OPINION: Commemorative plaque unveiling reminds us we are lucky to be part of such a tremendous community - Coun Mike Holt, Mayor of Pateley Bridge

So along with much of the country we saw the England football team stumble at the last hurdle of the Euro 2020 championships, so close and yet so disappointingly far.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 10:15 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 10:16 am
It hardly seems possible that we have been living with Covid-19 for almost 18 months now

Penalties are such a cruel way to decide a game which has lasted for over two hours, it is a huge shame. What I have found even more disappointing are the reports in the press about the racist abuse sent to those players whose shots missed or were saved, I find racism reprehensible but also find it ridiculous that these players are heroes one minute and abused the next.

Thankfully the social media platforms have removed these comments and the police are investigating the vandalised Marcus Rashford mural in Greater Manchester. Other vandalism, this time much closer to home has also been a huge disappointment. The recent damage to trees on the Millennium Green was really upsetting and the police are investigating at the council's request.

We have managed to save all but one of the trees but the tree that required felling was 40 to 50 years old and it does seem such a waste of a living thing. The council is indebted to Ross Hanley Garden Services for the speed of their response in making the area safe again for everyone to enjoy.

It hardly seems possible that we have been living with Covid-19 for almost 18 months now, and it has been at the centre of literally everyone’s lives during that time. Although delayed by four weeks many of the restrictions will be removed and considered recommendations as opposed to regulations. Some people will still feel nervous about mixing socially with unlimited numbers of people again, others maybe not at all bothered but I think we are all aware that infections will increase; of course, the main reason for the four-week delay was to allow more people to receive the second vaccination.

Samina Khan from the Pateley Bridge Pharmacy has been running vaccination clinics in the Memorial Hall and I understand that they are hoping to also operate a drop-in clinic so if you haven’t yet been vaccinated then Pateley Bridge is the place to be!

I have since last March marvelled regularly both privately and in public about the amazing way our local community has pulled together to get us through this difficult period. I have been bombarded with suggestions about recognising one person, group or business who have made a big contribution and effort to help their neighbours, friends and customers but it is my firm opinion that it would be impossible to name everyone, and very easy to miss out someone of huge significance which would be unforgivable.

So, after a lot of debate and discussion with our colleagues on Bewerley Parish Council we have agreed to a commemorative plaque to acknowledge both councils gratitude to everyone who has helped make life for people during this time just a little more bearable. Both plaques (Pateley Bridge and Bewerley) will be unveiled on Saturday, July 31 at 2pm to acknowledge the tremendous community that we are so lucky to be a part of.

We have had a huge number of complaints about the bridge repairs in Pateley Bridge following a traffic accident nearly two years ago, and we believe that NYCC (the repair contractor) have made a fundamental error by using new sandstone coping stones for that repair. Pateley Bridge Town Council have been in discussion with NYCC and it has been agreed that if we can find some old matching millstone grit coping stones then, subject to confirmation by the stonemason NYCC will purchase these coping stones and re-repair the bridge.

I am delighted to announce that we have now sourced some coping stones so subject to inspection by the stonemason, I can close sharing this great news with you, and wishing everyone the very best summer season possible.