Keith Tordoff MBE, independent candidate for Mayor of York and North Yorkshire with Richard Brown, Reform UK candidate for Harrogate and Knaresborough
Keith Tordoff MBE, independent candidate for Mayor of York and North Yorkshire with Richard Brown, Reform UK candidate for Harrogate and Knaresborough

Reform UK in Harrogate endorse Keith Tordoff as their preferred Mayor for York and North Yorkshire

19 February 2024

Richard Brown, the Reform UK candidate for the MP of Harrogate and Knaresborough, is placing his support behind Independent candidate Keith Tordoff MBE to be Mayor of York and North Yorkshire.

The area has seen a growing support for Reform UK in the Harrogate area, following the nomination of Richard.

Keith Tordoff MBE is standing as the Independent candidate for Mayor of York and North Yorkshire. He is the only Independent candidate, with Labour, Conservative, Lib Dems and the Green Party all having candidates.

Voting is due to take place on 2 May 2024, and the Mayor will oversee a new Combined Authority, and a multi-million spend across business development, housing, transport, the environment, police and fire services. The more fundamental aim of the role is to level-up North Yorkshire, reduce the income divide for the county and other areas.


Keith Tordoff said:

I am delighted that the Harrogate and Knaresborough members of Reform UK have decided to support my campaign.

While I am not affiliated to a political party as an independent, I do of course need to work with other parties going forward.It is certainly true that many are watching the development of Reform UK, some welcoming the possibility of change and others still unsure – Reform UK does though, have the potential to change UK politics fundamentally and in my opinion for the better.

I share their views that there needs to be fundamental change to how politics operates in this country.



Richard Brown, Parliamentary Candidate for Reform UK in Harrogate, said:

Reform UK needs to have a voice in both national and local politics – things are really picking up a pace locally.

My focus is on becoming the MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, so working strategically with Keith would be beneficial, not just to both us, but the whole region.

Current politics has seen the biggest tax burden for many many years, yet public services all seem to be on the decline.

We are seeing our hard-earned money being wasted. With my focus on the Harrogate & Knaresborough area, an example of that is the Harrogate Station Gateway Project.

Having spoken to Keith, I have got to know about him and what he believes in. Working with him now, and going forward would be very useful.

I think people want to see the country come together. They also want parties to work together, where there is common thinking, to give focus on delivering for the people.


Station Parade in Harrogate
Station Parade in Harrogate, the main location for the Gateway Project changes



Keith Tordoff MBE said:

I know a specific interest of the Harrogate Reform UK Group is the Harrogate Station Gateway Project, and justifiably so.

The project has been fraught with problems from day one, and now we have a project that is proceeding with little focus over the benefits.

When the project was announced, many welcomed it, but thought it wasn’t in the right place. If you look at the West Yorkshire Combined Authorities website it is difficult to see the objectives of the scheme. Even the FAQ section doesn’t say why it is happening.

But if you drill-down, the money is coming from the Transforming Cities Fund, with the remit : “Providing an accessible, attractive and cleaner alternative to car journeys”

So if you look at the scheme from inception, to the modified scheme as it is now, it’s difficult to see how it meets that remit – it spends money, and has already spent £2 million on consultancy, but how does it make the town more accessible, perhaps in-part it is made more attractive, but if it helps promote alternatives to car journeys is unlikely. Also, any benefits need to be set against the £11million cost of the scheme, along with the huge inconvenience it will cause Harrogate during construction.

Part of the problem has been that North Yorkshire Council hasn’t really wanted to engage with Harrogate. We saw online council meetings with members of the public speaking, then placed on mute, while they were criticised and laughed at.

Also the North Yorkshire Area Committee didn’t have any formal approval of the scheme, they could only provide their views.

At the September Harrogate Area Committee last year, Malcolm Margolis spoke about the Gateway Project on behalf of the Cycling Action Group. Comment was made that the Harrogate Gateway Project was being mismanaged, and it could impede future spend within the town for future projects. Malcolm made a very valid point, and it is certainly true that Harrogate has been overlooked in the two recent rounds of levelling-up funding.

Fundamentally it’s an example of a mismanaged project, without a clear set of objectives, and it seems to divide the community, but North Yorkshire Council are pushing ahead regardless.


Richard Brown said:

The Harrogate Station Gateway Project is a fiasco, but being pushed through by North Yorkshire Council, and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, rather than the York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority that Keith would oversee if elected.

I think we need to develop a better understanding of how the Station Gateway Project has gone wrong for Harrogate, and what that means for the project going forward. It will give important learning for similar projects that come under the York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority. We need to do much better than we have done, or are doing.

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