In November 2000, a vacancy arose on Middleton on the Wolds Parish Council. In accordance with procedure, I requested a by-election, but as the number of requests fell short of the quota, the vacancy was to be filled by co-option. As I had requested a by-election, I was told how to apply for the position. I applied, and was co-opted at the Council meeting of 4 December 2000.
At my first meeting, on 8 January 2001, I proposed that a computer centre be opened in the village, in order to give every villager access to computers, the Internet and E-mail. Other councillors agreed, but said we should first ascertain the possible cost and find staff.
I therefore wrote to companies who operate computer centres, asking about possible set up and operating costs. In addition, I wrote to the company who owned Front Street Court - the village's Industrial Estate - to ask about the cost of renting a unit.
I reported this information to the Council prior to its 4 June meeting. At that meeting, it was considered that the overall cost was too high for the Council, and that sponsorship would have to be sought. I was also asked to find out the cost of insurance. Despite inviting sponsorship from several companies, first by E-mail then by placing a message on the Council's website, I could not find any sponsors. I saw no point in asking about insurance until a venue could be found for the computer centre.
At the 2 July meeting, it was decided to put the councillors' names and contact details on the parish notice board, so that parishioners could contact their nearest councillor. I offered to find out the details of the village's representatives on the East Riding of Yorkshire Council and in the British and European Parliaments, so that they too could be listed on the notice board; this was accepted.
Prior to the meeting of 6 August 2001, I suggested that the Council set up a website. At that meeting, I was asked to edit it. The site was initially held in a folder on my own site, but a professional website editor was invited to one meeting, and he obtained a domain name for the Council. At the 8 April 2002 meeting, the same professional proposed a new design for the site, and this was accepted.
I included in the site general information about the Council, including its standing orders (constitution) and members. I added the agenda and minutes of meetings, plus articles concerning local councils in general. There was also information about the village and its organisations, and space for messages.
At the 1 October 2001 meeting, the Council decided to ask the ERYC which road schemes had been shortlisted. However, the minutes said the Council decided to ask for the village to be considered for funding for a bypass. When I pointed out the error, the minutes of the following meeting merely said I had expressed concern at the wording of the minutes. A similar situation had arisen at the 2 April meeting, when the minutes said most of the Council supported the bypass with me abstaining; the actual motion was probably one proposing that the Council mention in a particular letter that it supports the bypass.
At the 3 December 2001 meeting, it was reported that the Council's representative on the Village Hall and Reading Room Committee had resigned from the Council. I was appointed to replace him, not least because nobody else wanted the position. I was re-elected at the Council's Annual General Meeting on 13 May 2002.
One organisation - I have forgotten which one - suggested each settlement appoint someone to act as a point of contact for information on local public transport services; residents then have access to a single, local information source. At the 7 October 2002 meeting, I offered to act as the point of contact for Middleton; this was accepted.
In early 2003, it was proposed that selected bus services in the East Riding of Yorkshire - including one serving Middleton - be withdrawn due to lack of use. I wrote to ERYC objecting to this proposal, and suggested that the services in question be run on a demand responsive basis, which means they would only operate on request. With few exceptions, the services were withdrawn.
A representative of ERYC attended the 3 March 2003 meeting to discuss transport issues. Among them was the [Parish] Council's suggestion that the Bridlington to York bus service (744; now 45) be diverted to also serve Bainton and Middleton. As an alternative to this, I suggested the then service X11 (Goole to Scarborough via Bridlington) be run more frequently, at least between Goole and Driffield.
I did not stand for re-election in 2003, as I expected to move out of the village. However, I continued to edit the Council's website until I moved in September.
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