‘AND the Highways raised no objection...’ (‘Casting vote gives approval for homes; Craven Herald, April 14). As I have discovered, North Yorkshire Highways and North Yorkshire County Council view a road as a road for moving vehicles and not parked cars and if it becomes congested with too much traffic they will paint double yellow lines.
Sadly Craven District Council have now approved the building of 39 homes just off Burnside Crescent, ruining the stunning outlook of existing homes and removing mature trees in the process. This will make a total of 264 new homes and business premises linking on to Carleton Road with no development to the infrastructure and no new safety measures, and this is just phase one. I must repeat ‘and the Highways raised no objection’.
Carleton Road and Burnside cannot cope and Highways’ answer is to suggest that we come up with a plan which they won’t be able to support unless we can find the funding as they have no money. The section 106 for Wyvern Park was a huge missed opportunity as they chose to rely on an out-of-date and erroneous report which has many omissions.
Burnside is 90 years old and when Willow Way was developed the existing infrastructure on Burnside was deemed inadequate for the Willow Way development to be linked directly to it. This same inadequate infrastructure is now deemed acceptable and able to cope with 39 new homes and all of the construction traffic that this will bring.
The decision to allow the Burnside application to go ahead was made on a casting vote. The convention on casting votes states: ‘to vote to allow further discussion, if this is possible, and otherwise to vote in favour of the status quo’. Not only was the decision made on a casting vote but also two councillors abstained which is unforgivable. They are on that committee to make decisions and not to hide away.
As for the casting vote, Craven District Council has yet again ignored convention; I remember the same situation when bin collection was changed from weekly to fortnightly. This change was also made on a casting vote. The community has been let down yet again by a council and councillors who ignore convention and hide away from using their votes.
One day Craven District Council, North Yorkshire County Council and North Yorkshire Highways may just wake up to the fact that they need to work with the community who want to work with them.
We all recognise the need for new homes and business premises and if we all work together we can develop our beautiful town successfully without placing at risk existing communities who deserve to be able to enjoy living safely and happily in their homes.

I WAS surprised to see the central spread of the Daleslife section of the April 7 edition of the paper featuring daffodils at the Valley of Desolation on the Bolton Abbey estate.
I had thought that the only wild daffodils on the estate were in the small woodland at Barden Bridge. Certainly the flowers in the photo look taller than the wild variety, which would lead to the conclusion that they were cultivated bulbs and had been planted. I hope this is not so.
More and more people seem to think the countryside needs brightening up by the indiscriminate planting of daffodils.
On featureless areas of roadside grassland perhaps so, but in our natural landscape, the spring flowers are just beginning to show, and are put quite out of scale by tall daffodils. I was dismayed to see recently that the banks of the Wharfe between Hebden and Burnsall have many clumps of the plant.
Our countryside is not a garden but a wild landscape, so perhaps those who have the urge to ‘yellow up’ our woods and river banks could donate the money that would be used in purchasing bulbs, to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust or the Woodland Trust who looks after some of our landscape and are always in need of donations.
Badger Gate, Threshfield

I WELCOME the Bradford regulatory and appeals committee decision to delay plans for 190 new homes in Silsden – ‘Plans for new builds in flood-hit area are deferred indefinitely, Craven Herald, April 14.
This is a landmark decision that has significant implications for housing plans across the Airedale and Wharfedale areas.
Communities in both Airedale and Wharfedale are being subjected to house-building plans that will only add to the dangerous problems of flooding in the future.
The devastating scenes at Christmas of families being moved from their homes is a stark reminder to us all.
But these housing plans have been crafted by planners and developers without the necessary consideration for the risks of flooding and the damage to the natural environment that is so important to our communities.
I welcome well-considered plans for housing development, particularly when the housing is built where it is actually needed – ie where there are the jobs and the infrastructure to support it.
But the impacts of natural issues like waterways, habitats and flood plains have to be a major issue and not a secondary concern.
Myself and other Conservative colleagues have taken every opportunity to ensure that Bradford Council takes the flooding issues seriously.
In January we led on the need to ensure a full review of the management of the Christmas flooding was conducted – although it is sad to see that four months have passed and we still haven’t sight of this review.
And last month’s corporate scrutiny committee judged that it was necessary to see the results of both this review and the council’s long-term approach to flooding across the district.
There is also some fantastic work being done by well-informed community groups in Airedale and Wharfedale, which have a real grasp of the long-term issues of both the natural environment and the character of the towns and villages, and I for one fully intend ensuring their voice continues to be heard.
Craven Ward

