Chairman's Report 2004-2005
The Parish Precept for 2004/2005 was £8,750. It has been increased to £9,000 for 2005, an increase of 2.8%. This is principally because of the Parish Council's increased financial commitment to the playing field.
Grass cutting was the major expenditure in the year. The standard of litter collection carried out on behalf of the District Council is excellent and the Contractors are to be commended. It had been hoped to increase the number of streetlights during the year but this was deferred in view of other financial commitments. It is hoped that the provision of additional lighting can be undertaken in 2005/2006.
Roads and Footpaths: Maintenance of the village roads and footpaths has generally been satisfactory. We are still awaiting the provision of double yellow lines to Main Street close to the junction with the A19. Concern has been expressed to the County Highways Department about the gradients created on the footpaths in connection with upgrading of the bus shelter and provision of disabled crossing points in Main Street. We are advised that the situation will be rectified. Concerns have also been expressed about traffic speeding in the village particularly on Carr Lane. The P.C remains concerned about the growing number of vehicles being parked on pavements and impeding access for users. The PC was unable to reclaim VAT on its contribution to the re-surfacing of the Village Hall car park. This was despite appeals and the intervention of John Grogan MP.
Planning: The future of the North Selby mine site is still unresolved, but the P.C is maintaining its stance that as the site is in the Greenbelt and that in accordance with the original planning permission it should revert to agriculture or forestry. Planning applications are expected shortly in connection with the nearby Stillingfleet Mine and former Oakland brickworks. Other planning applications have been many and varied. By far the most controversial was for the erection of wind turbines in Skipwith Parish. This was opposed by E.P.C following extensive public consultations. In the event the Planning Application was withdrawn. Brian Forster is to be commended for his tireless efforts in dealing with the Planning Applications and in carrying out in depth consultations with affected residents.
Village Green: Under the Chairmanship of Mike Russell, the Village Green Committee continues to carry out excellent work on behalf of the Community. The latest project is for the provision of a flagpole and flag to commemorate V.E day. Our thanks to the Committee for the their dedication and hardwork.
Escrick Playing Field: The new lease was recently completed for a 25 year term from 1 January 2005 at an initial rent of £10 per annum thanks to the continuing generosity of Charles Forbes Adam. The legal work for the P.C. was carried out by John Guest of Guest Walker & Co. Mr Guest made no charges for acting for the P.C and his generous gesture to the village is greatly appreciated. A new 5 year licence has been agreed with NYCC in respect of pedestrian access to the Playing Field along the existing tarmacadamed footpath serving the Junior School. The annual licence fee is £25.
The Committee of EPFA are to be commended for their doggedness in fund raising over a number of years and for pursuing grants from various bodies to secure sufficient finance to carry out the planned major upgrading of the facilities.
Neighbourhood Watch: Thanks are due once again to Mike Russell and all the co-ordinators for the work over the past year. There was one major incident but public awareness resulted in an arrest by the Police. Escrick is perceived as an affluent village and is bound to be targeted by burglars and 'bogus workmen'. Please report anything suspicious to the Police and be wary of "cold callers".
Chairmans Note: We have had another busy year and continue to be bombarded with official paperwork of all kinds. We try to cope with this to the best of our abilities on your behalf. Last year saw the retirements of Terry Wilson both as Chairman and Councillor and also Peter Gowthorpe and Bill Hulley, both long serving Councillors. Our thanks were made to them. Fortunately very able replacements were co-opted to the P.C. viz., Ms Judy Wanless, Mrs Carol Wainwright, Mrs Gina Mannix and John Reader. Collectively they bring a wealth of knowledge of the Village and its activities over a large number of years.
My thanks to Mrs Vicky Cumberland for so ably officiating as Clerk for the past year and to all Councillors for their support and dedication. I wish to place on record the invaluable assistance given to me over the past year by my Vice Chairman, Steve Smowton.
My thanks also to District Councillor Liz Casling for her unstinting support of the P.C. throughout the last year. Finally our grateful thanks to Councillor David Ashton who is retiring as NYCC Councillor after 28 years of meritorious service to this Community. David has done much for this village over this period and his guidance and advice will be greatly missed.