The proposed Aire Valley incinerator is once again high on the agenda. The deadline for responding to the current Environment Agency consultation has been extended to 12 August. The council has agreed its own response and local MPs have confirmed their opposition, so we would once more urge you to make your own views known. You’ll find links to help you below.
For those of you keen to keep up-to-date on all the council’s projects and work, a useful progress overview has been produced and was presented at the council’s meeting last week. Further information and a link to the document come later in this newsletter.
I’m pleased to report that the office and public toilet project is proceeding ahead of schedule. And by the time you receive this, the monthly market will have restarted, with all due safety measures in place. In light of the announcement made by government on 30 July, putting Bradford into stricter lockdown measures, the Town Council has taken advice from the Bradford Council Emergency Planning Team who have advised that the new guidance does not impact on markets. We look forward to seeing you in September and for the remaining months of the year.
Chair, Bingley Town Council
Aire Valley incinerator
At the full council meeting on 28 July, the Town Council agreed its full response to Environmental Agency’s consultation on its provisional decision to award an environmental permit for the proposed incinerator at Keighley. An Environment Agency permit would allow the incinerator to be operated subject to conditions set out in the permit. The council’s response is on the council’s website.
The council last month wrote to the MPs for Shipley (Philip Davies) and Keighley (Robbie Moore), reiterating its concerns and standpoint, and asking the MPs what they are specifically doing to fight the permit. Both MPs confirm that they are working together to oppose the incinerator and will be making a formal joint submission to oppose it.
A letter was sent to one of the directors of Endless Energy, the company behind the incinerator, explaining the strength of local concern and opposition and inviting them to attend the next full council meeting to explain their stance. No reply has yet been received.
Bingley Town Council has also contacted all other town and parish councils in Bradford district to make them aware of the consultation and Bingley Town Council’s opposition to the permit.
The deadline for responses to the consultation has now been extended to 12 August. The consultation, as well as the draft decision and permit and other documents related to the proposal from Endless Energy, are on the Environment Agency website here and the council would urge all residents to submit their own responses.
Ideas for responses and details of other ways to help the campaign against the incinerator being run by Aire Valley Against Incineration (AVAI) can be found on the AVAI website.
Bingley monthly market restarted
Mailing list members will know that Bingley’s monthly market started up again on Saturday 1 August (Yorkshire Day) following the risk assessment drawn up by Otley Town Partnership, which runs the markets on the council’s behalf. New measures to reduce the risks of COVID-19 are in place, including a revised layout, queue management, increased cleaning, hand sanitisation stations and a request that shoppers don’t touch the produce.
Markets will now take place on the first Saturday of the month as usual from 10 am to 2 pm. We ask all shoppers to follow the COVID-19 signs for each stall and to observe social distancing for everyone’s safety. Please do not attend the market if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
New stalls this month included Table Top Preserves from East Morton and Rita’s Indian Kitchen.
Play in the Park
Unfortunately, following a decision by Bradford Council, who runs the sessions on behalf of the Town Council, this summer’s Play in the Park play sessions for children have had to be cancelled due to the pandemic and restrictions on group activities.
Local electricity bill
The Local Electricity Bill aims to overcome unfair regulations and disproportionate costs to enable small-scale electricity suppliers to supply energy to local communities and is sponsored by a cross-party group of MPs. If passed, it would deliver more, clean community energy and accelerate a green economic recovery.
Bingley Town Council passed a motion supporting this bill in January and the bill has recently been reintroduced into parliament. The council has agreed to write to MP Philip Davies to ask him for his support.
The text of the bill is on the UK parliament website.
A) New restrictions for Bradford district
New local restrictions relating to social contact and business closures came into force at midnight on 30 July.
In order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, you should not:
- meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where you have formed a support bubble (or for other limited exemptions to be specified in law)
- visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of the affected areas
- socialise with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions. You may attend these venues with people you live with (or are in a support bubble with), but should avoid interaction with individuals or groups from other households. If you run such a business or organisation, you should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 secure guidance
- visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances
The government will pass new laws to enforce the changes to meeting people in private homes and gardens. The police will be able to take action against those that break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices (starting at £100 – halving to £50 if paid in the first 14 days – and doubling for subsequent offences).
All businesses and venues which were required to remain closed before 31 July in Bradford must continue to remain closed to members of the public.
From 1 August, in Bradford the following premises which were previously permitted to be open must now be closed by law:
- indoor gyms
- indoor fitness and dance studios
- indoor sports courts and facilities
- indoor swimming pools, including indoor facilities at water parks
Further information is available on the government website.
If any community group or organisation needs funds to help support them due to the pandemic, they may be able to apply for funding through the Town Council’s grants scheme.
Note that the Town Council normally posts/re-tweets advice from Bradford Council.
b) Bingley Post Office
Following concerns raised at the June full council meeting about the very limited opening hours of Bingley Post Office in recent weeks, the council wrote to the Postmaster to ask what help and support could be offered to enable the post office to function properly during the pandemic. A similar letter was written Post Offices Limited and a copy sent to MP Philip Davies.