AFTER looking forward to the first episode of Jericho and being disappointed with it, I did reluctantly watch the whole series in case it improved with time even though I felt from the outset that it didn’t bode well ('Britain’s first Western’ axed after ratings slump’, Craven Herald, April 14).
I found the acting wooden (like the structure) and unconvincing, the set and scenery frankly ridiculous. The superimposed outline of Ingleborough appeared in many scenes with the wooden framework and village in front of it and although I know it would have been something like that when it was being built, it just looked wrong somehow.
There was also the sound of a cuckoo calling in most of the episodes and as a cuckoo would usually prefer to have woodland nearby rather than open moorland, I felt that skylarks, curlews and lapwings would have been far more accurate. Just a small point but a part of the general feeling I had of the unconvincing nature of the whole series.
I have travelled over the viaduct by steam train, walked across it when there was a special event when the line was closed, walked in the hills all round it and taken groups caving in the underground systems below it. I have read about the history of the building of it and the Jericho story. This series in my opinion was badly designed, poorly acted and disappointing in every way.
Maybe people who don’t live in this area and aren’t familiar with the scenery and the history of the area enjoyed it but I certainly didn’t. I’m very pleased that there won’t be a follow-up.
Water Street, Earby

I HAVE been reading the article in the Craven Herald about the series Jericho (‘Britain’s first Western axed after ratings slump’, April 14).
I have to say that I thought that the series was extremely good and I am very disappointed that there isn’t going to be a second series. I can’t understand why the ratings were low. It was good viewing and much better than a lot of the rubbish that is on at the moment. Please can we have a second series.
Keighley Road, Skipton

I WOULD like to thank the staff and pupils of Horton-in-Ribblesdale School for the wonderful welcome, support, and opportunity for growth they have offered my children this past year.
We moved to Horton last April and, although we knew the primary school was ranked by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’, we did not appreciate how much of an educational gem this small village held.
In a world where teachers are so relentlessly driven towards meeting government targets, and class sizes stretched beyond capacity; where children become statistics to lure others in and pacify inspectors, Horton remains unique. Its small size and dedicated, resourceful staff has resulted in something very special. Educationally speaking (just to keep the government and inspectors happy) my two have leaped ahead in the last year.
It is, however, in how these results are achieved that I have been so impressed. No longer confined to classes of 30-plus, each child’s abilities are noted and encouraged. There is no teaching to the class ‘average’, just teaching to each child’s individual enthusiasm.
Likewise, their worries and ‘hang ups’ are noted and carefully dealt with; so much so that a fear of maths has vanished in a year.
The school operates as a family unit, each person having their own and individual relationship with others, everyone supporting and encouraging each other to grow. It also operates as a valuable and well liked community hub with people from the the village and surrounding areas meeting for meals, social occasions and volunteering.
During this past year my children have grown in confidence, character and ability. Hidden on the way up to Penyghent, surrounded by trees and the glorious Ribble Valley, this school is not mandatory place of education; but somewhere my two willingly head to every morning. Armed with wellies, raincoats, sledges and whatever else is required to enjoy the Yorkshire great outdoors (occasionally sunscreen), this is a place to explore and discover, to climb trees and build dens, to take part and contribute, to be heard and to listen.
On the way they also learn to read, write and count.
Thank you, Horton-in-Ribblesdale Primary School, my children are having a wonderful start to their education.

CRAVEN Volunteer Centre is a small charity, based in Skipton, which acts as a central point of information for members of the general public who are searching for local volunteering opportunities within the voluntary, community and public sector and we have 200 organisations on our database, offering over 400 volunteering opportunities across the district. As well as providing a free recruitment service for these local organisations, we also offer advice, support and training on all aspects of volunteer management.
We deal with around 800 enquiries every year and 50 per cent of the people who access the Volunteer Centre need extra support to break down the barriers to become involved in volunteering roles. This can be due to low confidence, mental and physical health problems, learning disability or drug and alcohol addiction etc but we strongly believe that everyone has something to offer and we support them in finding a suitable role.
Currently our services are being called upon more than ever – cuts in services within the public sector mean that voluntary organisations are increasingly being asked to fill the gaps especially in libraries, transport, youth provision and older people’s services. However, at the end of March 2016, we lost our core funding grant from Craven District Council, which means that we now have to divert more of our time away from delivering our service to developing other sources of income just to keep the centre open.
If anyone would like to support the work of Craven Volunteer Centre, donations can be made through www.localgiving.com/cravenvolunteercentre, where tax payers can also choose to add Gift Aid. Also, if anyone is interested in finding a volunteering opportunity or wishes to register their organisation they can contact us on 01756 701648 or email info@cravenvb.co.uk
Manager, Craven Volunteer Centre

