The first item on the agenda of the Osmotherley Area Parish Councils March meeting was a report from the Police giving details of a local break-in and theft as well as a reported auto crime. An accident had occurred on South End resulting in 3 cars sustaining considerable damage but there were no reports of serious injury to the occupants.
Dog fouling is again becoming a serious problem. This is antisocial behaviour of a despicable nature, in many instances the dog owners pick up after the pet yet proceed to throw the bag into the verge or into a hedge. Please can someone take a photo and then action could be taken against the offender or offenders. There will soon be more livestock in the fields and animals should not be put at risk from either dog mess or from plastic bags.
Following the well-attended marathon a few weeks ago a protocol is to be drawn up alongside the Village Hall Committee to ensure that any event organiser is aware of the needs of the village as well as being registered to hold such an event.
The loose setts at the Cross need to be rebedded and Highways will be asked to carry out this work as well as similar at the layby near to Beech Hill farm on the A684. Highways will also be asked to effect a lasting repair to Foxton Lane following severe erosion after the wet winter.
Compliments were made regarding the excellent work to rebuild a wall off Back Lane, both a credit to the builder, the owner and as an entrance for walkers arriving from the Cleveland Way.
Comments have been received about the revised bus schedules and the relevant department at County Hall has now been tasked to consider allowing time for patients to access the Doctors Surgeries as well as the provision of transport bearing in mind that many who would use this service are not fully mobile and need this assistance.
The meeting opened with a minutes silence in memory of Howard Higgs, a former resident, past member of the PC and past Chairman who died in January. He had been most active and enthusiastic in all he tackled and he will be sadly missed.
Several maintenance issues were considered at the February meeting including the never ending water leaks. At least the major one on Clack Bank was attended to quickly but problems still occur with smaller leaks and often it isn’t until they ice over before Highways attend to them. Highways along with all of local Government have had a 35% reduction in their budgets and this has a serious effect on efficiency. The Highways gritting service has not been as seriously affected but they are not able to attended to village and minor roads until such time as major ones have been treated and some local delays are inevitable.
The inscriptions on some of the panels of the War Memorial are very much faded and research will take place to both find out how accurate they are and how they can be repaired. Considering the memorial was first erected in 1927 much work may be needed and funding would then be required.
The Police reported that they have recently attended to a local burglary but most property there was recovered, they have also attended to motoring offences, one which involved drugs at Sheepwash. Poaching is now a much more high profile crime and any reports will be taken seriously, if anyone is seen why not use your mobile phone to take a video which could be the evidence needed. The Police are also able to carryout an engraving service for vulnerable items, quad bikes and similar to try to ensure these remain safe from theft.
Following the recent chaos when a major event was held in the village steps will be taken to consider better terms and conditions so that improved controls can be effected. When events such as the Summer games are planned it is a requirement that the Police are consulted and this would have prevented them breaking through the closed Cleveland Way footpath closures.
PC Hall attended the January meeting of the Osmotherley Area Parish Council and was able to report that there had not been any instances of criminal activity within the area over the last month.. He also answered members questions including the effectiveness of the new Traffic Warden arrangements and reiterated the need to ring 101 should anyone see any activity which caused them concern.
Highways came in for a lot of criticism, particularly for the rapidly deteriorating condition of the road through Thimbleby and the lane down into Foxton as well as the prolonged water leaks and overflowing gulleys across the area. These will again be forwarded to Highways for robust action and repair.
The hand washing facilities in the public toilets are not functioning as would be expected and a contractor is to be called in to effect repairs.
Members were concerned that the HDC refuse team do not pick up loose litter when emptying the bins, often this loose litter is caused when bins are emptied and the department will be asked to ensure this does not occur again. The passageway adjacent to the Fish Shop is obstructed by several bins and a means of easy access to the Churchyard is needed, this is particularly required once grass cutting starts again because the main access is not ideal for mechanical equipment to use.
Members also heard that the newly reformed Village Hall Committee is working well under new management and credit was given to those whose efforts have brought about this reinvigoration.
