Another month, another series of Zoom meetings. We are of course pleased that the technology is available to us, but, like the rest of the population, we are keen to be let out to resume our meetings in various parish venues and to give those without an online option the chance to engage with us in person.
For the time being, if you would like to attend one of our meetings, please get in touch with our Clerk to get the relevant code and we will look forward to your contribution. All dates are on the website and posted about the town, and the next full council meeting is at the foot of this newsletter.
You will see news below of the developments with the proposed Aire Valley incinerator. Bingley Town Council is firmly opposed to the incinerator development and I urge you to take part in the new Environment Agency consultation to make your views known.
The toilet block conversion is progressing well, with the contractors making excellent headway. Another project that has long been in the planning will be starting later this year, with the Council having approved expenditure on repainting all the street furniture in the centre of Bingley. The project is one of many being undertaken to regenerate and improve our town, including funding and supporting efforts to keep open Bingley Pool.
Finally, I am pleased to report that the council has again received a clean internal audit report, and I am grateful to our Clerk and Administrative Officer for keeping us in such good order.
Thank you again to all who are continuing to support neighbours, friends and family in this period of semi-lockdown and generally keeping society going. A reminder that the number to ring if you or anyone you know needs help is Bradford Council’s helpline on 01274 431000.
Chair, Bingley Town Council
Aire Valley incinerator
The Environment Agency recently issued its draft decision on an environmental permit for the proposed incinerator at Keighley, stating that it is ‘minded to grant the Permit to the Applicant. This will allow it to operate the Installation, subject to the conditions in the Permit.’ A representative of Aire Valley Against the Incinerator (AVAI) joined the full council meeting on 23 June.
The Environment Agency has now entered a new period of consultation about the proposals. The link to the consultation and other documents related to the proposal from Endless Energy is : https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/psc/bd21-4lw-endless-energy-limited-epr-zp3537at and the deadline for responses is 29 July (NB not 21st).
Bingley Town Council agreed to reiterate its opposition to the incinerator and is to formulate a detailed response to the Environment Agency explaining why its draft decision has not properly answered the council’s objections. More immediately, it will seek an extension to the deadline; this is a consultation potentially with enormous consequences for people in Bingley, but, as an online only consultation issued during the period of the pandemic, many people will be unaware of it and many others unable to access it.
The Town Council has also resolved to:
- Write to Bradford Council and MPs for Shipley and Keighley, re-iterating BTC’s concerns and stance, and to ask the MPs what they are specifically doing to fight the permit
- Follow up previous enquiries of Bradford Council about air quality monitoring and again requesting the return to Bingley of the air quality monitoring station
- Write to Endless Energy, explaining the strength of local concern and opposition and inviting them to attend the next full council meeting to explain their stance
- Write to neighbouring councils to ensure they are aware of the threats posed by the planned incinerator and the opportunity to respond to the consultation
- Invite AVAI to attend the next and subsequent full council meetings to update on the campaign’s progress
- Use social media, newsletters and any other communication means to promote AVAI’s work and fundraising needs
Street furniture painting
At the full council meeting on 23 June, the council agreed to go ahead with its plans to repaint the street furniture in Bingley town centre.
The project will include 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 section at the top of Park Rd, Bushfield Street, Wellington Street, Chapel Lane, Waterloo Rd, Midland Hill, Market Street, Queens Street, Airedale Street Myrtle Place and Myrtle Grove.
The items have not been repainted for many years and are shabby in places, while Bradford Council say they do not have a budget or any plans to do the work themselves. It is planned to repaint in black in keeping with street furniture in other areas in the surrounding district (Shipley & Keighley) and to ensure uniformity with the newer, black installations around Lidl. The council believes the repaint will make the town look and feel a lot smarter for residents and for visitors.
The cost of the work is £23,873 and is largely being funded from the council’s regeneration and tourism budget. The project arose from a resident’s proposal to the Civic Society in 2016 and has been a project of the Town Centre and Regeneration Sub-Committee ever since.
The timetable for the works is being agreed and Bradford Council stipulates that the work can only be carried out by its own approved contractors.
Investing in this project is part of a wide range of initiatives to improve the physical environment that the council is supporting and has supported since it was established in 2016. These include provision of floral displays, new grit bins and litter bins and taking action on delapidated buildings.
Suggestions and concrete proposals for how to allocate the precept, the CIL monies and grant funds in line with priorities are always welcome.
COVID-19 social distancing measures
The Council has been in touch with Bradford Council with suggestions for social distancing measures put forward by both residents and councillors. Residents will have noticed signage erected in Bingley town centre and markers on pavements.
