CALLS to improve car park signs and support to pay for inclusive swings were discussed by Bedale town councillors.

At their meeting last week members were told potentially five parking bays in the town centre are being lost.

Institution café asked for backing to write to North Yorkshire Highways and Hambleton council to support an application to make the café’s outdoor seating on two cobbled parking spaces “semi-permanent” with decking.

The new café/cocktail bar Tom and Nellie’s at North End are also applying to put tables and chairs on three parking spaces at the front of the premises in case of future lockdowns.

Councillors were told there had been concern from shop owners about parking spaces being lost, and there had been calls for better signs to the two town centre car parks.

Councillor Mike Barningham said: “People drive through town and if they don’t see a parking space they drive out again"

Councillor Amanda Coates said: "The problem is people don’t want to pay, I know it is low but people don’t want to pay £1.20, if they are on a budget, we have to understand that.

"For people coming in for the day we need better signage for the car parks."

Mayor Cllr Andrew Hallett said: "The car parks have been improved, when you compare charges here it is reasonable £1.20 all day compared to other places."

Members agreed to write to Hambleton asking for improved car park signs and supported - but called for clarification - on the parking spaces.

There was also support to help pay for inclusive play equipment for the enclosed play area at Bedale Park.

The National Lottery Fund has awarded £10,000, and the council agreed to give £23,000 towards putting in a wheelchair swing, a basket swing to replace the existing one, and an accessible roundabout, along with pathways and surfacing.

Cllr Amanda Coates said they would be applying for grants from other bodies to help pay for the equipment.

Cllr John Noone added: "Considering we are holding more money in reserves than we should I think this is a great idea."

Members turned down a request from Bedale Bowling Club for a donation of £630 towards a defibrillator for the clubhouse, because it would only be accessible to the public when the club was open.

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