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Worth Valley council no-show 'was ridiculous'
A Worth Valley parish council was initially unable to begin its September meeting, as only two councillors were present at the scheduled start time.
The chairman of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council, one other councillor and the council clerk were the only members in attendance. At least three councillors needed to be present to allow the 7.30pm meeting to conduct its civic function.
The meeting was able to go ahead shortly after 7.33pm when a third councillor arrived. A fourth councillor entered ten minutes later.
Chairman councillor John Huxley warned that the council, which is meant to have a full complement of 12 councillors, could not operate like this.
He explained to those members of the public present that the parish council had three vacant seats. This was exacerbated last Monday by two councillors being on holiday and a third being at a work-related engagement.
Coun Huxley said: “It’s worrying to me as council chairman that we’ve three vacancies and there are only four of us here tonight.
“I’m going to call for an emergency meeting of the parish council with one item on the agenda, because we can’t go on like this – it’s ridiculous.
“I know people have to go off on holiday and everyone has the right to a personal life, but we need three [more] councillors urgently to share the workload. There are lots of people in the community who say they care about this community, and if they care, they will put themselves up as councillors.”
- Coun Huxley said he was shocked by the number of crimes committed in the parish between August 1 and September 2.
PC Eddie Irving, of the Bingley and Worth Valley Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT), had reported that offences in this period included one alleged murder, six assaults, five non-house burglaries, seven instances of criminal damage, two thefts from motor vehicles and four other thefts.
He said there was also a case of possession of an offensive weapon and the discovery of a small cannabis factory in Cross Roads.
He noted that the police had made a significant number of arrests related to the crimes.
Coun Huxley said he was pleased with the police’s high detection rate, though added he was very surprised by the number of incidents. “Haworth is normally such a safe society and I want it to stay like that,” he said.
Speaking after the meeting, NPT sergeant Chris Watson noted that the crime rate in the area was not much different to the situation during the same month last year.
- The council agreed to respond to safety concerns raised about Brow Road by a local resident.
Paul Hartnett said vehicles had been skidding on the steeply-sloping road and striking the wall near the junction with Victoria Road.
He said cars parked on the side of Brow Road were leaving less space for passing motorists, and that uncleared fallen leaves from a pair of trees were making the road surface treacherous during wet weather.
Mr Hartnett said he has been happy to give up his time to tidy and enhance the grass verge at the side of the road, but noted that he spends his own money on repairing the turf whenever cars mount the verge and leave marks.