Community Fund: financial grants from the Barwick and Scholes Community Fund, which is run by the organisers of the annual Leeds Festival with support from the Parish Council, will be made only once a year, insists its vice-chairman, Andrew Glyn-Mills. A former member of the Parish Council, who recently resigned as he no longer lives in the parish, he is firmly resisting requests from the Council for grants to be made more frequently, perhaps quarterly. Coun Geoff Yapp told the July meeting of the Parish Council this would mean local organisations seeking funding for forthcoming events or projects could not be supported by the Community Fund as they couldn’t wait up to a year for a decision. “We will have to continue providing small grants from the Parish Council,” he said. Coun Ben Hogan, Chairman, acknowledged it was difficult to see a solution as the fund’s money comes from Festival Republic as an annual donation and from the sale of 250 festival tickets they now give each year to the Parish Council. All grants need the approval of the fund’s Chairman, Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn, who attends only one meeting a year to consider applications. There is already £10,000 sitting in the fund from the sale of festival tickets last year.
New Councillor: well known Barwick resident Elaine Jeffers, of Richmondfield Crescent, has become one of the village’s representatives on Barwick and Scholes Parish Council. Her appointment as a co-opted member was made by existing councillors following an interview process. A second vacancy on the Parish Council remains to be filled as a result of recent resignations. Elaine, whose family has lived in Barwick for many years, is a Director of the Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. She was formerly a school governor and scout leader in Barwick and strongly supports the village’s organisations and traditions.
Safety concerns: a Scholes resident living in Elmete Avenue raised road safety concerns at the latest Parish Forum. She said she had counted 54 vehicles passing her home during the short time in which children were being taken to Scholes Elmet Primary School during a typical morning. New parking and waiting restrictions to be imposed in the near future would result in even more drivers using residential streets near the school, raising fears for children’s safety, she said. However, Coun Geoff Yapp said it was too late to influence the Traffic Regulation Order, which had now been approved by Leeds City Council. There had been ample opportunity for the resident to raise her concerns by writing to the city council during the consultation period or in person at a public meeting held to discuss the proposed restrictions. These will also include a 20mph speed limit being imposed near the school at arrival and leaving times.
Bus services: improvements to bus services to and from Barwick and Scholes may be deferred as a result of proposed changes to the way bus services are run in the Leeds district as a whole. Raising this concern, Coun Claire Hassell told the July meeting of the Parish Council that Metro is now seeking to take greater control of West Yorkshire’s bus services under a ‘quality contract’ scheme. This would give bus operators less power than they currently have over routes, services and timetables. However, residents attending the meeting acknowledged they had seen slight improvement in service reliability since the introduction of equipment which reads passengers’ Metro cards and other passes; this can speed up the boarding process and help drivers keep to the service timetable.
Falling basket fears: Barwick and Scholes Parish Council is checking that its public liability insurance provides adequate cover in the event of someone being injured by a hanging basket falling from a lamp post. Some of the flower baskets now displayed in the two villages are fitted with reservoirs holding up to seven litres of water. “You wouldn’t want one of those dropping on you,” said one Councillor, who added that ‘In Bloom’ volunteers check that the villages’ hanging baskets remain securely attached.