Encouraging to see good turnout for town parade

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Well, the weather has certainly turned wintry now, but luckily it held fair for the Remembrance Parade on Sunday November 13, writes Wetherby Mayor Coun Norma Harrington.

It was encouraging to see so many local groups and associations represented at the wreath laying ceremony on the bridge, as well as so many townspeople and visitors joining in, even the passengers off the bus that was stopped due to the parade.

It is important that we all remember those men and women who fought for our freedoms in past wars, but also for those veterans of more recent conflicts, living with various degrees of disability.

Many have returned from the Gulf and Falklands wars, and more recently from Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq suffering from not only horrendous physical injuries, but many suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues.

The Royal British Legion works to support these veterans and their families, to lead as normal a life as possible now that they are no longer serving in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.

Our support at Remembrance Ceremonies, as well as our monetary donations reminds them that we are behind them, so thank you to all Wetherby people who attended, and so generously donated time and money to support the RBL poppy appeal.

Despite some delays work to prepare the site for the new Aldi supermarket is now progressing.

Some residents have voiced concerns about the amount of traffic on Deighton Road, but hopefully they have been reassured by the plans to have a mini roundabout at the junction of Sandbeck Way as well as a pedestrian crossing near to where the bus stop is currently sited.

Both of these initiatives will help to slow down traffic in an area that suffers from what can only be described as “speed limit blindness”.

Myself and the Deputy Mayor carried out some road safety speed checks at various times of the day in the summer, on two roads noted by residents as having problems with speeding drivers.

In the space of an hour more than 40 drivers didn’t adhere to the speed limit. The sign lit up with the speed they were travelling and a frowning face for those not complying with the designated speed for that road.

The findings were reported to the police who later carried out camera speed checks in those areas. Unfortunately they did not catch anyone speeding, but the main objective is to get car drivers to slow down and adhere to the speed limits in place, to protect pedestrians and other road users from harm.

The new signs on Hallfield Lane and Deighton Road close to the schools are designed for this specific purpose. There have been some teething problems with the equipment, but hopefully once they have all been reinstalled they will work effectively.

I represented Wetherby at a particularly moving Oakleaf Service held in Ripon Cathedral to commemorate those killed in road traffic accidents in North Yorkshire during the past year.

Too many families are tragically affected by road traffic accidents, so I would like to remind all drivers that it is our responsibility to drive carefully, and treat other road users, including pedestrians as if they were members of our own family, and keep them safe!

On a brighter note I would like to thank the organisers of the Wetherby Town Bonfire for their sterling work. It is no easy task drawing all the strands together, for such an event. Thank you also to all Wetherby residents who attended, all 2,400 of you.

The fireworks were a wonderful spectacle, and the whole evening was conducted in a safe manner.

I am looking forward to the Christmas Lights Switch on this evening, with the festivities starting from 6pm in the Market Square. Once again this is a community initiative planned by the Wetherby Business Association and Wetherby Town Council, for the benefit of local residents, so please do come along and support it

Future events to look forward to: the Lions Dickensian Fair on Sunday December 11; St James Community Service on Monday December 12 in the afternoon, and the Town Carol Service on Wednesday December 21 in the Market Place. There are many other fairs and fundraising events going on around the town in December, so please watch out for the posters.

Please get your nominations in for the Town Council’s Jubilee Award, by November 30. Forms can be obtained from the Town Clerk and the award ceremony will be held before the Town Carol Service.