Many thanks to all who have been in touch with offers of support or have offered help to Bradford Council or other local organisations working to support the fight against COVID-19. Residents of Bingley continue to be good neighbours and to look out for elderly, vulnerable and self-isolating people.
Local volunteers have been giving generously of their time and resources to support those in need of extra help. Donations have been given to provide care packages for local healthcare workers. We are grateful to all our local key workers helping in various ways to support the community. And thank you too to all those staying home to protect the NHS and save lives.
This mailing comes to you following the Town Council’s first remotely-held full council meeting. While not an ideal process, it has allowed the council to reconvene and find a way to move forward with some of its activities. We have outlined some of the council’s discussions below.
We do wish you good health during this difficult period. If you, or anyone you know, needs support in any way, please ring Bradford Council’s helpline on 01274 431000.
Chair, Bingley Town Council
Photos above: Cottingley Gardening Group
Bingley Town Council meetings
Many thanks to those of you who joined the council on Zoom for the full council meeting on 28 April. This was made possible by emergency legislation passed in early April that allowed parish and town councils to hold meetings and make decisions remotely; in normal circumstances, this can only happen when councillors are present in person. During the period without meetings, the Clerk had delegated responsibility to make decisions on behalf of the Council and these decisions were ratified at the meeting.
The focus of the meeting was the COVID-19 response and actions and other ongoing projects reported on below. In addition, the Council agreed to restart full council meetings and standing committees, i.e. Finance and General Purposes, Planning and Staffing and the Events, Marketing and Communications sub-committee. These meetings will all be held remotely (via Zoom – please email firstname.lastname@example.org for the meeting ID and password).
Officer contacts and hours
The Town Council’s office has been closed since the start of 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)
- Environmental Warden – 07529 222679 (Tuesdays and Fridays only).
Pictures above: Community Kitchen, Trinity All Saints Primary School
Supporting Bingley residents through the Covid-19 pandemic
Food parcels, prescription and shopping deliveries, dog walking, book/ jigsaw donations, befriending calls – just some of the many activities the Town Council has been supporting over the past few weeks. The Town Council is working 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 Shipley Neighbourhood Hub is based at the Cellar Project on Fairfield Road, and run by Bradford Council to deal with most issues identified as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis. The help number is (01274) 431000. However, before contacting this number, Bradford Council asks you to please check whether you can get help from family, friends or neighbours.
The Hub oversees support efforts in the Bingley and Bingley Rural wards and the council is also in regular contact with Bradford Council’s Bingley and Bingley Rural Ward Officers and with all the various organisations involved in volunteering and support for residents. Weekly meetings are now being held to share information, data and status of activities. Four Bingley Town Councillors are on call at Bank Holiday and on weekends when the hub has a skeleton staff.
The Town Council organised collection points in Bingley’s supermarkets (Co-op, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer) for donations to the food bank and Lee Matthews, the recently appointed Environmental Warden, works with the food bank and liaises with the supermarkets. Last week Co-op customers donated 7 trolley loads of food, M&S customers donated 25 mixed bags and Sainsbury’s customers donated 15 mixed bags. Surplus food donated at Cottingley Community Centre is being transported by Lee to the foodbank and Trinity All Saints School. Thank you for all the donations and to the supermarkets for hosting the collection points.
A Community Kitchen at Trinity All Saints CofE Primary School provides meals two days a week for vulnerable children and adults. The Town Council has advised on potential suppliers, directed donations to them and Lee has taken surplus stocks from the food bank to the kitchen.
We continue to signpost and inform residents of initiatives, advice and support groups via social media and the council’s own website and to direct queries toward those groups best placed to help. These include the parish befriending service available via firstname.lastname@example.org and the Denholme Assist telephone befriending scheme at https://bit.ly/2xf6q96.
Bradford Council sends out a daily update and you can subscribe to it on this page: https://www.bradford.gov.uk/health/health-advice-and-support/coronavirus-covid-19-advice/
The Town Council has written to the Resilience group and to local church groups to thank them and their volunteers for all the help and support they have given to local residents.
If you are part of an organisation based in our parish that needs funding to support the fight against coronavirus, please contact the Town Clerk for more information. The council has allocated £20,000 for community grants in 2020/21 and has agreed to accept applications monthly rather than quarterly in response to the pandemic. The council will be looking at ways in which it may be able to support individual households and invites your suggestions.
