Parish caretaker Bob Kendall brings renewed sense of community among residents of Newby and Scalby

When parish council clerk Jools Marley realised that things around Newby and Scalby were in need of a little TLC she sprang into action.

By Lyndsey Young
Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 11:16 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 11:20 am
Jools, Reg and Bob out in the community.
Jools, Reg and Bob out in the community.

Jools noticed her surroundings were becoming unkempt, she brought it to the attention of the parish council last year which took matters into its own hands by appointing Bob Kendall into the new role of parish caretaker.

Jools said: “It was small problems that added up to a bigger issue. Green algae covering the road signs, street nameplates that were rusty or direction posts that were unreadable, overgrown hedges and grass verges growing over pavements.”

Reg Towse, chairman of Newby and Scalby Parish Council, said: “It’s been outstanding. When the caretaker is out and about doing jobs, we have people going up and thanking him, which is something that has never happened before.”

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The parish council pitched the idea to Highways which agreed to let the parish council trial the idea for a year. Highways also ensured that Bob had the correct PPE to do the work, including steel-toed boots, gloves and hi-vis clothing branded with the parish council logo.

The county councillors for Newby and Scalby, Cllr Andrew Backhouse, and Cllr Derek Bastiman, each helped out by contributing some of their locality budget to the cause.

Jools said: “It’s been fantastic. We’ve had excellent feedback on the maintenance of grass verges for example.

“People in specific areas that use walkways with overgrown grass verges have noticed they are no longer walking or pushing prams through a muddy mess."

Cllr Don Mackenzie, executive member for Highways, said: “This is an example of really effective cooperation between partners.

“In this case, the parish council has worked closely with North Yorkshire County Council highways staff and councillors and, together, they have achieved results which are of great benefit to their local residents. Well done to all."

Newby & Scalby Library on Scalby Road is open for browsing again. Eight customers at a time can browse the bookshelves for up to 20 minutes each and one whole family can have the children's library area to themselves. Any books touched but not wanted will be put in quarantine for 72 hours. Second hand books are also back on sale and the garden is now open with socially-distanced seating. Open hours are currently Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10.00am - 2.00pm.

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