Residents are invited to access Bradford Council’s Active Travel Portal on the Bradford webpage and send in their ideas about active travel in the Bingley area:
https://cbmdc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=11996f5a60b0451da38f6ecabb01a626. The map at this location shows the progress of requests for measures on the highway and in public areas to aid social distancing and enable safe walking, cycling and leisure activities.
On the subject of highways, residents may wish to take part in Bradford Council’s consultation on proposed upgrades to the A650 Manningham Lane as part of the Bradford Shipley Route Improvement Scheme. The link for this is www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/bradfordshipley.
At the full council meeting on 23 June, the council heard concerns about the very limited opening hours of Bingley Post Office in recent weeks, which is causing difficulty and hardship for both businesses and individuals as well as additional work for the post offices in Gilstead and Eldwick. It resolved to contact Post Office Limited to find out what support is needed to enable a better service to be resumed at the Main Street premises and to bring the matter to the attention of MP Philip Davies.
The council also resolved to write to local schools, the Youth Service and CABAD to thank them for their work supporting children and young people throughout the pandemic, acknowledge the varied challenges they face and draw their attention to the grant scheme in case they have projects, not being funded from other sources, that would benefit children and/or young people. (The council cannot give funds to schools for items or services where a statutory prohibition applies- e.g. it couldn’t give funds for text books or teachers’ salaries.)
COVID-19 supporting local residents
The Town Council is continuing to work closely with a number of partners and community groups, in particular Bradford Council’s Shipley Neighbourhood Hub for Bingley and Bingley Rural and the Resilience group operating on Facebook led by Michelle Chapman and Jo Reynard.
The council attends fortnightly 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.
It was noted at the most recent meeting that there had been fewer requests for assistance due to people returning to work. It was agreed that the council write to local supermarkets requesting that they do not sell individual barbecues to help prevent gatherings while the lockdown continues.
Play in the Park
Due to the pandemic and restrictions on group activities, it is not yet possible to confirm that this year’s Play in the Park play sessions for children arranged for six sessions for dates from 24 July to 21 August can go ahead.
The council continues to liaise with Bradford Council, who run the sessions on the council’s behalf, and a decision will be made in the next few weeks.
Bingley monthly markets
The council has approved a new risk assessment drawn up by Otley Town Partnership, who run Bingley’s monthly markets, containing measures to reduce the risks of COVID-19 infection when the market reopens.
It is hoped that the next market will take place on 1 August, but a number of obstacles remain, and the markets steering group is actively trying to resolve them.
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) awards
Following on from the item in last month’s mailing, full guidance for community groups to apply for a CIL award and application forms are now available from the Administrative Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org, and will shortly be on the website.
The CIL is a charge levied on developers by Bradford Council, and 15% of the monies raised is returned to the parish or town council where the development is located to be spent on infrastructural projects:
(a) the provision, improvement, replacement, operation or maintenance of infrastructure; or
(b) anything else that is concerned with addressing the demands that development places on an area.”
“Infrastructure” includes physical, social and green infrastructure e.g. highways, cycleways, education facilities, sports and community halls, parks and play areas.
So far, Bingley’s CIL fund amounts to £19,267. Priorities for spending were identified during the community consultation in September 2019, the top six being parks and playgrounds (particularly Myrtle Park and Crossflatts Rec), Bingley Pool, green spaces, youth provision, police and crime, and sports facilities.
Office and public toilets
At a socially-distanced site meeting on 19 June, councillors were pleased to see that work on the conversion of the former public toilets site at Jubilee Gardens is progressing well.
The new internal layout can clearly be seen and discussions at the regular project meetings have moved on to proposals about sanitary fittings, carpets, signage and wall colourings.
Bingley Pool and Changing Places facility
The Town Council in April 2019 committed in principle to providing a Changing Places facility in Bingley Pool in the first instance, and investigating other options. The Council has earmarked £12,000 in its budget for this purpose.
As well as the £5,600 for the feasibility study and survey to support the Friends of Bingley Pool’s Community Asset Transfer, Town Councillors are in regular discussions with FOBP trustees so that, when requested, funds and support can be investigated and considered.
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
All activities, including markets and group litter picks, are currently on hold.
The next ordinary meeting of the Town Council is at 6.30pm on:
Tuesday 28 July 2020 (via Zoom – please email firstname.lastname@example.org for the meeting ID and password).
You can see all the council’s meeting dates in the calendar of the Event section of the 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.
Bingley Town Council contacts
Bingley Town Council, Cottingley Community Centre, Littlelands, Cottingley, Bingley, BD16 1AL
Town Clerk: Ruth Batterley
Administrative Officer: Laura Jowett
Tel: 07703 188660