6th September 2004

Present: Mr Ian Reynolds (Chairman), Mr Steve Smowton (Vice Chair), Mr Peter Skilbeck, Mr Bill Reader, Mr Brian Forster, Mr Mike Russell, Ms Judy Wanless, Mrs Carole Wainwright, Mr John Reader, Mr Charles Forbes Adams (Councillor), Mrs E Casling (Selby District Coun.) produced a report for the Parish Council to consider.

Minutes of last meeting read and approved

Matters Arising

Website: Mr Steve Smowton produced the front page of the website and welcomed comments and suggestions. Mr Ian Reynolds asked everyone to look at the website with a view to discussing the same fully at the next meeting and thanked Mr Smowton for the work in producing the website.

Village Hall Car Park: Mr Reynolds reported that he had received a letter from John Grogan MP being a copy of the latter's letter to HM Customs & Excise pleading the case for the Parish Council. Mr Grogan had written that the Parish Council had been misadvised over their liability for VAT on the re-surfacing work to the car park. Agreed to await the outcome of Mr Grogan's approach.

Selby Bypass: Councillor E Casling produced a letter received by Selby District Council from Mr Alan Begg of the Major Projects & Studies Team at the Highways Agency outlining the problems that had experienced with the swing bridge. These included leaks of hydraulic fluid, electronic problems, communication error between the bridge control computer and a drive motor, and a further delay caused by the proximity switches used to align the bridge at the start and finish of the swing system which had had to be adjusted. 300 test swings had been carried out before the bridge opened and malfunctions had been identified and rectified before the scheme became operational. All incidents had been fully investigated and rectified as speedily as possible and the media have always been informed. The bridge is a highly complex structure consisting of thousands of moving parts and they cannot give full guarantees that there will be no further problems. Regarding other queries Mr Begg advised that the fixed bridge had been consider prior to the 1991 Public Inquiry and in order to gain the necessary headroom the bridge would have needed to be similar in size to the Ouse Bridge on the M62 Motorway at Goole. He also said that rumours that the bridge was sinking or was the wrong length for the river are completely untrue.

Insurance: The Clerk confirmed that Allianz & Cornhill had advised by letter of 27th June 2003 that the Playing Fields are also covered under the Parish Council's Public Liability Policy.

Playing Field: The Chairman had received a letter from Mr Charles Forbes Adam confirming that he was happy for the Parish Council to take on the lease of the playing fields. This lease would include responsibility for the adjoining paddock, which abuts the A19 with the use of this area to be subject to Landlord's approval. The lease rent will be a nominal £10 per annum in the interests community spirit. The length of lease to be granted would be dependent upon the requirements of the Grant Funding Authority. Mr Steve Smowton had written to HM Customs & Excise regarding VAT on the equipment to be installed. Escrick PFA is a charity and therefore VAT would only be reclaimable in respect of the Living Spaces grant of £25,000 provided this was paid to the Parish Council and that the lease is in the Parish Council's name. EPC will continue to work with Escrick PFA and the latter will continue their funding raising. The next meeting of Escrick PFA is schedule for 7 September at which meeting it is hoped that a representative prepared to be co-opted onto the Parish Council will appear. Smowton is to prepare a letter for signing the Chairman confirming to the Escrick PFA that the Parish Council will be the accountable body and will be responsible for the weekly inspection programme, the lease and will provide Public Indemnity Insurance. It was reported that at the previous weekend vandals had set fire to some of the benches in the playing field and EPFA had wondered if a claim could be made on the EPC insurance. Mr Brian Foster commented that the benches were old and he thought that a claim would be difficult to justify. The Clerk was asked to enquire from Allianz and Cornhill if the benches are covered and to ascertain the amount of the excess on the policy before a decision is made regarding a claim. Mr Mike Russell will prepare an article in the Parish magazine about this incident under the auspices of "neighbourhood watch". Mr Smowton reported that the Tennis Club and EPFA had been successful in their bid for funding from the Selby Money 4u fund. Thanks were expressed to Councillor Casling for pressing the cases very strongly.

Hedge Trimming: It was reported the hedge and nettles were intruding across the footpath at the Skipwith Road End on the Beckside. Other areas mentioned where nettles are extending across the footpath were close to the War Memorial on Carr Lane. Mr Charles Forbes Adam agreed to examine this area and tidy as necessary.

Skipwith Road Sign: As this has still not been replaced the Chairman is to ask Councillor Casling to press Selby District Council for progress with the repair and replacement.

Finance: As this has still not been replaced the Chairman is to ask Councillor Casling to press Selby District Council for progress with the repair and replacement.

