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Ryedale District Council is on track with its four-year Council Plan

Ryedale District Council is making good progress towards its key aims outlined in the Council Plan 2020 – 2024.

Halfway through the timeline, it’s been revealed that the District Council is improving or maintaining its performance in:

  • Communities: strong, inclusive and attractive
  • Economy: harnessing Ryedale’s unique economy to deliver growth, homes and jobs
  • Environment: a sustainable, safe and clean place
  • Organisation: an innovative, enterprising council

Art Happens Here is a studio collective of artists based in Malton and is run by three Directors, Sally Taylor, Serena Partridge and Rachel Renwick. They were successful in their bid for a small arts grant to support two events at their studios.

The first was a regional artists’ networking event to promote what’s going on in Ryedale - it included the launch of their new art library and a materials swap. That took place on 2 March. They are also holding a pilot event for the National Saturday Club, a free programme aimed at 13 - 16 year olds who love creating and may be considering a career in art.

Sally Taylor, of Art Happens Here, said: “Our event in March was very well attended. It was such a great evening, where the public got to meet our artists and enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at their work. It was an opportunity to promote the great work happening in Ryedale and we are very grateful to Ryedale District Council for supporting us.”

Libby Pearson used her grant to support an oral history project in Kirkbymoorside, collecting reminiscences of the Pigeon Club members whose remaining members are elderly.

She worked with a photographer to photograph all the old pigeon lofts around the town and the project was presented as an audio and photographic display launching in the Moors Rooms in Kirkbymoorside on 26 March. It is now available to be displayed elsewhere.

Libby said: “Cooing and Chatting was a project about collecting stories from members of an historic sporting club in Kirkbymoorside and making an audio reel from these stories. What I hadn’t expected was how far the project would go. I am working with a local photographer to document the Kirby pigeon flying club and the interest has been huge. We have given a talk to the Farndale Women’s Institute, delivered a workshop and assembly at Kirkbymoorside Primary School which resulted in an art project, been interviewed by Radio York and displayed our work at an exhibition in Kirkbymoorside. The members have been so generous to me with their time and recollections and the audio will be a permanent record of the reminiscences of the members. Thanks to the Ryedale District Council grant, I have been part of a very special project and my desire to collect more oral histories is now immense.”

Key successes achieved by Ryedale District Council between October and December 2021 include:

  • Providing rough sleepers with accommodation and the opportunity to have COVID-19 vaccinations and housing two vulnerable residents through the Broadacres mental health housing scheme.
  • Improvements in both Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support processing times for new claims. Ryedale District Council remains the best performing local authority in North Yorkshire for processing housing benefit new claims.
  • Running three safeguarding training sessions for local taxi drivers to equip them with the skills to identify key signs of safeguarding issues in the community.
  • Handling 1,046 calls in the first 48 hours of Storm Arwen from local households, some of which ended up without power and water for five days.
  • Awarding £23,808 in Community Development grants with 11 awards made to Ryedale community-based organisations or groups, for projects that make a positive impact on community owned or managed facilities and activities in the district.
  • Launching the Small Arts Grant Scheme with five awards made for Ryedale-based art and culture activity.
  • Launching the £30,000 Small Business Development Grant scheme to help with start-up costs for new businesses, or to assist established businesses to grow and strengthen their market position.
  • Running the Ryedale Festivities campaign to encourage citizens to shop safely and locally ahead of the festive season. The campaign was a great way to thank citizens and businesses for what they’ve been doing during the pandemic and highlight the festive gifts and experiences on offer locally to support local businesses.

Margaret Wallace, Director of Place and Resources for Ryedale District Council said: “I am delighted to see the progress being made towards the key aims of the Council Plan. Officers have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic to support lives and livelihoods and deliver the services residents rely on. All of these achievements have been made in very challenging circumstances and with the backdrop of local government reorganisation. Ryedale District Council continues to do what is right for Ryedale and will do so, right up until the new North Yorkshire Council begins.”