COLUMN: Mayor of Boroughbridge’s diary with Coun Liz Vose

Mayor of Boroughbridge Coun Liz Vose.
Mayor of Boroughbridge Coun Liz Vose.

I am sure many of you will have noticed North Yorkshire Highways Department is replacing all the concrete street lights throughout Boroughbridge and Aldborough.

Unfortunately the current heritage-style lamp posts are being replaced with modern standardised steel ones but, as Aldborough and areas of Boroughbridge fall within a conservation area, in my opinion these modern lights are not appropriate, – they do not fit the streetscape of an historic village and town. They are in fact something of an eyesore and I have in fact been contacted by several of you expressing concern and I include here an extract from a response received from Naomi Kempton, Senior Conservation Officer at Harrogate Borough Council.

“I acknowledge the enhancement proposal in the Conservation Area Appraisal regarding street furniture and I agree that the replacement of existing inappropriate concrete lighting columns with standardised steel columns constitutes a missed opportunity to secure enhancement in the form of more appropriate street furniture, however I am told that it is a matter of cost. Apparently, the concrete lighting columns across the district have reached the end of their lifespan and need to be replaced. The phased replacement of the concrete columns is been rolled out across the district and they are to be replaced with steel columns.  Unfortunately, the cost of replacing the concrete columns with decorative ‘heritage-style’ columns is prohibitively expensive, as is the on-going servicing and maintenance costs.” This does not seem to me and others to be an adequate response and we believe conservation officers should have taken a more robust stance.  In fact I wonder whether they would have taken such a view if any residents faced with having to maintain their homes with cheaper replacement material because the cost of using permitted materials was prohibitive? In addition as far as I am aware no-one – not even the town council – was informed of the decision to replace the lights or invited to comment and I have therefore written to our MP Andrew Jones, County Coun John Watson and District Coun Robert Windass to see what can be done to ameliorate the situation, at the very least I believe the work should be halted to allow proper consultation to take place.  I will also be asking Boroughbridge Town Council to make representations to Paul Wilmore, NYCC’s street lighting manager.

The weather has yet again played havoc with local events, not only the Great Yorkshire Show but also our own Aldborough and Boroughbridge Show fell victim to the conditions created by so much heavy rainfall. I am sure this must be heartbreaking to all those who have put in so much hard work over many weeks and indeed months to put on these and other events. I was however delighted to see that the Aldborough and Boroughbridge Show has only been postponed and will indeed take place on Sunday, September 2, weather permitting of course. David and I will be there to support the show and its organisers and I do hope as many of you as possible will go along in support, an ideal family treat before the children go back to school!

By the time you read this we will be at the end of another school year and for many of our young people it will mark the end of a particular stage of their educational journey. For some there will be new experiences ahead as they leave primary school, and for others the anxious wait for their GCSE or A-level results. I wish them all luck and hope they have a wonderful summer break.