Planning Applications
8/10/200A/PA - two storey rear extension at Briar Cottage 39 Main Street Escrick - opposed by Parish Council. Councillor Casling reported that this could well be passed by Selby District Council.
8/10/127F/PA - erection of building for the retail of conservatories to include erection of conservatories to all sides at Bell Farm Riccall Road Escrick York - reconsultation - amended drawings - no objections by EPC.
8/10/60A/PA - erection of a first floor extension to the front and a two storey extension to the rear of 5 Skipwith Road Escrick - no objections in principle by EPC subject to site inspection and consultations with neighbours who may be affected by the rear extension.
8/10/13J/PA - prune and shape holly tree (T2) within TPO No 16/1989 in the front garden of Auchendoris Skipwith Road Escrick - no objections by EPC.
8/10/173A/PA - conversion of redundant garages to form dormitory rooms, kitchen, bathroom & common room to the rear of Old Estate Office, Park Gates, Escrick. This is an application essentially for renewal of planning permission that has recently lapsed. In these circumstances EPC could see no reason to oppose the application.

Hollicars Caravan Park: The Chairman had received a letter from Mrs J Hubbard, the Planning Consultant for the Estate which confirmed that chalets/timber lodges were essentially the same as caravans provided that they were readily transportable which included use of a low loader. This was subject to the chalets not exceeding specified dimensions. Mr Forbes Adam commented that initially Selby District Council had requested that he provid chalets rather than caravans. The permanent structure for the Manager's house for which planning permission had been approved was to be erected at the south end of the site. Mr Forbes Adam also confirmed that the access roadway to the park was now under construction and ought to be completed within the next two months.

UK Coal: A letter had been received from UK Coal, which referred to the redundant buildings at the Wistow, Stillingfleet, Riccall & Gasgoine Wood mines. As none of these are within the Escrick Parish no action was deemed necessary. It was confirmed that EPC has already given its views on the redundant North Selby mine to the effect that this should be returned to agriculture or forestry which was a condition of original planning permission.

Right of Way Lease: The lease in respect of the footpath access the playing field has expired and the County Council have offered a one year licence only commencing on 15 Sept 2004 at an annual cost of £25. It was decided that the Chairman should write to the County Council asking for a longer lease in view of the proposed improvements to the playing field with equipment which was specifically aimed towards children most of whom attend Escrick Junior School or have recently left. It was felt that a longer period should be granted to provisos that may be required by the County Council/Governors if public access to the school playing field and premises was to be denied. Mr Steve Smowton confirmed that the right of way effectively divides the two School sites and at some stage in the future they could be forced to prevent use of the footpath.

NEDL - Electrical Supply to Village Green Festive Lights: A letter had been received asking for information regarding wattage and number of bulbs and the period of use in respect of the tree on the village green. Mr Mike Russell agreed to reply.

Selby District Council Review of Security: A meeting is arranged for 30th September, which will be attended by a Police Representative. Mrs Carole Wainwright took the details of the meeting and will try to attend.

Any Other Business

Footpath through Queen Margaret's School: The Chairman had received a letter from the Headmaster of QM school asking that the use of this as a footpath should cease bearing in mind the alternative that had been provided by the Estate through Gas House Wood and around the cricket field. This request was on grounds for security and privacy. The Chairman had obtained a letter from Mr Forbes Adam who confirmed that this had never been a public right of way and was permissive only and that he also felt that the alternative route was such that there was no necessity to use the access through the Park Gates to the cricket field. The matter was fully discussed by EPC and the Chairman pointed out that the Council had either to accept what was being said or to challenge it formally and try to establish if there were public rights. It was proposed by Mr Russell that the Parish Council accept there is no public right of way and that we agree to the Headmasters request that use of the path should be restricted. This was seconded by Ms Judy Wanless and was unanimously carried. The Headmaster had offered to allow certain elderly residents to continue using the right of way. All visitors to the school from September in any event will be required to have identity badges and these could also be issued to users of the footpath. It was also suggested that a notice be placed on the Park Gates to the effect that there was restricted access, as this would deter strangers from walking through. The Chairman is to write to the Headmaster to agree a statement to be placed in the Parish Magazine. Mr Charles Forbes Adam reported that there were paths provided through Gas House Wood to a standard suitable for use with wheelchairs.

Street Lighting: Mr Bill Reader reported that the street light opposite The Alley was extinguished. He is to provide the Clerk with the number on the post. Mr Brian Forster similarly reported that streetlight No 6 in Dower Chase was not working.

The Cast-iron Lion in Main Street: This is owned by the Estate and Mr Forbes Adam confirmed that it had been painted in the recent past. The Parish Council had previously considered paving around it and had made some enquiries about a grant. EPC are to inspect and reconsider.

Rubbish in Gashouse Woods: Mr John Reader had challenged some youngsters who had deposited litter and they had agreed to clear it up. The Chairman reported that the youngsters concerned had called at his house confirming the tidy up and asking if their endeavours could be noted by the Parish Council. The Chairman was pleased to report their actions to the meeting.

Party at Escrick & Deighton Social Club: Mr Peter Skilbeck reported that following a private party the previous Friday, guests had vandalised the bus shelter smashed glasses on the tennis courts and had terrified the residents of the Alms Houses. The Chairman is to write to the Club requesting that when events are booked they also arrange for at least two responsible persons to be present inside and out throughout the entire event.

Musical Extraveganza on the Village Green: It was reported that the event had been a rousing success and thanks were paid to Mr Mike Russell who had arranged the same.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING: Monday 11th October 2004 at Escrick & Deighton Social Club