre of the village was at a premium. There was an electricity supply just 20 metres away so getting power to the vehicles would not be a problem.

The parish precept would remain at £3,500 but it had been rumoured that council tax could rise by as much as 13 per cent because of the cost of Covid.

Councillor Greta Kirkbride said people had approached her about Covid-related grants for businesses and asked if second home owners had also been awarded grants for loss of income.

“If some of the money is going to those who run holiday cottages as a business then I think that’s fair, but should it really be given to people who let out their second homes? I don’t think so.”

Allen Kirkbride said the money would only go to those who paid business rates: applications were carefully scrutinised and grants were only going to genuine businesses.

The owner of The Greets [in Market Place] had pressure-washed the cobbles outside the house in the public highway, washing out the concrete pointing which would need replacing.

Allen Kirkbride said the owner had generously donated £70 to the village flower fund. Members agreed a “nice” letter be sent to the owner pointing out the damage and asking him to be more careful in future. The clerk said the council would get them repaired.

Local elections in May were going ahead said Mrs Lynch.

Martin Garside had been keeping the playground tidy and emptying the bins. Members expressed their gratitude.

The next meeting of the parish council would probably be on Wednesday, March 3, by Zoom.

Members of the public could ask for a link to the Zoom invite.