SO the councillors found themselves between a rock and a hard place with the decision to approve the building of 39 houses on Burnside Crescent, Skipton (‘Hard decision for councillors’, Craven Herald, April 14). Council opted not to fund its own professional opinion on such trivial matters as building on a known flood plain and the huge increase in traffic especially when the development of the Wyvern project starts, increasing the traffic flow along Burnside and subsequently Carleton Road up to Keighley Road traffic lights.
My heart bleeds for them. I choose to call it spineless, especially the ones who chose to abstain from voting, what exactly are you being paid for then? What about standing up for the feelings and rights of the people who put you in the position of authority in the first place?
We must conclude that if any developer wants to build in the Craven area, the council will just roll over and pass it, rather than fight tooth and nail for its current residents and tax payers.
I look forward to these people knocking on my door grovelling for our votes in May.
Burnside Crescent

I WAS pleased to see that the work has been completed to make Dibbles Bridge safer for cyclists (‘Safety work finished at notorious bridge’, Craven Herald, April 14).
Many moons ago when I was a member of the Barnoldswick Clarion Cycling Club, many of the riders rode on a fixed gear. This gave us greater control of our speed on such bends, besides adding a “third” brake by easing back on your pedals.
At that time we had quite a few older members who warned us of any dangerous hills and bends.
Some time later, when our daughter was about seven years old, my wife, Margaret, and our girl, Janet, went youth hostelling to Nidderdale. Janet was behind me on our loaded junior back tandem when, approaching Dibbles Bridge, my front brake pad came loose.
Knowing of the hazard ahead, I managed to bring our machine to a halt and fix the problem. It was then I realised how invaluable the wisdom of our senior members had contributed to our safety.
Dale Street, Earby

I WAS surprised to read Cllr Hickman’s letter (‘MP must keep promise’ - Craven Herald letters, March 31), regarding the demise of the Skipton to Harrogate bus service considering Julian Smith MP’s strong track record of helping community bus services.
Whether it’s helping community organisers in Upper Wharfedale find solutions for their transport issues, engaging with schools to protect home to school transport or working closely with the community and authorities to find an alternative bus provision following the demise of Pennine buses - our MP has consistently helped community bus services that have been under threat.
I am sure if Mr Smith is asked to help then he will do.
That said the reality is that there needs to be sufficient demand to make bus services viable and it might be advised to fully understand the underlying reasons for the withdrawal of this service rather than casting around for a scapegoat
Skipton Town Council

THE long-awaited Local Plan is here at last and we are invited to view it (‘Have your say on future of the region’, Craven Herald, April 7). But it is huge, printed in such small print it is far too hard to read for most people. The maps are equally impossible.
The library is not open long enough to go through it all. Small sections relevant to each village or town with names printed on the roads would be much more helpful. Why, I wonder, has it been delivered thus to us all?
Kirk Lane, Embsay

EVERY home in England should have received a booklet sent by the government claiming to set out the facts of its case for advising us to vote to remain in the EU.
This highly controversial booklet, costing the taxpayer £9.5 million pounds, was branded by Justice Secretary Michael Gove as ‘one sided propaganda’.
On the very first page of the booklet it states: “The UK has secured a special status in a reformed EU”. But the EU has most definitely not been reformed and thus the booklet’s claim of a special status in something that does not exist is meaningless.
As is widely accepted, Cameron went to Brussels promising us half a loaf of bread and came home with crumbs - no new treaty, no powers back, European Court of Justice still in charge and still sending £350 million per week to Brussels.
When we joined the Common Market we were also subjected to an outrageous falsehood by Prime Minister Edward Heath who stated in a television broadcast in January 1973: “There are some in this country who fear that in going into Europe we shall in some way sacrifice independence and sovereignty. These fears, I need hardly say, are completely unjustified.”
Subsequent papers came to light which unequivocally showed that Edward Heath recognised at the time the full implications of what he was doing. Years later, in a BBC interview in 1998, Heath admitted that he had known all along that Britain was signing up to a federal Europe.
It is bewildering why successive governments have found it necessary to indulge in such unquestionable dishonesty for something that it claims is of such undeniable benefit to us all.
Wainmans Close, Cowling

HOW nice to see that in the last few weeks the A65 between Gargrave and Settle has had potholes repaired, drains cleared out and teams of workers have been along collecting up roadside litter. Some cynics may say that it’s because a few well-known pedal cyclists will be using the road for a short while this month.
Myself, I like to think that it is coincidence there is an upcoming bike race and that it is just our caring local authorities doing what we pay them for.
Ribblesdale Estate, Long Preston