Re: Need For Rapid Improvement - Alan Skidmore, February 11, 2016.
The above mentioned letter did not provide any answers and left many questions.
If, as stated, Harrogate Planning Department and Economic Development Unit carried out surveys to judge what impact the closure of the barracks would have on the economy of Ripon, why were the citizens of the city not made aware of the results?
As for the cost being met by Harrogate Borough Council, as I have said on numerous occasions before, it is Harrogate District Council and it is financed by the Harrogate District Rate.
Reference is made to the Ripon City Plan and the team of volunteers (hand picked by Coun Stanley) who have been working on it “for the past two years”.
I have in front of me pages from the Ripon Gazette dated December 12, 2013. Written by David Winpenny, the heading is, ”Important All Citizens Are Involved In The City Plan”. In the article he refers to consultation being carried out “between April and June last year” e,g, 2012. It is now 2016.
Coun Skidmore goes on to say that he and Coun Chambers (they are both councillor for Ripon Spa Ward which covers the site of the two barracks) have had meetings with “a number of Ripon sports club leaders” and other interested members of the public.
I attended an exhibition drop-in session regarding the City Plan early in December 2013 and one of the proposals was to put a road across the Rugby Club and the Football Club to connect Studley Road and Mallory Park Drive and to build houses on those two clubs’ grounds and the Cricket Club.
This is part of the proposed City Plan on which the citizens of Ripon have not yet been consulted or voted on.
Finally, this is a classic case of “the kettle calling the pan black”. Coun Skidmore castigates Coun Williams for suggesting that the proposed major house building in Ripon should be on the Camp Site and then goes on to say that the 400 house development should be on a site bordered by Whitcliffe Lane and West Lane.
At present this is agricultural land and does not have the mains services which already exist on the camp sites and vehicular access is equally as difficult. This site is actually in Littlethorpe Parish but access is through Ripon Moorside Ward.
Whenever and wherever these developments take place, and no one should doubt, they will happen, and the services in Ripon will be unable to cope.
It is time now for Ripon City Council and the councillors who represent the city at district and county level to be working together on the problems which already exist and other obvious ones which will surface in the near future.