Tag Archives: Aysgarth and District Parish Council

West Burton school – Stop the Bussing!

Aysgarth and District Parish Council has again agreed that the bussing of the youngest children from West Burton CofE School to Bainbridge by the Bainbridge, Askrigg and West Burton Federation of Schools (BAWB) for lessons must stop.

At its meeting on Thursday February 21 the council welcomed the invitation from BAWB to the West Burton Representative Group to engage with it in a small working party on Tuesday March 19.

Cllr David Pointon, an educational consultant who is a member of the Representative Group, reminded the council that the first request for defederation from BAWB by parents of pupils at West Burton school was made in January 2018.

He added that BAWB had refused defederation and was continuing with bussing the youngest children which was one of the main things that parents were objecting to. “The community is still not satisfied,” he said.

Richmondshire District councillor Yvonne Peacock described as dreadful had been the lack of communication by the BAWB governors. “We’ve had emails but we haven’t had a conversation. To me the governors should have dealings with people, with the parents.”

Another Richmondshire District councillor, Caroline Thornton-Berry agreed that the governors didn’t seem to know that the West Burton parents were so unhappy.   She told the council that she had invited one of the BAWB governors to have coffee with her – only for that governor to say that the chair of governors had said she shouldn’t accept.

One of the parish councillors spoke of a teaching head at a church school of 120 pupils who was at the top of the pay scale who earned about £20,000 less per year than the non-teaching head of BAWB which has 80 pupils. BAWB also has a part time business manager.

“The financial situation at BAWB is unsustainable,” commented Cllr Thornton-Berry. She also pointed out that, unlike councillors, the governing body of a school was unanswerable to anyone and was free to make all decisions  apart from that to close a school.

Cllr Pointon emphasised that the most important issue was the needs of the children  – and the councillors agreed that bussing the youngest children was contrary to that.

See: Cllr Pointon’s statement about educating primary school children.

Yore Mill Planning Application

Aysgarth and District Parish Council will support an application for the refurbishment of Yore Mill at Aysgarth Falls even though at its meeting on Thursday February 21 councillors were concerned about parking and that the mill race leaks.

The application, by David Peacock of Richmond, is for the conversion of the mill into two apartments, four holiday let apartments and one apartment in conjunction with a bar and restaurant, bunk house, community room and retail outlet; bicycle store and wash down area, and the re-instatement of the hydro-electric turbine. It was reported at the meeting that the proposal includes three parking spaces [on the east side of the building] but with none for those staying in the holiday lets or  visiting the restaurant and bar. Parking for them will be at the YDNPA car park across the River Ure.

An Aysgarth councillor reported that the Himalayan Balsam growing in the mill race would have to be cleaned out. He added that the mill race leaked and the turbine in the mill had been turned off so that the cottages on the west side adjacent to the river could dry out prior to being sold. “If the turbine is brought back into use they will flood again,” he said.

The councillors agreed, however, to support the application as it would improve and make safe a building they had reported as being in a dangerous condition. This, they said, would be a planning gain.

Above: Yore Mill as it is at present