Parish Council Update – February 2015

Although funding for public activities and improvements is becoming harder to source the
Parish Council are trying to press ahead to access some of this for the benefit of residents and visitors alike. Projects under consideration include a major refurbishment of the Public Toilets, repointing of sections of the Churchyard wall and repairs to the Bus Shelter. Tenders have been sent out and it is hoped that interested persons will be able to quote to do this work, but if anyone else wishes to be considered please get in touch with any Member of the PC or with The Clerk.

An application to replace the eroded plaques on the War Memorial is also being
prepared and if successful will mean that the names of all who served in the First World War can be added to the Memorial.

The winter weather is starting to make itself felt and Highways are constantly being asked to carry out repairs to potholes and to water leaks, sometimes they respond but frequently they deem that the eroding road surfaces do not warrant them doing any work. Salting in times of frost is going ahead but not into the minor roads and Keith as Caretaker tries very hard to reach into most corners whenever possible.

Members have been concerned that some planning applications to small properties include extending them and then these properties become holiday lets, this concern is to be followed up with the National Park because these homes and those who use them will no longer support the School and other vital aspects of community life.

*New* Line Dance classes

New line dancing class beginning Monday 12th January in Osmotherley Village hall.

The first class is free to everyone and thereafter will be £2 or £3 depending on whether child or adult. We begin at 7pm and finish at 9pm. For those who haven’t tried this very sociable pastime why not come along and see what we do. This is a most enjoyable way to keep fit and keep your mind active. You do not need a partner, you will make lots of new friends and we dance to a great variety of music from country, waltz through to modern pop.

We adjust our class to accommodate the people there. For further details you can ring Chris on 07804059414

Parish Council Update – November 2014

The November meeting of the Parish Council learnt that several small scale improvements had been made within the village and that some large scale works are to be considered. The garden at the War Memorial has been replanted with a variety of perennial and annual plats with input from the Gardening Club and work by Northdale Horticulture. A commemorative and informative plaque has been sourced for The Pinfold and this is now in place for all to see, also the garden within the structure has been tidied and will now be kept that way. Other work undertaken recently has seen the removal of saplings and invasive weeds in the Cemetery and some tidying of the Yew Trees around the Churchyard has also been done.
Major works under consideration is a refurb of the Public Toilets which are looking rather shabby and are not to the standard of when the facility won many awards in years past. Members are aware that much of this work is also needed to make flooring safe and that hot water  must be available. Other suggestions on the wish list is to install different items within the Play Area and also a refurb of the Bus Shelter, all of these are capital projects but it was decided at the meeting that the precept for 2015/16 should remain unchanged and that these works should be paid for from reserves.
Planning applications considered included one for an eco dwelling within woodland along Quarry Lane; it was deemed that this lies outwith permitted development limits and that it should therefore be rejected as being entirely unsuitable for the locality. Listed building applications which met with Members approval included a division of a part of Home Farm, Thimbleby to form 2 dwellings and another was to extend a property on North End, both were considered suitable with the proviso that all materials to be used match the existing.
Highways matters continue to give concern ranging from the need to make the Bullamoor to Jeator Houses road safer by repairing the temporary passing places to ensuring that white and yellow lines are maintained in a manner where the public can see them and act on them. Water is again pouring from a leak near the Pinfold as well as seeping out near the Treatment works on South End, in both cases Highways will be asked to act before there are any frosts.

Parish Council Update – October 2014

When Osmotherley Area PC met in October Members learnt that a framed and handwritten plaque had been found within St Peters with the names of all those who had served in some capacity during the First World War. This list will then be checked with other information and from there it should be possible to ensure that the names inscribed on the sides of the War Memorial are accurate, the next step will then be to source funding to effect a repair. The garden surrounding the Memorial needs attention on a regular basis to keep it looking fresh and following discussions with the Gardening Club a plan has been drawn up, the small amount of work involved will be carried out by Northdale Horticulture as and when necessary and the PC will fund any plants needed.
PC Julie Woodcock attended the meeting and as well as outlining her responsibilities reported that following the theft of vehicle number plates recently an arrest has been made. Other recent crimes include poaching and thefts including one of 5 wooden gates from a farm. If anyone is concerned about poaching or about cold callers and rogue fish sellers please ring 999 because these activities must be attended to with a degree of urgency. There were concerns about Mountain Bike riders using the footpaths instead of the road, if you know who is doing this please don’t hesitate to remind them that they are not allowed to ride of footpaths in residential areas.
Several road gulleys remain blocked, white lining is lacking in many locations and the condition of many tarmac areas needs attention, Highways will be tasked with attending to these concerns. Roadside potholes could easily be filled with road planings but this seems to be too simple a solution but this would prevent damage where vehicles need to take avoiding action when meeting other users on narrow roads.
Tree surgery is to be carried out to various overhanging branches in the Cemetery as well as the clearing away of seedlings and saplings growing on some graves. At the same time the contractor has been asked to ensure that there are no overhanging branches around the Churchyard. An information plaque has been sourced to explain the origin of The Pinfold and this will be attached to the structure and also the garden within is to be tidied.