The meeting in November received feedback from the Police about their current Car Safety local surgeries as well as the new initiative ‘Operation Bright’ encouraging households to show lights at night. Discussions about possible improvements along the A684 were also reported, although evidence indicating that driver error rather than access points has caused recent accidents and blockages does not suggest any obvious strategies for targeted alterations.
It has been decided that the budget for the coming year should be held at the same level as for the two previous years, with any additional expenditure covered from reserves or funding. The recent improvements to cobbles on North End were supported by such a strategy, with £5,000 from the National Parks LEADER fund matching £1,000 from Parish reserves.
Flooding remains an ongoing concern for Highways, for instance at North End and Jeator Houses, although some road repairs have now been completed. Additionally measures are planned to ease congestion at the entrance to the Churchyard near the Fish Shop.
With the onset of frosty mornings there is a plea to motorists to avoid leaving engines running for long periods particularly at an early hour in the morning when neighbours will be disturbed.
The Osmotherley Area Parish Councils November meeting heard from the Police that this is Car Safety Week and that they are holding surgeries across the area to highlight problems. They have also started Operation Bright where they visit homes which are not showing any lights at night and are advising householders of the benefits this could bring to them. Earlier in the week there had been a site meeting attended by Councillors T Swales and N Ward along with Highways Officers to assess how any improvements if any could be made along the A684. All of the recent accidents and blockages have been the result of driver error and none have been caused by motorists entering or exiting any of the many access points and as such it is not feasible to recommend any further signage or restrictions, if this were implemented it would then have to affect every mile of every road within the County.
Prior to the meeting a discussion had been held to consider the budget for the coming year and based on the figures presented it was recommended and approved that the Precept remain the same as for the previous 2 years. Additional expenditure could be either covered from reserves or better still from successful funding applications. The recent improvements to a long run of cobbles on North End was as a result of such an application which resulted in £5,000 being sourced from the National Parks LEADER fund with a match fund contribution of £1,000 from Parish reserves.
Although Highways have repaired some roads much remains to be carried out with flooding being a major concern again. They will be asked again to prevent water standing of the road from Jeator Houses to the Fox and Hounds as well as involving them in discussions aimed at preventing water draining down North End. The entrance to the Churchyard near the Fish Shop is congested and measures will need to be put in place to improve this access point.
With the onset of frosty mornings there is a plea to ask motorists not to leave engines running for long periods particularly at an early hour of the morning, this is causing unnecessary disturbance to their neighbours and could be avoided.
Residents concerned about the recent resignations from the Village Hall Committee met recently and were able to reform with a new Chair, Vice chair and Secretary. This will enable them to progress new ideas and to continue the good work of the former Summer Games team by forming a sub committee to carry on this valuable fund raising effort.
Len Cragg – Clerk to the Parish Council
For a third year Stokesley Army Cadet Force are giving their enthusiastic support to the Royal British Legion’s poppy appeal.
In recent years the Osmotherley Legion Branch has been responsible for the distribution and sale of poppies in Stokesley, and for the past three cadets of the town’s Army Cadet Detachment have given their wholehearted and enthusiastic support to this appeal. Armed with collecting tins, poppies and boundless enthusiasm, whatever the weather, the Cadets exhibit a highly visible profile selling poppies during the street collection.
In 2011 they raised a little under £1,000 which was exceeded the following year with a total of £1,986.51p, a target they are determined to at least meet if not exceed.
Osmotherley branch chairman, Colonel David Black, cannot speak too highly of the efforts of the Cadets. “Once again the cadets of Stokesley detachment are playing a key role in our local Poppy Appeal and I am confident that they will have enormous success. A formal affiliation now exists between Osmotherley Branch of the Royal British Legion and Stokesley Detachment, Army Cadet Force. People frequently complain about modern youth, but what these Army Cadets achieve shows that the boys and girls are first class and exceptionally caring. This effort is a wonderful example of two generations working together for a very good cause which we sincerely hope will once again enjoy the support of the generous Stokesley people. ”
Further details: David Black 01609 883193
When Osmotherley Area Parish Council met they heard that the AGM of the Village Hall was not particularly well attended and that new Members would be most welcome to carry on the good work of those whose efforts have resulted in many recent improvements to fabric and fittings of the building. An EGM is to be held and one way forward could also be to appoint a Keyholder to act as a caretaker whose role could be to ensure that the premises are locked at night and that cleaning and other activities are performed in a timely manner.
