Councillor resigns from GRIP

Coun Peter Horton.
Coun Peter Horton.

Independent Ripon city councillor Peter Horton is the latest member of the Greater Ripon Improvement Partnership to resign from the group, calling it a “talking shop”.

Coun Horton follows Chamber of Trade members David Elsy and Don Grundy in resigning from the group, who stated that they felt their time was “better spent on projects away from GRIP”.

Concerns have already been raised about GRIP’s funding and effectiveness by Independent councillors, culminating in Coun Horton questioning the achievements of the group.

He said: “I think it has got to the point where GRIP is not achieving much at the moment and it’s a bit of a talking shop. Some of our more commercial friends have felt the same way as me.

“This has happened since Judith Donovan left and our Mayor has been the chair of it. He is not supposed to be in charge of GRIP but our Mayor wants to run everything.

“My concerns are that £5,000, which is 45 per cent of the grants we have made this year, have gone to GRIP while other charitable organisations are missing out.”

However, the Mayor of Ripon, Coun Mick Stanley, said he believes Coun Horton’s comments are “disingenuous” and “political mischief” but said his time as interim chairman would be ending “very shortly”.

The Mayor said: “To say that he does not think that GRIP is achieving much at the present time when we have all agreed on its priorities, all of which are being implemented, is a bit silly.

“Harrogate and Ripon are working together to make sure GRIP works. Why else has the leader of Harrogate councilbeen on the board?

“We’ve always had representatives at a high level because they’ve seen it as being complementary to work that’s being done in the city,

“It’s silly to resign when we are changing GRIP into a charitable company.”