Parish Council Update – Sept 2014

Osmotherley Area PC met recently and the meeting was attended by Amanda Madden, the Housing Enabler who updated Members on the possibility that further housing development could be considered. She has surveyed the market and needs and has identified 19 persons or households who may qualify and who are to be encouraged to submit, with assistance, application forms to include details of their needs. It is essential that these forms are submitted because there is no waiting list  process in this type of funding scheme. There is to be an open meeting on Monday 29th September in the Village Hall when further information will be available.
Associated with this scheme is a desire that the Woodyard site is utilised for housing and it is to be hoped that eventually plans may be submitted to allow this to proceed. Currently the site is an eyesore and despite the need for considerable preparatory work the idea will meet with the approval of many residents.
The PC have received plans for a large extension to 2 adjoining properties on South End, however considerable objections have been made due to the bulk of the possible new build and to its impact on neighbouring properties. Additionally the proposal falls within the conservation area and there are many heritage features associated with site and there is concern that these may be damaged or lost. This application was discussed at the recent NPA planning committee and a decision was deferred until a full site meeting can be held in early October.
A recent inspection of the Cemetery has revealed that there is a need to remove some overhanging branches as well as the need to further tidy many plots which have become overgrown by volunteer saplings and similar, this work will be carried out during the autumn. Some plots are not as tidy as others and relatives are always encouraged to assist in this regard because grass cutting in particular can become an onerous task where the site is obstructed. Other maintenance tasks involve Highways who continue to flout common sense and who are constantly being asked to clear gulleys and repair potholes. It has been recently noted that some owners allow residents or their tenants to park on the Village Greens and steps will be taken to make those aware of their obligations and the greens are not a place to park vehicles.

Parish Council Update – August 2014

There will be a Civic Service in St Peters Church on the 21st Sept to celebrate Tim Swales becoming Chair of the North Yorkshire County Council. . St Peter’s will welcome them, and the usual congregation, with a choir and Silver Band. Road closures will be in place that morning (10.30 – 12.00) . Removal of bins next to the Fish Shop would greatly aid disabled access to the Church from the village centre –thank you.

The Parish Council have taken on the responsibility of maintaining the War Memorial and have sought advice from the Garden Club to design a more pleasing planting scheme. The main plaque detailing the names of those who fell during the two World Wars was renovated a few years ago, however the other inscriptions are becoming illegible and will need to be restored. It would be of great assistance if anyone who has knowledge of those who were called up and returned home could pass on the details to assist in compiling an accurate list of names. Once a full list is available it is then hoped to restore the Memorial to reflect its true value to the community.

Parish Council Update – June 2014

The June meeting of Osmotherley Area PC was held as is normal for June in Kirby Sigston Village Hall and was very well attended by many members of the public, most of whom have very serious concerns regarding the condition of the road from Bullamoor to the A19.

These concerns centre on the neglected condition of the carriageway which allows flooding to happen every time it rains. The verges are collapsing with very deep and dangerous potholes, many vehicles travel at high speeds and now its often used as a ‘Heavy Haul’ route in preference to these trucks using the main roads. This is despite Highways failing to use it when the A684 was closed, but now choosing to designate for the civil engineering works in Northallerton. A very strongly worded letter has been sent to Highways whose response is that they may reply within 20 working days.

Plans are being drawn up to extend the possible wind turbine site between Northallerton and the A19 but no comments will be given until the developers submit a full application. Plans have been submitted to add roof lights to the Old Police House and to extend Ravensdowne, the ormer was supported, but the latter will only be supported if they use bricks and tiles rather than any render or timber cladding.

The Village Hall Committee have drawn up a protocol for major events and users will now be obliged to seek full permission before proceeding with their chosen activity.

There is some concern that refuse bins are being left in prominent places for too long, this should not be allowed to happen, in addition trade waste bins are the responsibility of independent contractors who should be contracted to state a time for collection.

Parish Council Update – May 14

The May meeting of every Parish Council is in effect the Annual meeting when the Chairman for the following year is elected. Once again Cllr Noel Coward was nominated and he accepted the position for the coming year with Cllr Mike Read as his Vice-chairman.

News affecting the area involves the making of a Clearway Order and its enforcement which will mean that vehicles parked along the road from Cote Ghyll, past the reservoir and along Scarth Nick could be ticketed by the Enforcement team. The section of forestry between the reservoir and the Drove Road has recently been sold and the new owners could consider that any one not using the public or permissive footpaths may be considered to be trespassing. Currently the National Trust use Volunteers and Yorkshire Water have a part time Ranger who between them make a very good job of both removing litter and detritus as well as assisting the moving on of anyone acting in an anti social manner, however the YW agreement will cease at the end of the year.

Bus users should be aware that following changes to the timetables the best option to access the Doctors Practices in town is now to get off at Northallerton Post Office and then catch the Town Service which links at that stop with the village service.

The accounts for the past year have been audited and passed for approval by national auditors, these accounts can be inspected by prior appointment with the Clerk. Keith continues to do a very good job with the grass in and around the villages as well as in the Cemetery and will soon be cutting some roadside verges previously cut by Highways who find themselves unable to carryout much of the work that they should do due to financial constraints.

Parish Council Update – April 14

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.


Parish Council Update -March 14

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.