Village fair paves the way for roadworks

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A VILLAGE fair which provides a community lifeline takes place on Sunday.

The Oakville Residents’ Association uses funds raised from the annual fair to keep a road open.

Oakville Road on the outskirts of Hebden Bridge is a quarter-of-a-mile from the main A646 Burnley Road but the unadopted, steep single-track road receives no council support.

Consequently, funds raised by residents are used to keep the road open. Attempts to get the council to adopt the road have failed.

“In the winter, it is left totally ungritted, and for the rest of the year, potholes are filled only if residents have raised enough money to buy materials,” said Maria Howarth, association secretary.

She said the fair provided a lifeline for residents who are concerned about the future of the communal village green.

It has been used by residents for many years for recreation and community events and an application was submitted to Calderdale Council in 2008 for village green status.

A decision is expected in September.

“Without the green, we can’t continue to organise events to raise money for the local community,” said Ms Howarth.

“The priority, due to the severity of the winters over the last couple of years, has been to keep Oakville Road open.

“Although we are so close to the A646 actually getting to it, whether by car or on foot, presents major hazards and difficulties.”

Two years ago the Calder Valley Mountain Rescue Team was called on to reach an elderly residents in need of emergency treatment and also to rescue a stranded ambulance which could not reach her.

The fair starts at 2 pm and there will be stalls and games and visitors are asked to park and walk from the A646.