‘Bah humbug!’ – HBC branded ‘Scrooge’ by councillor

A RIPON councillor has accused the district council of adopting a “Scrooge” policy towards Christmas lighting – in everywhere except Harrogate.

Coun Andrew Williams tabled a motion at full council on Wednesday saying that, by contrast, the authority took a “Santa Claus” approach to Harrogate, which had been given preferential treatment over the past two years.

Coun Richard Cooper, cabinet member for planning, rubbished the suggestion, saying that less money was spent per head and per business in Harrogate than in Ripon, Knaresborough or Pateley Bridge.

But the council did vote that its scrutiny committee should investigate arrangements for 2012-13 to ensure that funding was fair.

Coun Cooper said: “Harrogate gets a poorer deal than any other part of the district.

“However, I do recognise that this ongoing ‘Isn’t Ripon treated badly by Harrogate?’ does have some resonance, so I’m quite happy with this going to scrutiny.”