Welcome to the March 2021 edition of the Bingley Town Council Monthly Mailing.
As spring continues to blossom around us and the weather as I write is beautifully warm and very welcome, there is a definite sense of optimism in the air.
The COVID -19 numbers for Bingley are heading in the right direction and the vaccination programme continues to roll out. Once again, I thank all those key workers who have made so many sacrifices to keep the wheels turning and to support the population. I also recognise the great loss which so many families have endured in these most difficult times and offer every sympathy to those who grieve.
The council is making plans to facilitate the return to face to face meetings. Current Government guidance is that these must resume after May 6th. This involves a massive effort and careful logistics and planning on behalf of the Council and residents to enable meetings to take place, while still observing COVID safe practices. Notice of changes will be posted in advance here.
The good news is that the Monthly Market will return on April 3rd and the first Saturday of each month thereafter from 10.00 a.m till 2.00 p.m. Initially the markets will be for food products only, but it is hoped that craft and artisan stalls will return soon, as well as the popular entertainment slot.
Local elections take place on Thursday May 6th and there are two vacancies for Bingley Town Council in the Priestthorpe Ward. It will be good to have the council at full strength again.
There are other big changes afoot. Laura Jowett, the popular and hard-working Administration Office has left to become a Town Clerk to three small councils in North Yorkshire and Ruth Batterley, Bingley Town Clerk has gained the post of Town Clerk to Ilkley Town Council. Ruth has been with Bingley Town Council since it’s inception in 2016 and has been the lynchpin of all the Council’s achievements since then. Councillors may come and go, but an excellent Clerk is the centre of a Town Council. Ruth’s expertise, knowledge and skill have been instrumental in moving the council forward and achieving so many positive improvements in Bingley. We are very sad to see Ruth leave but wish her all the best in her new post.
The new post of Deputy Clerk will be appointed soon and the post of Town Clerk will be advertised in the very near future.
The Annual Town Meeting will take place on Tuesday 4th May via Zoom , so will have a very different ‘feel.’ All residents are invited to attend. Further details will be published on the website and Facebook page.
I wish all residents a very Happy Easter and a safe but enjoyable outdoor reunions with family and friends in the coming weeks. Remember it’s ‘hands, face, space – outdoors.’ Stay safe.
Councillor Helen Owen. Chair – Bingley Town Council.
Broadband in Cottingley
The Town Council received a presentation by BRSK with regard to the installation of new infrastructure to support high speed broadband in the Cottingley area. The project appears to be progressing well and other locations in the Bingley Parish are likely to have new infrastructure installed during later stages of the project. It is anticipated that some free broadband connections will be offered to local schools and community groups.
Neighbourhood Plan Working Group
The Working Group has now completed its draft Neighbourhood Plan. The plan will play an important part in shaping the development and growth of the local area in the years to come and it sets out an inspiring vision for the Bingley area.
This has been a substantial piece of work and the time, enthusiasm and commitment of all the members of the working group is very much appreciated.
The next stage of the process is for the plan to be submitted to Bradford Metropolitan District Council for consideration before local consultation on the plan. The approach to this consultation is currently being developed and updates on this will be provided in due course
The Town Council is pleased to report that progress has been made on the Changing Places project.
The drawings to be used to apply for planning permission have been received from the architects. These will need to be reviewed by the Changing Places Working Group for approval prior to consideration by the Full Council. Once the drawings are approved by the Full Council, planning permission can then be applied for.
The working group has been given authority by the Town Council to apply for funding and donations from the Government and local businesses. As a result, the group have written to Bradford District Metropolitan Council with early notice that they will be seeking funds from the newly advertised Changing Places fund of £30m.
It is important that the new facility meets the needs of its users. To help achieve this a list of consultees has been agreed and a consultation document is currently being prepared.
Climate Emergency Working Group
The work of this group has been temporarily paused as a result of the Covid pandemic and staff departures.
Funds allocation from the sale of Priesthorpe Annexe.
The Town Council is pleased to announce that Councillor Dale Barton has been selected to be the Bingley Town Council representative on the committee that considers how the money released from the sale of the Preistthorpe Annexe will be spent.
Proposal for a Pedestrian Crossing on Otley Road.
The Town Council has considered a proposal to add a pedestrian crossing on Otley Road. Given the improvement to pedestrian safety this would make the council supported this proposal. Bradford Metropolitan District Council will be advised of Bingley Town Council’s view on the proposal.
