Nigel Harper

01423 866199

Christmas Fayre: the unpromising cold wet start to Saturday, November 9 turned into a bright crisp afternoon for the annual St Thomas Christmas Fayre, though there weren’t quite the crowds experienced in previous years. The Fayre nevertheless raised £798 for church funds, and on behalf of the village I would like to thank Margaret and Malcolm Smith for organising the event and all the stall holders: Leonie, Chris, Michelle, Sylvia, Karen, Christine, Dick, Lee, Ruth, Caroline, Alma, Helen, and Nigel. Thanks also to the two Sues and Wendy for providing the ever popular excellent tea and home-made cakes, and to all those who baked, made marmalade, fudge and chutney or who just joined in and supported the event.

Guy Fawkes Restaurant Review: the Guy Fawkes restaurant was fully booked on the evening of Saturday, November 9 (which is itself a recommendation) when yours truly (impersonating Jay Rayner – but without the beard and long curly hair) and my companion Sylvia Barnes enjoyed our first meal from Martin’s kitchen. Having heard that portion sizes were generous we opted not to have a starter which probably proved a good decision when considering our neighbours’ starters looked almost as big as the main course. But if your appetite is up to it, don’t be put off as the choice of starters is very tempting. (I have now to consider my slimmer figure!). Sylvia chose the sea bass and salmon fillets and I opted for the trio of game, both with dauphinois potatoes, but there was no evidence of the promised two veggie options (just as well Helen was indisposed). However, so delightful was the presentation of the plates and the vegetables when they arrived piping hot (my killer test) that we just sat for a few seconds admiring the lovely appearance which was certainly matched by the taste and quality. Service from Lisa and Eleanor was very attentive, and we liked the ambience created by the choice of solid period furniture. The two detractions from an otherwise very pleasant evening, were that the Merlot was served on the chilly (rather than Chile) side. It really should have been allowed to come up to room temperature before serving. (I suspect it had only just come out of the wine store next to the refrigerated beer cellar). Also, Sylvia’s pears poached in red wine, though looking very attractive were actually too firm (as we reported back to the kitchen) and Sylvia found the sauce a bit too sweet. I was also a bit disappointed in the two cheeses (there is thoughtfully a choice of two, three or four cheeses) – the Cornish Yarg and vintage Wensleydale were actually very tasty but the two small wafer thin slivers seemed a bit parsimonious and were overwhelmed by the number of biscuits. I would also happily do without the chutney, nice though it was, along with apple and celery – in favour of just more lovely cheese. This is Yorkshire after all, not fancy Hampshire where our son Adam currently resides. On balance a lovely meal, beautifully presented, with first rate service in a comfortable period setting, but marked down by the chilly red, pears and cheese and absence of vegetarian options – so I can only award four rather than five stars. However, I do look forward to our next meal at the Guy Fawkes – genuinely something to anticipate with pleasure and we can also at long last recommend with confidence the Guy Fawkes to our house – swap guests. Reservations can be made on 01423 868400.

Parish Council: met on November 11when David Smith was welcomed by the chair Norman Clarke as a new councillor. Under public questions it was agreed that the parish council would support but not take the lead in the development of a children’s playground and a scooter park. A concern has been raised about the absence of street lighting on Haviklil Lane and outside the primary school, and council agreed to make an application to NYCC.

Traffic: in response to the concerns raised by council with NYCC and the police it is apparent that neither body (based on traffic surveys and the speed activated sign) considers there any serious issues in Scotton, nor is there any NYCC funding. Coun Mackenzie suggested installing monitoring strips in Main Street to count the vehicles regularly mounting the pavement, and also proposed widening the pavement so as to create a traffic priority system and allow more bollards to be erected. Coun Clarke agreed to check whether any PC funds remain available.

Clerk’s Report: the clerk has written to NYCC regarding the broken footpath on Havikil Lane, and NYCC have finally agreed to cut back the vegetation on Market Flat Lane footpath. The dog warden has visited twice and will be asked to erect notices on Main Street and outside the school as councillors reported that fouling was still a significant problem in both these places.

Planning: council objected to an application for a light industrial unit on Low Moor Lane as there are already several vacant units in Lingerfield, but there were no objections to a first floor extension to the bungalow on Chantry Lane.

Accounts: council agreed a special meeting on December 2 to draw up a draft work plan to inform the 2014/15 budget and also to propose ways to best allocate rental income to the benefit of the village. The 2014/15 parish precept will be decided in January.

The Code of Conduct has been circulated to councillors as it is a virtually new council, and the F o I and press polices have been carried forward to the December meeting.

Percy Fields: Lister Haigh have been appointed land agents subject to a 12 month review. Two quotations are to be obtained for the tree survey at the GDR, and the archery club are to have a further meeting following communication of HBC’s concerns. If successful, an application to the Woodland Trust will result in a further 100 trees being delivered in March 2014. Council agreed to mole trapping and the shooting of rabbits on the site. A site meeting is to be arranged with the preferred fencing contractor regarding the moving of the bund to the GDR.

500 crocus bulbs from HBC are to be planted in front of the village signs in Lingerfield and Scotton , and the PC is to bid for up to £2,000 for a 2014 themed feast to coincide with Le Grand Depart (Tour de France).

Next PC meeting: 7pm Monday, December 9 in the Committee Room.

Church Services: for Sunday, November 24 the Feast of Christ the King, 9.30am Eucharist at St Thomas, Scotton and 10am at the Methodist Church when the preacher will be Mr Robertson.