Bradford Council’s Shipley Area Committee also has £1,500 to support community initiatives.
Age UK phone lines for banking
People over 70 who live alone may find it difficult to access banking services at present. They may find it difficult to get cash or run out of cheques and are not able to set up online banking.
A number of banks offer a dedicated telephone service for the over 70s, including Bank of Scotland, Halifax, Lloyds Bank, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank.
The appropriate phone numbers for people who require this service are available from Age UK Bradford by ringing 01274 391190.
Picture above: Prince of Wales Park
The Town Council is in the second year of a three-year contract with Carlton Nurseries to provide its winter and summer floral displays. Carlton have assured the council that they are able to proceed with the contract this summer by taking a number of precautions in respect of the COVID-19 virus and have provided a method statement. They plan to refill the tubs and barrier baskets and reposition the pole-mounted baskets and tiered planters from 3 June onwards.
The council has also been advised by Bradford Council that they are still expecting delivery of their summer bedding plants by the end of May. All being well, these will then be distributed to village societies, Friends groups and other gardening groups for their own projects about the parish.
Some residents have been in touch with concerns about litter build-up and asking whether it is possible for them to use the council’s litter picking equipment when they are out on their daily exercise.
The council already has a group of Green and Clean Champions who are equipped to go litter picking in their own time at their own risk. Following discussion at the meeting this week, it has been agreed that equipment can continue to be supplied to residents on a similar basis. All necessary precautions will be taken when supplying the equipment and health and safety information has been updated to ensure it includes advice on how to litter pick safely when complying with government guidelines on COVID-19.
Dog fouling concerns
Concerns have been reported about higher levels of dog-fouling during the recent period of lockdown. Residents are reminded that posters that can be put up in key places are available on the council’s website – the posters encourage people to pick up after their dogs and thank those that do. Versions are available for different parts of Bingley, e.g. Micklethwaite, Eldwick etc.
To find and download the posters, go to https://bingleytowncouncil.gov.uk/documents/, click on ‘Green and Clean sub-committee’ and scroll down through the documents below.
Office and public toilets
At its February meeting, the council appointed Building Projects Group to undertake the project of converting the toilet block in Jubilee Gardens to provide offices for the council and new public toilets at a contract price of £165,241.50. Final information in relation to Fair Tax was subsequently received, and the proposed JCT contract and final specification were put before the meeting on 28 April. This was agreed, along with relevant risk assessments and other documentation relating to the loan. The council also approved the contractor’s site operating procedures, which sets out the provisions made for social distancing and other safety measures designed to protect the workforce during the Covid-19 pandemic. A start date is now awaited from the contractor.
The Council remains committed to providing a Changing Places facility at Bingley Pool and will continue to liaise with Friends of Bingley Pool and Bradford Council as appropriate.
Bingley Pool is due to be transferred from Bradford Council to Friends of Bingley Pool (FOBP) on 7 September. The council has written to Bradford Council to ask for additional financial support for the group, in light of the news earlier this month that Bradford Council is proposing to spend £433,000 in order to provide a new gym facility at Bowling Pool.
A condition survey shared with FOBP has shown that the boilers at Bingley Pool are at the end of their useful life and that the electrical wiring system is extremely dated and could do with replacement. The letter also notes that there has been expenditure elsewhere at the pool buildings in Shipley, Keighley and Ilkley, whereas there has been virtually nothing spent on maintenance and upkeep at Bingley Pool in recent years, leaving it in a poor condition. Despite numerous requests, Bradford Council has not made any contribution to Bingley’s costs, stating that no funds are available. The council is asking them to reconsider and to give serious consideration to making a substantial contribution towards the works needed at the pool so that it can continue to be an important asset and resource for the district.
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 26 May 2020 (via Zoom – please email email@example.com for the meeting ID and password)
The Annual Town Meeting due to be held on 18 May has been cancelled.
Please note that the Annual General Meeting of the Council, due to be held on 26 May, has been postponed until 2021. Cllrs Helen Owen and Richard Holmes will continue as Chair and Vice-Chair. Membership of committees, and their Chairs/Vice-Chairs, will remain as before.
You can see all the council’s meeting dates in the calendar of the Events section of its 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
Environmental Warden: Lee Matthews
Tel: 07703 188660