The Community Partnership, an umbrella organisation for a number of local voluntary organisations, is beginning to make plans for its future role as Covid restrictions begin to ease. The organisation continues to support its Laptops for schools’ project.
Local graffiti Issues
Unfortunately, graffiti has appeared on a number of structures owed by the Canal and River Trust. The Town Council is working hard to improve the local environment and ensure Bingley is an attractive place to live and work. Graffiti can often visually spoil the local environment and the council will be making contact with the Canal and River Trust to see if it can be removed.
This year’s Annual Report will be published in July. The report is an opportunity to showcase the work of the Town Council and demonstrate how the precept has been spent.
Return to face-to-face meetings
As we begin to move out of lockdown the Town Council has begun planning for the return of face-to-face council meetings. Such meetings will need to be held in line with Government health and safety guidance and other legal requirements. These requirements can change at short notice and plans may have to change. Information about how to attend a council meeting is always provided on the agenda of the relevant meeting and these can be found on the Town Council website.
Laura Jowett, one of our part time administrator officers, left for pastures new in March. Laura had made a tremendous contribution to the smooth running of our operations and while the town council was very sad to see her go, we wish her the very best in her new role. It is intended that a locum administrative officer will be appointed to provide continuity of cover while the Town Council reviews its administration support.
Following a staffing review the appointment of a Deputy Clerk was agreed. The recruitment process has gone well and the Town Council is looking forward to welcoming a new member to the team soon.
Ruth Batterley, the current Town Clerk, has obtained a new post and will be leaving the council in April. Ruth joined the Town Council at its inception and has been pivotal in developing the service and supporting the work of the Town Council. Recruitment of a new Town Clerk and RFO has begun. The appointment of a Locum Clerk has been agreed to provide continuity of support to the Town Council
COVID 19 Guidance
The Government coronavirus advice website advises that the Government has set out a 4-step roadmap out of lockdown
Step 1 – From 29 March further lifting of lockdown restrictions took place
Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools were allowed to reopen, and people take part in formally organised outdoor sports.
The ‘stay at home’ rule ended on 29 March but many restrictions remain in place. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes. Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons. Holidays abroad will not be allowed, given it will remain important to manage the risk of imported variants and protect the vaccination programme. The government has launched a new taskforce to review global travel which will report on 12 April.
Looking ahead – Step 2 (not before 12 April)
Step 2 will see the opening of non-essential retail; personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons; and public buildings, including libraries and community centres. Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms will also reopen (but only for use by people on their own or in household groups); as will most outdoor attractions and settings including outdoor hospitality venues, zoos, theme parks, and drive-in cinemas. Self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen.
Hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoors at Step 2 and there will be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks and no curfew, although customers must order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’). Wider social contact rules will apply in all these settings to prevent indoor mixing between different households.
Events. While funerals can continue with up to 30 mourners, the number of people able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes will rise to 15.
Further details can be found at COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021 (Summary) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
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 enquiries@bingleyTownCouncil.go.uk or by phone on the following numbers:
Town Clerk: 07703 188660
Administrative Officer: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
Dates for your diary
Most activities, including litter picks and markets are currently on hold.
However, the monthly Saturday Farmers’ market has now resumed. Food only until May
The next ordinary meeting of the Town Council is at 6.30pm on: Tuesday 27 April 2021.
The meeting will be held on Zoom. Formally convened Town Council meetings are not password protected. The agenda for meetings, which contain the meeting link, can be found on the Town Council website and on its Facebook page.
You can see all the council’s meeting dates in the Events section calendar on the website. A full listing is also available as a separate document, updated weekly, in the Documents section of the site.
The election of two councillors for Priestthorpe Ward should take place on May 6th
The May election is subject to government guidance and restrictions.
Annual Town Meeting
The date for the Annual Town Meeting has been set as 4 May 6pm to 7.30pm. This meeting will now be convened as a remote meeting.
Please note, the Annual Town Meeting is not a council meeting. Annual Town Meetings are your opportunity to have a say about issues in the Bingley area and to meet representatives of local community groups.
So that the council can keep as many people as possible informed, please do share this newsletter with friends and family and encourage them to subscribe too.
Bingley Town Council, Myrtle Place, Bingley BD16 2LF