Farewell message as mayor hands over chains

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Well this is my last month as Mayor and so my last article. I hope I have been of interest to a few over the past two years.

Our March was dominated by my daughter’s wedding in Hawaii. All went very well and they are both now back in Sydney as man and wife and ready for a good future together. We had to make seven flights all told and had stop offs in LA and San Francisco which made it more of a holiday.

At the Town Hall we had a visit from children from three primary schools in the area, not all in Wetherby. The idea was for them to have a short talk from the Mayor and then a question and answer time. I have done one or two of these before so knew what to expect with many hands up and then many repetitious questions. I think children of those ages just like putting their hands up and being picked to ask a question. I think, however, it’s a great idea and at least gives me a chance to interact with some younger children.

I have just been asked to do the same at Deighton Gates next week so, here we go again.

While I remember I should say I noticed some work taking place on the new Aldi site but it only lasted a day. It’s a start however and they say they are still committed to opening in the Autumn so no doubt they will be starting soon.

Other matters of what’s happening on the area include the final clear up of the temporary (it’s been at least five years) fencing at the Deighton Road end of the Harland Way and the agreement of what finger and sign post we need with Leeds Council. The matter of the sign posts was centred on the new car park at the old railway station off Linton Road. The finger posts will show people where they can go from the car park and then hopefully a sign in the centre of Wetherby will show people where the car park is.

I should mention the Neighbourhood plan which you may feel has been ongoing for some time now. I think the team would agree with you but I can assure everyone that work has been working continuously and we are now nearing the completion of the document. It will then be shown to the residents of Wetherby so they can ask questions and make comments. The final version would then go to Leeds Planning and an independent Inspector. It’s then over to you again for a vote. We need more that a 51 per cent majority for it to be accepted and put in force. It’s been a very long road and as one of the panel I would say it will be worth all the effort put in by many people and will help secure the future of Wetherby and what the people of Wetherby want their town to be like in the future.

Your Town Hall roof is in need of some repair along with the gutters and so we are getting in estimates for the work. A large part of the cost will be the scaffolding and overall I am sure the cost will be in the tens of thousands. The Town Hall is an iconic building and very much part of Wetherby so it must be maintained I am sure you would agree.

In June we have teachers and helpers coming over from Privas our twin town in France for three days. The twinning committee chaired by Cindy Bentley has been working hard to arrange entertainment for them over the weekend but her main problem is finding homes that are willing to put one or two of them up for a night. If you feel you could help please let the Town Clerk know and she will get Cindy to contact you.

A week or two ago the Councillors from Wetherby and surrounding area had a chance to be trained in using a SIB board to alert drivers that they are driving over the speed limit. You will have seen them I am sure. They show the cars speed and give either a smiley face if you are driving within the speed limit or a frown if you are not. Very useful for Deighton Road where we have a speed limit of 30mph and vehicles regularly go at 50 to 60mph. This kind of driving is dangerous and noisy for householders along the road.

As I understand it we will also be getting fixed installations of similar boards on Deighton Road and Hallfield Lane in the very near future. Let’s hope they help to slow vehicles down and make them safer roads.