Longer library opening hours: Tadcaster Library is now open from 2-7pm in Wednesdays, not from 2-5pm as before. The extra hours are staffed by volunteers, who won’t be able to help you with all the library’s services but who will have phone support from county library staff in other branches. The extra hours have become possible with more volunteers being trained, and make Wednesday the only day when the library is open after 6pm. Full opening hours are Mondays and Tuesdays 2-6pm; Wednesdays 2-7pm; Thursdays and Fridays 9am-1pm; and Saturdays 10am-noon. The Friends of Tadcaster Library are planning some new events for the library this spring. If you want to find out more about them, or want to volunteer to help in the library, please contact them by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Sara Gott on 01937 831743.
Walkers are Welcome competition: Tadcaster Walkers are Welcome had eleven correct entries for the competition they launched at the Christmas market. The results are on their web page at http://www.tadwalks.org.uk/KTC2012.html. The first correct entry out of the hat was from Pat Bowman. Which was the hardest clue? The gas-pipe on the old railway embankment was hard, but the carving on the Library building (originally a school, as most of it still is) is in a far more prominent location but is nearly invisible.
Tadcaster Men’s Forum: the Men’s Forum meets at the Boys’ Sunday School, opposite St Mary’s church, on Mondays from January to November, with a summer break from May until August. The weekly cost is £2.50. Each meeting has a speaker, so there’s always something new to find out about. Recent speakers have included Peter Bradshaw and Reuben Mayes. Peter talked about the Tadcaster Community Archive, based in the library in Station Road, which he helps run. He showed and discussed a wide range of photographs of local interest. Reuben talked about the Malaysian Campaign, the conflict between the Allies and the Japanese from September 1941 to February 1942, when the Japanese were desperate for Indonesian oil to fuel their aggressive policies in China and the Far East. The Men’s Forum is always happy to welcome new members.
Adult beginner/base level gymnastics: Ashton Gymnastics Club is holding three trial sessions of beginner/base level gymnastics for adults on Saturdays, February 2, 9, and 16, from 2.30-3.30pm in the Leisure Centre on Station Road. The cost for the three sessions is £21. The sessions will carry on if there’s enough interest. For further information or to book a place, call Tracy Ashton on 07721 478965.
Community Development Plan: Phil Back presented the latest Community Development Plan at the last Community Engagement Forum (CEF) meeting. He told the forum that this was in effect the CEF Board’s business plan for the next two years. The Plan reflects the needs, priorities and aspirations of local people, and was developed partly from a local questionnaire. It has six key priority themes: environment, landscape and streetscape (for example tackling the boarded up properties in the town centre); the local economy - retail, employment and tourism (for example, parking in the town centre); leisure and culture (for example, more activities for families and teenagers); community safety; education and lifelong learning (for example, stronger links with local schools); and health and well-being. The plan should help local groups make a better impression on potential sources of funding for local projects. Several members of the public had comments to make. There was concern at the lack of people in the town centre, when we ought to be taking advantage of the lack of national chains making our centre different from other towns. One person, commenting on traffic flows, observed that the street layout hadn’t changed since 1780. The issue of working with local landowners was raised, but Mr Back said that the CEF Board was aware of recent progress in this. The plan should be available from the CEF website (http://www.your-community.org.uk/northern_portal.html) and in the Ark and the library.
District Council Tenancy Policy consultation: the District Council has launched a consultation on possible changes to its Tenancy Policy, and is keen to know what people think. They’ve published a draft policy which sets out possible changes to the way the council manages its housing. One suggested change is to offer new tenants (not existing ones) shorter tenancies, possibly a 12 month introductory period (as now) followed by a five year fixed term tenancy. The council wants to make sure that they manage their housing stock in the right way to meet the needs of those on the waiting list. They are also keen to stress to existing tenants that their long term tenancies will continue unchanged. The consultation lasts until March 17. After then, feedback will be reviewed and the policy updated, probably by Summer 2013. You can find more information from the Council website at http://www.selby.gov.uk/news_detail.asp?menuid=2&id=1566.
Former Barnardo’s footpath: the county council has announced that it is starting a round of consultation on the footpath leading from the Wharfe viaduct to Wighill Lane, which was closed a year ago by the new landowner. Last year well over a hundred local people sent in evidence forms saying that they had used the path, unhindered, for many years, and the County Council’s Rights of Way office is now asking for further views or comments, to be returned by February 14 (including any evidence that anyone may believe is relevant). This is the first formal stage in a process which many hope will lead to the re-opening of this much-missed and previously well used amenity link between the two halves of the town. The town council will be discussing it at their meeting on Tuesday, February 5.