Nidderdale Voices with the Mayor of Pateley Bridge Christine Skaife.

Mayor of Pateley Bridge Christine Skaife.
Mayor of Pateley Bridge Christine Skaife.

Councillor Christine Skaife, our present Mayor of Pateley Bridge arrived in Nidderdale in 2001 when she married into a well-established Dales family.

As Ian worked for the family firm they settled first in Glasshouses and then in Bewerley before moving to their present home in Pateley. Christine came originally from Hull and still has family there.

The High Street is now more colourful.

The High Street is now more colourful.

Prior to moving to the area, she worked for the Sailor’s Family Society, which has strong links with Pateley Bridge. Once here she worked initially for the City of York Council before securing a position with North Yorkshire County Council within the Children and Young People’s department.

She had previously volunteered for the Dove House Hospice in Hull and was keen to continue to volunteer in the area.

She had previously volunteered for the Dove House Hospice in Hull and was keen to continue to volunteer in the area.

In 2008 Parish Council elections were held and she put herself forward and became a Bewerley Parish Councillor.

A few years later Christine was co-opted onto Pateley Bridge Town Council as well and there was one year when she was both Chair of Bewerley and Mayor of Pateley Bridge.

Now Christine is Mayor for the second time of our town and to add to all this Secretary of the Memorial Hall.

Describe a typical day.

I work for North Yorkshire County Council and work full-time but I am allowed some time to attend civic events.

As Mayor I am invited to various charity events and along with Ian I support these both near and far. I can attend most of these as some are held on an evening or weekend.

Being a councillor means you also sit on various committees and one of these is The Friends of Pateley Bridge Cemetery and St Mary’s Churchyard.

They came together and raised funds to restore many of the older graves which had become neglected. I also sit on the Nidderdale Strategic Partnership, “working in partnership and strength to address the needs of the area by sharing ideas, resources, experience and energy”.

Various local organisations and businesses are included in this and one such partner is the Chamber of Trade.

What would be your perfect day out?

Spending time with family and the grandchildren on a good walk around Fountains Abbey and Brimham Rocks.

We are blessed with this beautiful countryside around us and we need to make the most of it.

What is your favourite part of the Dale?

I love the Upper Dale – Ramsgill and Lofthouse. Gouthwaite is so rich in bird life; if I had more time I would probably be tempted to take up bird watching.

I particularly enjoyed watching the birds in our garden at Bewerley.

What is your favourite Nidderdale business?

Difficult to choose just one but I think I must give top marks to Sanders and Wallace Glass Makers at the King Street Workshops. Theirs is not just a fascinating shop but a lively, working business and they have time to talk, involving visitors in their craft, especially children.

What are the biggest changes that you have seen in the Dale?

The High Street is now more colourful and bright.

The Town Council instigated the Christmas lights on the High Street and when the Tour de Yorkshire passes through and we have the 1940s weekend the town comes alive. This together with the bunting and other events encourages tourism so everyone benefits. This reflects the support and partnership of the Council with the Chamber of Trade and other businesses.

What makes Nidderdale special and why would you recommend it?

For me it is the people and the heritage.

Heritage and history go hand in hand and this has been promoted through the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership Scheme which is supported by the National Lottery and has enabled many projects to be undertaken; Fishpond Wood and Wath Mill to name a few.

If there is one thing that you could change what would it be?

I would like to see younger people more involved and standing for the Council.

They are our future and we need them to be involved.