Spring clean brings out best in town

First of all I would like to thank all those people who turned out on March 4 and 5 to clear up litter from around the town, writes Wetherby Mayor Coun Norma Harrington.

It was a fantastic effort with Leeds City Ward Councillors, town councillors, Churches Together representatives and the public. The youngest litter picker was Gabriel who came out with his mum and insisted on extracting even the most reticent plastic bottles stuck in a grating on St James Street.

Friends of Sandringham Park and local residents turned out on both days. The total number of bags collected was 35!

Some of our group were shocked at the amount of litter to be found, especially the number of bottles left in The Cluster of Nuts Car Park at the opposite end from where the bottle banks are. Surely, if you have taken the trouble to take the bags of bottles down there you could at least put them in the receptacles provided? Many bottles and cans were also found in the bottom of hedges around the various parks and car parks in the town. Please put them in a bin or take them home.

Cigarette ends were the most regular find and probably the most disgusting too. It is a sad reflection on life today that we can‘t ALL treat the streets where we live and work with respect and pride. The town looked lovely after the clear up and hopefully it will spur us all on to keep it that way.

Many people have been complaining in writing, in person and online, about the delays to the re-building of the wall at the Micklethwaite Estate, on the A661 entrance to Wetherby which collapsed in the Boxing Day floods 2015.

We have received a letter from Lease-holding Residents who are involved on the Management Committee. They have been arguing for months with their insurance company, and have experienced difficulty in getting tenders to carry out the repairs. They now have three tenders and these have been forwarded to their insurers who state that the matter must be referred to their UK Technical Claims Officer, who in turn is in the process of instructing an external Quality Surveying firm to assure the reasonableness of the tenders.

This is an extremely frustrating process and was discussed again at our Town Council meeting last week. Leeds City Councillors who are also Wetherby Town Councillors have already written to the Management Committee expressing concerns about the impression the crumbled wall creates as you drive into the town, especially with the televised Tour de Yorkshire cycle race coming through in April.

They will write to the appropriate officers at Leeds City Council asking them to urge the Insurers for a speedy conclusion to this long running problem. The local management committee are currently looking for sponsors to enable them to purchase a banner to cover the wall until the race takes place, possibly advertising the race itself, with the banner then being turned around to show a picture of a stone wall effect after the race has taken place. Are there any local companies out there who would be able to assist them? Please contact the Town Clerk for contact details.

On a more positive note, the plans for the Tour de Yorkshire are firmly under way and last week I attended the information briefing arranged by the tour team in Wetherby Town Hall.

There will be all kinds of events going on in the Market Place on Saturday April 29, including a big screen to view the progress of the races.

Local charities and social groups have been invited to have an information stand in the Town Hall to showcase their work.

We hope this will be a fun event for local residents and visitors alike, with the added bonus of bringing business into the town, and hopefully encourage repeat visits from people.

Wetherby is once again looking resplendent with lovely flowers planted and cared for by our contractors and the wonderful volunteers from Wetherby in Bloom. Enjoy the spring weather and our wonderful market town.