Readers’ Letters: Of course the Lib Dems won the Harrogate by-election – the candidate wore a tie!
Last updated Apr 19, 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 followed news of the Liberal Democrats winning the Stray, Woodlands & Hookstone by-election in Harrogate earlier this month.

It is not surprising that the Lib Dems won the local by-election.

Their candidate was the only person dressed smartly, despite being a bit inarticulate when thanking everyone. The shock I suppose.

The Conservative candidate looked very sour. Who would want to vote for someone like that?

Let the lesson be learnt by everyone: dress smartly with a tie if you want to be seen as a good candidate, no matter which party you represent.

Who wants to vote for someone who looks as if they are just going down to the pub?

Valerie Cooke, Harrogate

Could Harrogate’s Conference Centre house spa facilities instead?

This letter responds to uncertainty over the future of Harrogate’s Convention Centre. In an exclusive, the Stray Ferret recently revealed North Yorkshire Council spent £1.9 million on consultants for now-scrapped plans for the site. 

The fate of the conference centre is too important for there to be any discord.

What do you think of the idea of Harrogate having spa facilities based in the conference centre? We were once so important as a spa town.

In 2024 we are losing our way – what are we now? What do we have to offer visitors?

In 1984 I set up Friends of the Valley Gardens to save the Sun Pavilion and Colonnade from being demolished. I knew Geoffrey Smith, James Herriot and David Bellamy and asked them to be presidents, to which they agreed.

We have the Valley Gardens and all it contains, as well as the Royal Hall, the Turkish Baths and the Royal Baths. Could the conference centre be used to house spa facilities, plus hairdressers, beauticians, physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteopaths etc? Essentially, everything to do with wellbeing all under the one roof, with easy parking too.

I am a golfer and walker and have often heard ladies saying it would be nice to have somewhere easy to park to go and be “pampered”. Not forgetting the gentlemen and all their needs.

It could also have a nice tea rooms with staff in uniform. I have lived here 60 years and can remember how genteel Harrogate was. As I said, now what is it?

It has really lost its way with thousands of houses being built – it seems that’s all the “powers that be” can think of.  They may as well hand it over to the developers and just build with no infrastructure.

Please no one give them the idea of turning the conference centre into flats – they would love that.

Anne Smith, Pannal

It’s ‘potluck’ if a Knaresborough bus actually turns up

This letter is in response to a story about North Yorkshire Council accepting £3.5 million of additional funding from the Department of Transport. The money, which is being used to support a one-year pilot scheme, will go towards expanding timetables, £1 bus fares for young people and improvements to bus shelters.

I read with interest your article about money to improve bus services in the Harrogate district, especially about the number 1 service from Harrogate to Knaresborough via Starbeck.

You mentioned buses to Aspin, Carmires and the Pastures, but there was no mention of the 1B to Aldi and Eastfield.

Sadly, since the X1B Connections bus ceased running, it is now potluck if – and when – a bus turns up at the Eastfield stop.

Are there any plans to improve the 1B service?

Paul Smith, Knaresborough

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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