Ukip Councillors election pledge to put Harrogate International Centre in hands of private enterprise

11 March 2014

Harrogate’s prospective Ukip borough councillors have pledged to put the town’s International Centre in the hands of the private sector if they are elected in sufficient numbers in May’s local polls.

The party has also vowed to take back control of the highways from North Yorkshire County Council, and reverse the Conservative-led council’s plans to build thousands of new homes in the district.

The party – which is contesting all 19 seats in Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon – is also advocating:

  • Scrapping plans to relocate the council to a new headquarters at a cost of £9 million to the tax payer
  • Introducing incentives to encourage more shoppers to Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon
  • Campaigning against the proposed Allerton Park incinerator
  • Promoting and supporting economic growth
  • Preserving the District’s unique character
  • Fighting all wind farm applications
  • Scaling back the number of new homes planned for the District
  • Re-examining a by-pass for Harrogate and switching off traffic lights on the town’s Skipton Road for a trial period.
Ukip County Councillor David Simister
Ukip County Councillor David Simister

Ukip County Councillor David Simister – who won the party’s first seat in last May’s North Yorkshire County Council elections – said: We are setting out our stall well ahead of Mays’ election with a raft of policies aimed at supporting local businesses, saving the tax payer money and preserving the character of the district.

The international centre is losing money hand over fist and this can’t be allowed to continue. It must be put into the hands of the private sector and divorced from council interference.

Instead of driving shoppers away from the town centre by hiking up parking charges, we want to introduce incentives to encourage people to come to shop in Harrogate Ripon and Knaresborough.

We are also looking at taking back control of the highways from the county council and switching off traffic lights on the town’s Skipton Road for a trial period.

Over the next few years almost 5,000 new houses are planned for Harrogate and Knaresborough.

However, we must provide affordable homes throughout the district to those from the district who need them, be they young people, key workers or those who want to get a foot on the housing ladder.

Further information about Ukip’s District Council campaign can be found on its website at

1 Comment

  1. There are some points here that I agree with, others are there merely for political points scoring or are clearly based on a lack of forethought (which is infinitely better than hindsight).

    1) The council relocation is a good thing, currently we, the tax payer are funding the costs of supporting several sites comprising of aging buildings. Think about how many meetings take place at a council (they are overly numerous), then picture all the staff attending them commuting from building to building – we are paying for this lost time!

    2) HIC should be placed in private hands.

    3) I have doubts that a bypass will ever be built, the economic gain would be negligible and the majority of traffic problems in Harrogate are caused by internal journeys, conferences and ill thought out placements of new supermarkets on already saturated roads. A better solution would be to invest the money running a public bus company subsidising it to encourage Harrogate to be a transport utopia. If any new roads should be built then they should link up existing routes. For example linking Wetherby Road to Hookstone Drive, Claro Road to Bogs Lane. This would alleviate traffic on specific junctions and give more space to the crowded road network – Nimbyism however will make this an impossible political decision.

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