Letter from Mayor Mike Holt

Published: 03 June 2020

Cllr. Mike Holt

Mayor of Pateley Bridge

1st June 2020

On the first day of summer we still find ourselves in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, a situation which will continue until a vaccine is developed and successfully tested so although restrictions are being lifted in certain areas we must all be conscious of the fact that the number of infections will probably rise again, and be careful to maintain social distancing and follow the Governments guidelines to stay safe. The latest reports I have heard is that we will potentially get another spike next month, so we do still have to be careful.

I have always been amazed and humbled by how much is done locally by volunteers, and I know that over the last few months commentators have recognised the tremendous effort of the community to help friends, neighbours and total strangers in this crazy time, and I am not going to apologise for adding my thanks to not only the volunteers but also all the shop owners who have stepped up and organised shopping deliveries, the Church in the Dale and Nidderdale Plus for administrating it all. It goes without saying that I haven’t mentioned everybody or every organisation who are helping but rest assured the thanks and gratitude of the Town Council is extended to all of you. I genuinely think that there will be many changes to the way we lead our lives when the immediate effects of this pandemic are behind us, and I hope with all my heart that we will find ourselves considering our fellow human beings in a much more positive and caring way. What so many people are doing now does not have to stop when things get back to relative normality.

It has been a month now since I remotely took over the office of Mayor, and needless to say I have not been asked to represent the town at any events yet, I am just removing events from my diary at the minute, including this year’s Nidderdale Show which is a great tragedy, we must really try and fully support the agricultural society at next years event. At the beginning of last month, we had two retirements from Pateley Bridge Town Council, Councillors Christine Skaife and Chris Hawkesworth who will both be greatly missed, they brought a lot to the Council and as such the town over many years of civic service and we wish them all the best for the future. This means that there are two vacant places on the Council that need filling, so I wanted to bring this to everyone’s attention, as becoming a Councillor presents a fantastic opportunity to have a voice and influence the direction of the Parish, the town and all our Parishioners.

Pateley Bridge Town Council is actually the Parish Council of High & Low Bishopside parish, which also includes the villages of Fellbeck, Wilsill, Glasshouses and part of Wath. It consists of 11 elected or co-opted members and employs a Clerk. Elections are held every four years or when a vacancy arises if 10 or more parishioners request a Council election, but with the Government postponing all elections until May next year that cannot happen now. Our next election is due in May 2022 so in these circumstances with two Councillors having retired, the Council needs to co-opt new Councillors, who then become elected Councillors at the next election, presuming of course that they get enough votes! The process for applying to become a Councillor is very simple, firstly a CV is sent to the Town Clerk with a covering letter stating why you are interested in becoming a Councillor. All candidates are invited to speak to the Council, who then through a series of votes choose who they want to offer a position on the Council to. The Council meets once a month on the first Tuesday, in the Council chamber starting at 7:15pm, Councillors should preferably be IT literate, and would be expected to attend at least a ‘New Councillors’ training day.

Of course, there are certain criteria required, it would be remiss of me not to mention that Councillors have to be at least 18 years old and be either a British citizen, an eligible Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of any member state of the European Union. They must also have to either

1. be a registered elector within the parish

2. have occupied as owner or tenant land or premises in the parish for the previous 12 months

3. the main place of work for the previous 12 months has been in the parish or

4. have lived in the parish or within three miles of it for the previous 12 months

When applying for co-option please in the first instance send your CV and a covering letter to Mrs Sarah Adamson (clerk@pateleybridgetowncouncil.gov.uk) and we will be in touch.

Hoping for a better and safer future for all of us.

Mike Holt.