Apologists for North Yorkshire County Council’s policy towards Harrogate’s traditional Victorian lamp posts are missing the point in asserting that some of the posts came from Leeds, a claim that my examination of the borough treasurer’s accounts and the old Gas Company records fails to substantiate.
It doesn’t matter if these posts came from the moon. The fact that they were once painted green is also irrelevant, because as older Harrogate residents will recall, before the 1960’s, Harrogate Borough Council painted everything green - wooden shelters, the Magnesia Well Cafe, serpent seats and lamp posts .
People are upset by their loss because the traditional lamp posts are beautiful and functional, and have been part of the town’s traditional street scene since the 1840’s.
Certainly the phasing out of the original gas lanterns in the period between 1967 and 1970 and their replacement by the horrid swan-necked electrical units spoiled their appearance, but at least the original posts survived.
Today, the matter of the lamp posts has clearly become a trial of strength between North Yorkshire and many of the public, so the only way forward will be to liquidate North Yorkshire and for Harrogate to either regain control of its affairs by becoming a unitary authority or by joining any authority that has more wealth than cash-strapped North Yorkshire.
Through its behaviour, North Yorkshire has shown it is well past its sell-by date.