Eventful month of interest

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Things have certainly been happening in Wetherby over the past month, writes Wetherby Mayor Coun Norma Harrington.

The Mayor’s diary is filling up now for events over the summer, with opportunities for me to meet even more of the residents of our fantastic town, or tell people in other towns what a wonderful place it is to live and why they should come and visit us!

The month started with the High Sherriff’s lunch at the Courts Centre in Leeds. There are several of these events hosted and funded by the High Sherriff of West Yorkshire and his wife during his year’s term of office. Tom went with me as my consort and we chatted with representatives of the Judiciary, Prisons, the Police force, local charities and entertainment facilities in the county. It is always great to meet different people involved with so many aspects of life in our wider community, to see if there is anything we can learn from each other.

I visited the Scout 2017 Challenge weekend at Bramham Park, where thousands of Scouts, Cubs and Beavers attended from all over the Central Yorkshire region. It was wonderful to see so many young people, both boys and girls, interacting with each other, taking part in activities and working with each other to achieve goals, and just enjoy themselves!

The leaders are incredibly motivated, committed and inspirational to the youngsters. There are, however, many young people on waiting lists to join scouting groups at all age-groups, due to the lack of leaders available. If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a scout leader, please get in touch with your local group, or look at the website, scouts.org.uk and follow the links.

That afternoon I was also invited to attend a tea party at Ashfield Nursing Home, who had just received a well deserved GOOD in a recent CQC Inspection. It was a lovely sunny afternoon, with entertainment and a real party atmosphere. I met all the staff who were on duty, including two young men who volunteer there at the weekends, and all of the residents, who had their own special stories to tell. It was an enjoyable but also humbling time spent with people who truly are care givers and others who have given so much to their own families and their communities over many years.

What can I say about the Lions Duck Race with 2,000 yellow ducks taking part. I went along to stand on the bridge on the Ings to welcome everyone along with Ryan Sidebottom, the Yorkshire cricket star. It was great to see this annual event so well supported, not just by local people but by visitors from across the county. The money raised goes to help local charities who need financial support. If you are involved with running a small local charity, why not write to the Lions to see if they can assist you with a small donation?

We have had the opening of the Aldi supermarket with the associated new mini roundabout on Deighton Road. I live very close by and despite the comments on the local social media sites people are starting to get used to the new road layout. The mini roundabout was part of the Highways Dept recommendations in the Planning application for the store. This, in conjunction with the new pedestrian crossing, has in my opinion resulted in a general reduction in speeds travelled by drivers along that stretch of road. Long may it continue!

There have been several traffic management plans announced, with the re-laying of some of the setts in the Horsefair, as well as the start of the works to repair the wall at Micklethwaite and the notification of the closure of St James Street from July 27 for extensive repairs there.

It is unfortunate but unavoidable that all of these works are being carried out over the coming weeks, but they are all vital and long awaited.

The nature of the works dictate that they need to be done in the better warmer weather, and if any of them were postponed it would mean waiting until this time next year. I am sure we all want the works done and the townscape put back to normal as soon as possible and I would ask you to be patient and work with the diversion routes.

Planning issues are at the forefront of many residents and councillors minds at the moment. Please look at the minutes of Town Council meetings for further information. Anyone can get involved with the consultation processes for planning applications by contacting the relevant local authority. In Wetherby’s case, the two planning authorities are Leeds City Council and Harrogate Borough Council.

To end on a spectacularly positive note, what a brilliant day it was on Sunday with the flypast for Ginger Lacey.

It was an amazing sight when the Lancaster flew three passes over the town to commemorate the birth 100 years ago of our own local hero. The Civic Society and the Royal British Legion did us proud in arranging the event and our thanks go to the RAF too.

How are we going to follow that?