Subsequent to the recent fatal accident on the A684 at Winton there is a groundswell of opinion that safety measures must be put in place. The PC would be willing to support any such moves which could reduce any dangers and give assistance to the road users. Although most accidents are just that it must be stressed that any increase in signage could be counter productive and distract users from watching and reading the road. It was suggested that a site meeting be held to ensure that those responsible for safety improvements are made aware of the difficulties experienced by residents who are also regular users.
The external door to the Disabled Toilet has been recently replaced, further renewal of some of the cobbles is now being considered but much depends on a grant application to the National Park being successful. A recent safety inspection of the Children’s Playarea has recommended that some minor repairs are carried out to some items of equipment and this will be done in the next few months.
It was reported that there are a few houses which have remained empty for well over a year, this information has been passed to the Housing Enabler for further consideration. The Moorsbus is to be withdrawn by the National Park as a cost saving measure to them and although some residents would like to see it replaced, there is already an alternative in that the Community Bus can be booked for similar outings or indeed by a variety of users.
Len Cragg, 23rd October
The September meeting of the Parish Council heard that the many Highway concerns are slowly being attended to but unfortunately those of an urgent nature do not receive the attention required. Chester Lane has had some potholes filled but not to a very high standard and the Thimbleby road as well as the Bog Hole ford will be tackled during the later weeks of September when road closures will come into effect. Many gulleys are blocked, grass is growing through them, water is cascading down streets and still we wait for work to be carried out. These gulleys are normally only emptied every 6 months which is deemed by residents across the patch as well as by P C Members to be totally insufficient yet Highways steadfastly refuse to ramp up the intervals. A resident of Ellerbeck has kindly offered to draft a letter for residents to sign and send to Highways to press for works which need completing to be carried-out.
Congestion is an increasing problem and in turn this has led to bollards being demolished by vehicles attempting to find a way through between parked vehicles. Everyone is encouraged to ring 101 when roads are impeded by inconsiderate motorists. Likewise ring 101 to attract the Police to poaching and similar acts of criminal damage over open fields. Kirby Sigston has seen an increase where field gates are now being deliberately broken down so these persons can get in and out quickly.
The Defibrillator will be installed in October and a training session has been arranged for the morning of Saturday 19th when all are welcome to see what can be done to help save life. The PC have already received some donations toward this vital bit of kit, any further donations will be most welcome, please give to any Member of the PC or to the Clerk, all these contacts can be found in the Messenger.
The demand for a car park is growing but it will not be possible to find a solution to this problem until such time that a suitable piece of land becomes available, does anyone know where this land is?
Recently there have been thefts of both a Landrover from in the village as well as of other farm equipment from the area. Because of this the Police intend to step up patrols to try to combat this and they will also be able to tackle any antisocial activity at the Codbeck reservoir area.
Highways are still being asked to complete the various sections of white lining in the village as well as repairs to setts and kerbs across a wide area. This includes both the whole length of West End/Clack lane and around the Cross. Recently a tyre on the Community Mini bus had to be replaced after the driver had to ride over the kerbs because vehicles were illegally parked in the centre of the village, this matter has also been passed to the Police for action. For the benefit of doubt no parking permits are permitted in the village and any person displaying one is likely to be taken to task by the Police.
The Play Area has been given an overhaul, the hedges cut back and some items of equipment repaired, this site is almost 20 years old and has stood up well to its use. Other maintenance issues included repairs to the banking on the footpath from Colgate Lane to Osmotherley Mill which was carried out by the NPA Rangers.
Planning applications included a sympathetic project to repair much of The Flags on West End but comment was made that the proposed gates should also incorporate sufficient space within the property to allow vehicles to be turned rather than them being reversed onto the road. Reference was also made to the use of materials to comply with the Conservation Area and the VDS.
Highways and HDC are looking to save funds and are proposing to reduce street lighting overnight, this will be discussed further when the plans showing which lights are to be put out are available. In future all meetings will be held in The Supper Room, with the exception of one in June each year at Kirby Sigston.