Following representations made by Mr Davies, Post Offices Limited have confirmed that the opening hours will be extended so that there is some opening each weekday to assist the community. They will continue to review the situation with the Postmaster with the aim of restoring full services as soon as possible.
c) Supporting Bingley residents
The Town Council is continuing to attend meetings with Bradford Council’s Bingley and Bingley Rural Ward Officers and Ward councillors and representatives of the Bingley and Bingley Rural Resilience group on Facebook, Bingley Food Bank, Trinity Community Kitchen, All Saints Church and Eldwick Church, and continues to provide weekend support to the hub and to liaise between Bingley Food Bank, local supermarkets and Cottingley Community Centre.
Street furniture painting
Following some further discussion at the full council meeting on 28 July, the contract for the repainting of the street furniture in Bingley town centre has been signed by the Town Council and sent to the relevant Bradford Council Department for its signature. The work will start on 17 August 2020 and is expected to take five to six weeks.
As reported in last month’s mailing, the project will see all the town centre’s street furniture in the conservation area and adjacent streets being smartened up and painted heritage black. It will cover lamp and CCTV posts, railings, bollards, benches, noticeboards, fingerposts, other columns and posts and utility items in from the Parish Church on Keighley Road, along the Main Street through to the junction of Ferncliffe Road, including a section at the top of Park Rd, Busfeild Street, Wellington Street, Chapel Lane, Waterloo Rd, Midland Hill, Market Street, Queens Street, Airedale Street Myrtle Place and Myrtle Grove.
Not all town councillors agreed with the investment and some wanted it discussed again, believing that Bradford Council, which owns the street furniture, should foot the bill. However, the Town Council has been advised on five separate occasions over the past three years that Bradford has no plans and no funds for painting.
The project is one of many initiatives being undertaken by the council to improve Bingley’s appearance and appeal for residents, people who work in the town, and visitors, as well as helping the town get back on its feet after the coronavirus lockdown.
Office and public toilets
The renovation at the Jubilee Gardens site is now nearing completion and will be finished ahead of schedule. The building now has a formal address and a broadband connection is expected shortly.
At the July full council meeting, expenditure was agreed (maximum amounts) for variations on the contract, including sensor-controlled taps and flush mechanisms to ensure the premises are as COVID-secure as they can be and a movable partition to divide the office area from the remainder of the indoor space to create a meeting area and allow for flexibility in use. The additional items will be funded by savings from the contract. A draft contract for cleansing and WC management is under consideration.
A sum of £5k that remains from the £6k allocated by Bradford Council on successful completion of the CAT has been delegated to the Finance and General Purposes Committee who will oversee expenditure on signage, furniture, blinds and other office sundries.
Update on progress on project delivery
A document outlining progress on all the council’s priorities was presented and discussed at the full council meeting on 28 July.
The document provides an update on the projects and work being carried out at present by the town council and also serves as an update to the priorities agreed by the council in January 2020, following the community consultation that ran from 7 to 25 September 2019. It is available on the website here Update on progress on project delivery.
Climate Emergency Working Group
The Town Council has agreed to restart the Climate Emergency Working Group, which it is hoped will reconvene remotely in mid-September. High on the agenda will be actions previously being discussed such as tree planting, air pollution/idling and support for electric charging points and home insulation programmes. The council has also written to Bradford Council to ask for the reinstatement of Local Council Liaison meetings that would enable Bradford Council and parish and town councils across the district to discuss joint action.
As the tree-planting season is rapidly approaching, the council would be pleased to hear from any resident with a particular interest in trees who would like to coordinate local tree-planting programmes with the help of the council and other local bodies.
Website accessibility regulations came into force for public sector bodies on 23 September 2018, and the council is currently working towards ensuring that its website and the documents it contains meet accessibility standards.
Making a website accessible means making sure it can be used by as many people as possible. This means making content and design clear and simple enough so that most people can use it without needing to adapt it, while supporting those who do need adaptations.
The council has now produced a WCAG Compliance document with the help of its website designer and a website accessibility statement, which will be uploaded to the website shortly.
Work on the documents themselves (backdated to September 2018) is ongoing. While the council is doing its utmost to ensure that the information it provides is accessible as possible, some difficulties have been noted, e.g. files from the office financial system cannot be edited and cannot be made accessible.
If you find a document on the website that is not accessible, please contact the Town Council to see if it is possible to provide a copy of the relevant document in another format.
The Town Council’s office is closed due to the lockdown with staff working from home. Bingley Town Council can be contacted by email at email@example.com or by telephone on the following numbers:
- Town Clerk – 07703 188660
- Administrative Officer – 07856 365806 (every weekday except Thursday)
Dates for your diary
Most activities, including group litter picks, are currently on hold.
Bingley monthly markets will take place on the following Saturdays:
5 September / 3 October / 7 November / 5 December
The next ordinary meeting of the Town Council is at 6.30pm on:
Tuesday 25 August 2020 (via Zoom – please email firstname.lastname@example.org for the meeting ID and password)
You can see all our meeting dates in the calendar of the Events section of our website, and a full listing is available as a separate document, updated weekly, in the Documents section of the site.
Finally….if you’ve made it this far, please do share this newsletter with friends and family and encourage them to subscribe too.