Readers’ Letters: ‘Abusive beggars’ and intimidating teens in Harrogate
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Last updated Mar 22, 2024

Readers’ Letters is a weekly column giving you the chance to have your say on issues affecting the Harrogate district. It is an opinion column and does not reflect the views of the Stray Ferret. Send your views to [email protected].


This letter is in response to the Trading Hell series we ran this week. It followed a three-month investigation into anti-social behaviour and crime in parts of Harrogate.

Congratulations to you for raising this issue.

I don’t have a specific situation or incident to report, but I have noticed a huge increase in what might be called passive aggressive behaviour in town.

The beggars are abusive, the teenagers look at you as if you have encroached on their patch and there is a general feeling that something is about to kick off”. I don’t think I have ever seen a police officer on foot in town over the past five years or so.

But why does it always have to be somebody’s fault other than the perpetrator of the misdemeanour? Sadly, this reflects a breakdown in society as us old timers (I’m in my 60s) comment upon time after time.

Unfortunately, I can only see the situation deteriorating further.

Punishments need to fit crimes and these pariahs of society need to learn that their anti-social behaviour is the road to nowhere.

John Chadwick, Huby


The Kex Gill saga is an ‘absolute farce’

This letter is in response to one man’s frustration over a lack of communication about the ongoing A59 at Kex Gill closure.

I 100% agree with Mr Young. This situation is an absolute farce, it is not a difficult situation to address, nor was it unforeseeable that it would happen.

Surely the project risk assessment should have identified the potential for this type of event and made suitable provision.

It is a huge inconvenience for residents and others who are having to suffer lengthy diversions.

That said, everything relating to this route has been so badly managed for years and, unfortunately, is no surprise to anyone affected.

Tony Sidwell, Ripon


Paul Haslam for mayor is a ‘breath of fresh air’

This letter follows news of former Tory whip councillor Paul Haslam standing for mayor of North Yorkshire. 

It came as a breath of fresh air to read that councillor Paul Haslam has resigned as the Conservative party whip to stand as an Independent candidate for Mayor of North Yorkshire.

It is a position which demands loyalty to all residents of North Yorkshire and not allegiance to a political party, which has gifted the incumbent their salary of £81,300.

It requires broad knowledge of commerce, as well the workings of public services and its politics. It requires the ability to identify and lead a network of talent and not one based on party hierarchy or other organisations..

This is not political party propaganda. I do not belong to a political party and I am a centrist.

I have seen Cllr Haslam at local community meetings and consider him an efficient operator with local interests at heart.

As a capable Independent candidate, who is challenging the existing hierarchy, Cllr Haslam will have my vote.

I hope the electorate fully realise importance of the Mayor of North Yorkshire and that usual voter apathy for local elections does not occur. The election turnout for the retiring Police Commissioner was less than 15%, which means that 85% didn’t care.

The outcome of this election will be more meaningful and it will affect everyone by influencing the many areas of our public services.

Brian Graham, Harrogate


Do you have an opinion on the Harrogate district? Email us at [email protected]. Please include your name and approximate location details. Limit your letters to 350 words. We reserve the right to edit letters.


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