Barwick in Elmet and Scholes area news

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Councillor resigns: Scholes resident George Hall, an elected member of Barwick and Scholes Parish Council for eight years, has chosen to step down, creating an unexpected vacancy. Mystery surrounds his decision to resign as one of the five Scholes representatives on the parish council. Mr Hall would not go into detail when contacted this week by the Wetherby News. He would only confirm that, following his re-election last week, he had declined to sign the formal declaration accepting a further term of office. This declaration was essential if he was to continue serving as a councillor. The vacancy for a Scholes member will now be advertised. Highly regarded by his fellow councillors, Harewood ward members of Leeds City Council and Elmet MP Alec Shelbrooke, Mr Hall is renowned for his in-depth knowledge of planning policy and regulations. He has represented the parish council at planning enquiries on many occasions, most recently telling a Government inspector that land at Grimes Dyke, near Scholes, is protected against development ‘for all time’ by an Act of Parliament passed over half a century ago. During the past few weeks Mr Hall played a leading part in mobilising public protest against plans by Leeds City Council to close the library in Scholes. As we reported last week, the strength of opposition among Scholes residents is believed to have influenced a recommendation to the Executive Board of the city council that the library should be reprieved. For at least three years Mr Hall spearheaded opposition to cutbacks in local bus services by organising public meetings and, with city councillors, campaigning strongly for improved bus services in Scholes. He is especially proud of leading a determined campaign to persuade Leeds City Council to approve Tree Preservation Orders to protect, for all time, trees lining Station Road, Scholes. The trees commemorate the sacrifice of local people who lost their lives in two world wars and, as a result of Mr Hall’s campaign, they are now nationally designated as official war memorials. He was also the driving force behind Scholes Community Forum, which was discontinued last year following his decision to step down as its chairman.

Barwick school event: Two fundraising sales of seedlings will take place at Barwick’s Church of England Primary School next week. The first will be from 8.30-9am on Thursday and the second at the same time the following day. This year’s school Summer Fair will be held on Saturday, June 25, from noon-2pm.

Maypole Festival: With just ten days to go before Barwick’s Maypole Festival, organisers are putting finishing touches to their plans for another successful day on Spring Bank Holiday Monday, May 30. Members of Barwick Maypole Trust are currently showing the Maypole garlands around the village, door to door, to raise some of the thousands of pounds needed to meet the costs of the festival. The Maypole will be raised and put back into its traditional location at The Cross from 11am. Once it is firmly secured and the four new garlands are on display a determined local man will attempt to climb to the top of the pole and spin the fox weather vane, almost 100ft. above ground level. All the traditional features of Barwick’s triennial Maypole celebration will once again be key parts of the festival. This year’s Maypole Queen, 12-year-old Lucia Harker and her attendant Azure Ford, aged 14, will travel in a brass band led procession from the primary school to Hall Tower Field, where Lucia will be crowned by the Lady Mayoress of Leeds. Children from each class at the primary school will then demonstrate traditional Maypole dancing, weaving intricate patterns with coloured ribbons as they dance around the Maypole. A Street Craft Market, which has proved highly popular since it was introduced by the Maypole Trust, will again be a festival attraction. Further information about the festival can be obtained by visiting the trust’s website www.barwickmaypole.co.uk

Diary date: Scholes Gala, renowned for its parade, will take place on Saturday, June 11 with a parade theme of ‘The Environment.’

Mugs aplenty: Fundraising coffee mornings hosted by Scholes Methodists on the first Saturday of each month have become so popular that their organisers began running out of mugs for teas and coffees. Generous supporters were quick to respond to an appeal for donations, so 97 mugs are now available at the Methodist schoolroom. All they need now is more cupboard space!