POLICE reported to Lakes Parish Council’s meeting last week that they had dealt with 37 incidents in the past month in the Lakes parish area, including eight crimes of theft, two from shops, and one each of antisocial behaviour, harassment, common assault, and a racially-motivated assault.

LAKES Parish Council expressed concern that The Ambleside Inn reportedly wants to fell a mature elm at the side of the hotel by a seating area, because it is the only tree remaining within the town centre’s Conservation Area. Council said the tree had been there for many years and members had opposed similar requests by its previous owners to cut the elm tree down, although they had no objection to it being pollarded. Councillors were also concerned at the extent of the work proposed on 16 trees round Ambleside’s health centre, which are habitats for wildlife and birds, but agreed that tree management was necessary.

The council is advertising for a parish clerk designate and a new finance and outdoor projects officer. The clerk’s contract would be for 12 months

probationary with three months’ notice, which would be spent shadowing the clerk, Michael Johnson. Mr Johnson also announced Cllr Dot Wood’s resignation from the Langdales ward, and said if the advertised vacancy did not result in an election, co-option would take place.

LAKES Parish Council agreed to support and endorse Grasmere’s ambition to work towards being a single-use, plastic-free community. Councillors also agreed to a request from Ambleside Action For a Future (AAFAF) to review the planting of the council’s decorative beds and borders to ensure they are pollinator-friendly. Council will also ask the parish steward to help with AAFAF’s window box and tub planting-scheme by helping to fix window boxes safely to railings and window sills. The parish steward will also clear compacted debris strewn on Rydal’s pavements from recent drainage clearance.

RYDAL residents said they were very pleased that signs had been placed asking motorists not to park on the grass verge of the A591 where daffodils had been planted.

THE opening of Grasmere’s newly refurbished play area in Broadgate will be delayed from half term until the Easter period, to allow for South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) to carry out more drainage and engineering work to prevent flooding.

GREENBANK and Castlefield Residents Association's secretary, Marj Waddecar, has stepped down after several highly active years working to improve life for residents. This included negotiating with the university to prevent its construction and other traffic travelling up the estate to access its northern gateway, and to limit vehicles using it to Land Rovers and minibuses only, not exceeding 10 journeys a day.

Ms Waddecar also got Highways to impose a no access order to prevent the neighbourhood’s narrow roads from being used as a free public car park, as well as improving street lighting. Her greatest achievement to date is the new play area, opened last autumn, for which she spearheaded the funding by working with SLDC to raise £76,000, with help from many other funding sources, local organisations and businesses.

“For the future, hopefully we have got a good reputation with the Lake District National Park Authority, Cumbria County Council, South Lakes Housing, SLDC, the Lakes Parish Council and the university,” she said. “Our parish, district and county councillors have always been supportive of our work to protect and enhance the neighbourhood for all our residents.” The chair of the Residents Association is Charlie Black.

AMBLESIDE Kirkstone Rotary enjoyed entertaining presentations recently, including a talk by Archie Workman entitled 'My Life in the Gutter'. Archie, a former ship building engineer and regional business development consultant, helped lure The Great North Swim to Windermere, and also became part-time lengthsman to local parish councils. Now he lends his skills and meticulous attention to clearing out blocked drains, tidying back overgrown verges and lovingly restoring old black and white road signs and other civic metal items to full glory.

In his talk, he spoke of the challenges of handling heavy crusted and rusted drain covers and severely blocked drains, which require determination and ingenuity to clear. However, in addition to his fame as a trouble shooter for parish councils, his interest and knowledge of drain covers and their origins has led to multiple interviews with TV and newspapers as well as his own calendar with stories and photos, resulting in celebrity status, to the extent that he has been named as 'Celebrity Drainspotter', the 'Dullest Man in Cumbria' and 'Anorak of the Year 2019'.