Ron Miller

07717 150625

Remembrance Sunday: all Barwick and Scholes residents and visitors will be welcome to attend church services and Remembrance wreath laying ceremonies on Sunday, November 10. These will follow a revised format this year. A service will be held at St Philip’s Church, Scholes, at 9.30am, followed by a parade and laying of wreaths at the village’s war memorial at 10.15am. There will be a parade in Barwick, too, leaving Jack Heap’s Field at 10.55am, with an Act of Remembrance at The Cross at 11am.This will be followed by a service at All Saints’ Church, Barwick. Following this service the tradition will be maintained of laying poppy wreaths on the graves of ex-servicemen who lost their lives during the Second World War and were laid to rest in All Saints’ churchyard.They will once again be remembered by the Royal British Legion and members of the congregation.

A welcome improvement: at the annual general meeting of Barwick and Scholes branch of the Royal British Legion on October 30, members considered for approval the minutes of their meeting a year earlier. These included the following: ‘The chairman reported that branch membership had been very low for many months. More pertinently officer committee members had been too low to maintain the branch, with only two or three attending on a monthly basis. Because of this shortfall of members, a decision had been taken to dissolve the branch. The recent influx of new members, however, pointed to a more optimistic future and the chairman reported that he was willing to continue his involvement for another year, buoyed by the prospects of the formation and commitment of a new committee.’ The change in the branch’s fortunes has been remarkable in the past year. After a gap of five years the branch now has a new president, Lt.Col Amanda Hassell, a serving officer in the Adjutant General Corps, whose parents Chris and Clare Hassell both serve the parish council as parish clerk and as an elected member respectively. Branch chairman Vic Brothers agreed to remain in post and the new branch secretary Matt Baker and treasurer Jillian Baker have worked with the chairman and other members to rebuild branch membership, enabling the threat of closure to be avoided. The parish council recently met the cost of both village war memorials being cleaned in readiness for Sunday’s ceremonies.

Formal complaint: Scholes community campaigner George Hall has lodged a formal Code of Conduct complaint against all members of Barwick and Scholes Parish Council, insisting on receiving a public apology. His action followed a comment made in a letter from the parish council to Leeds City Council, responding to a petition signed by more than 550 residents asking for Scholes to become a separate parish, with its own parish council. The letter stated that the petition resulted ‘from the one man crusade of a former parish councillor against the council, supported by members of the local action group (Save Our Scholes) who continue to challenge virtually everything which the parish council (and for that matter Leeds City Council) does.’ In his formal complaint, Mr Hall says this was clearly a reference to him and he considered it defamatory. He stated: “My personal integrity has and is being questioned and my standing in the Scholes community has been brought into disrepute.” Mr Hall added that he had sent several letters of complaint to Alec Shelbrooke, MP for Elmet and to Leeds city councillors who represent Barwick and Scholes. “I have sought a full public apology from the parish council, reserving the right to take all necessary steps, which could require resorting to law, to rebut the personal attack made against me,” he said. In its response to the petition the parish council said members considered it to be ill-founded and asked that it should be rejected by the city council.

Christmas lights: mature trees in both Barwick and Scholes will again be decorated with twinkling white lights during the Christmas period, at a cost of £1,710 to parish funds. The lights are to be switched on for the first time on Friday, November 29. A request from some Scholes residents earlier in the year for Christmas lights to be displayed on the approach to the village on Leeds Road was turned down as councillors did not believe the additional cost could be justified in the present economic climate.

Spending policy: the parish council has re-iterated its policy that any funds for community use paid by developers involved in new housing schemes will continue to be spent in the village where the development takes place. Coun Geoff Yapp told the parish council he wished to make this clear in view of ‘misleading statements’ made by the Save Our Scholes residents’ group. He added that the policy would also apply to funds payable by developers or builders under the new Community Infrastructure Levy.This will prove particularly important if housing developments are eventually approved by Leeds City Council in Scholes, requiring substantial levy payments to be made to improve local facilities and public services.