Update on the community benches in Bickerton

Parish Councillors have had several enquiries about progress with the village seats so I thought it was time for an update. As you know the damage was very bad and one seat was so badly smashed that we needed professional help to restore it. We were not able to work inside so persistent rain followed by freezing temperatures did not help.
I’m pleased to say that the base will be repaired on 24thJanuary and the seats reinstalled on 29th January. Both dates are weather permitting.
I would love to think that the people responsible for these acts of wanton destruction have ‘got it out of their system’ or have come to appreciate that this is no way to behave towards the community of Bickerton. However, if the seats are damaged again, we will have to look at steel seats, which I am sure you agree are not in keeping with our village. Also, the ongoing costs of dealing with this persistent vandalism are having a serious impact on Parish Council finances.
I hope that covers outstanding questions, fingers crossed we don’t have to talk about this again.
Janet Hanson – Chair

Precept Increase



As advised previously, the cost of replacing and repairing Parish Assets during 2023 has had an impact on the Parish precept request for the next financial year commencing on 1 April 2024.


All Council Tax Bills will increase now that Parish Councillors have confirmed the requested Parish Precept for 2024-25, from the County Council. The Parish Precept is one of five components of the overall Council Tax Bill.


To illustrate the effect that this increase will have, the table below shows the Parish Precept part of the overall Council Bill for this year and next, for properties in bands C to G.


Councillors were concerned to advise everyone how the recent vandalism is affecting household costs.

BAND 2023-24 (£/Year) 2024-25 (£/Year)
C 35.48  54.28
D 39.91 61.06
E 48.78 74.63
F 57.65 88.20
G 66.52 101.77


Polling District Review

From NYC –

“North Yorkshire Council are required to carry out a consultation with North Yorkshire residents and stakeholders about the council’s proposal for the polling districts and location of polling stations in every parliamentary constituency in North Yorkshire. There are 888 polling districts under review.

We want to seek the views of the public on the proposals and, in particular, engage with seldom heard groups who have specific needs and may find it difficult to travel to/ access their local polling station. We also want to hear the views of elected representatives – NYC members, MPs and parish councils.

We are asking residents to view our proposals and give their views on them via an online survey available at www.northyorks.gov.uk/PollingPlacesReview or by completing a paper copy (available on request).  Responses will be shared with the council’s elected members in December before the register of polling places is republished in February 2024.

The consultation goes live on Monday 16 October and runs for four weeks until Monday 13 November. As well as working with you, our trusted partners, we will be issuing a press release and advertising the consultation through our social media channels, website and email newsletter.

There are several ways residents can take part in this consultation


The online survey is hosted on the North Yorkshire Council website. The link to access it is www.northyorks.gov.uk/PollingPlacesReview

Paper Copy

A paper copy can be requested from the council’s elections team.

Residents and our partners can do so by emailing or calling the customer service centre on 0300 131 2131 and say Polling District Review when prompted.

Accessible formats of the survey are also available on request using the contact details above.”

Vandalism to Community Benches in Bickerton

Please find attached a statement regarding the vandalism to the community benches in Bickerton

Change of date for September Parish Council Meeting

The date for the Parish Council meeting scheduled to take place in Monday 18th September has had to be changed due to unforeseen circumstances.  This has been re-scheduled for Monday 25th September. The venue and time remains the same.

Your contact with NY Police – Message from the Chair

I recently received a visit from North Yorkshire police as a follow up to my report about criminal damage to one of our commemorative benches. We also discussed car theft. PC Pierre Olesqui is our Community Policeman and is keen to help. He asked me to pass on his contact details on chatterbox and our PC website. Any suspicious activity, registration numbers for cars etc should be emailed to him.

The parish council welcomes this more proactive approach from North Yorkshire police which we hope will be productive.

The damaged seat is now reinstalled with hopefully stronger fixings.

Contact details:

Janet Hanson

What is “smishing”

How to protect yourself from “smishing”

smishing image -couple checking their phone

With scams on the rise, it’s vital to educate yourself about “smishing” texts – what they are and how to stay safe
“Smishing” refers to phishing attacks, or attempted scams, conducted over SMS texts or messaging apps such as WhatsApp – and it’s on the rise in the UK.

Scammers know how to impersonate legitimate organisations. These can include your phone network, bank, or delivery company (or even one of your close friends or relatives). Scammers can skilfully nudge you towards clicking links, sharing personal information or transferring money.
Losing money is the last thing anyone needs right now. The criminal gangs behind scams are constantly developing more sophisticated methods – which means we need to be more sophisticated in our responses, too. Here’s what you need to know about keeping yourself safe from smishing.

Watch out for signs
It’s a red flag if you are asked for a one-time code, password or other security information. If you receive a text that looks like it’s from a known supplier and requests any of these details, it’s malicious and should be reported (scroll down to learn how).

Other tell-tale signs of smishing messages include spelling errors and an urgent tone telling you to act or call immediately.

Watch out for web links, contact names or email addresses that are incorrect, look strange or use substitute characters. For example, a text using the number zero, rather than the letter O. Remember: scammers are trying to exploit people’s desire to save money at the moment. If a deal feels too good to be true, it probably is.

Do your checks
Not sure whether a mobile phone message is authentic? Don’t click any links or follow the instructions in the text. Instead, see if you can independently verify the information in the message. Look up phone numbers or email addresses to see whether they’re legitimate. Confirm the message’s contents by checking with the organisation directly.

For example, if you’re expecting a parcel, you could be vulnerable to delivery scam texts containing links to “track your order”. But you should be able to check your package’s status on the verified company’s website rather than clicking links in a text.

Report immediately
Forward suspicious texts to 7726 immediately, including the message’s contents and the number it came from. The 7726 number is linked to all the UK’s phone networks. It means the scam number can be blocked and investigated.

You can report attempted HMRC scams via the dedicated government website.

Reach out for help
No one is immune from falling victim to smishing scams. Worried that you’ve clicked a suspicious link or shared information with someone you shouldn’t have? Don’t panic but act quickly.

Contact your bank, change all relevant passwords, and monitor related accounts to check for fraudulent activity.

computer fraud alert message

Information first published by O2 Nov-2022.

Nat West Bank Scam Update

Received from:
Andy Fox
North Yorkshire Police, Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer, Economic Crime Unit

The attached information is from my colleagues at Nat West bank who ask I circulate it which gives practical advice about impersonation scams, namely criminals pretending to be the police or your bank.


Preventing Bank Scams

Preventing Bank Scams

I think it is also worth a reminder about the type of scams we are seeing in North Yorkshire. Please be aware of scam calls about energy refunds/assistance. The reduction in your energy bills comes direct from the supplier and you do not have to apply for it.

Remember, the police or bank will NEVER ask you to move money to  a ‘safe’ account  and if you are ever told to lie to the bank/police/family etc as to why you are sending/moving money, it is a scam.

You can download this leaflet from the link below.

Withdrawal of Connexions bus service 412 from Wetherby to York

Update: 17th March 2023 – BBC reports that the 412 Service has been secured through to 2025. You can read more on the BBC article here.

Update: March 2023 – York City Council have issued a tender for this service. We await the outcome.

Your Parish Council has been co-ordinating efforts with other Parish Councils along the route of the 412 bus service in order to create a stronger voice in efforts to retain this Service.

You may be aware that the service was due to end on 10th December 2022.


The following letter has been received from North Yorkshire County Council.

“We have been advised that Connexions Buses are wishing to withdraw their journeys on service 412 from 22 October owing to staff shortages.  Service 412 is operated commercially and the decision to withdraw or change the service is that of the operator, not the County Council.

To give some context, we spend £1.6 million across the whole of the County to support local transport services. Throughout the pandemic we have provided significant support to services, and many would been lost, including this one if not for financial support from NYCC and Department for Transport.

We are aware of the challenges being faced by operators due to reduced passenger numbers, increasing costs and staff shortages, however this is one route of over 70 that have been identified as at risk across the County.  As I am sure you appreciate it is impossible to support and retain all of them without significant additional funding.

We have only been advised of the intention to withdraw the service earlier this week and are working with our neighbouring authorities City of York Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority to explore what options are available to maintain some level of service for passengers. We hope to be able to update customers on the outcome of these discussions in the near future.”


The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022 Update



Buckingham Palace has announced the plans for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations over the four day weekend, Thursday 2 June through to Sunday 5 June 2022.


Please find attached a Platinum Jubilee Bulletin with all the links to information you may need to pass on to your community. Also attached is information from Bruno Peek, Pageantmaster for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons. A link to a detailed guide relating to beacons is included in the bulletin.  A poster inviting community choirs to take part in performing ‘A Song for the Commonwealth’ is also attached.