CBE MP Julian Smith says ‘Local Government Reorganisation was a golden opportunity’ at Newby Hall meeting

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Ripon BID’s first networking meeting held on Friday, June, 23, saw BID businesses have the opportunity to meet The Rt Hon Julian Smith, CBE MP and share their concerns in person.

The meeting, which was held in the Town Hall, was chaired by Stuart Gill of Newby Hall.

The session was well attended and Mr Smith heard a wide range of issues and obstacles to business from those present.

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The discussions included issues with North Yorkshire Council’s planning department which one business felt is holding back development in Ripon.

Julian Smith and Lilla Bathurst shared concerns at a meeting held at Newby HallJulian Smith and Lilla Bathurst shared concerns at a meeting held at Newby Hall
Julian Smith and Lilla Bathurst shared concerns at a meeting held at Newby Hall

Mr Smith resolved to write to the relevant parties to help open up more dialogue and suggested that the Local Government Reorganisation was a golden opportunity for a reset.

Mr Smith was also questioned on whether Ripon would be getting a dedicated senior North Yorkshire Council officer to work with the city on projects and it was strongly suggested that this officer should be someone with market town experience.

Mr Smith promised to link in with Simon Myers who was the lead on the Skipton Museum project. He also urged the city to get together and agree on some of the proposed “big-ticket” projects in the pipeline so that forward momentum could continue.

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A lively discussion was also had on the Government’s position on banking facilities and how if they are able to save banks from financial problems can they not ensure that the same banks do not leave the high street.

Mr Smith promised to write to the Business Secretary on this but warned that he might not be able to intervene.

Lilla Bathurst, manager of Ripon BID said she is striving to get a OneBanx kiosk in the city which would help alleviate some of the issues facing businesses and relieve some of the pressure on the Post Office.

Whilst business rate relief was welcomed by those retailers who attended the issue of the Government’s expansion of Freeports was not and a complete overhaul of the business rate system was asked to pre-empt any financial or footfall loss the Freeports may cause.

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Mr Smith confirmed he would communicate this to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Nuisance behaviour and policing in Ripon was also discussed and Mr Smith confirmed he would write to North Yorkshire Police on behalf of businesses and also help facilitate a similar meeting for BID businesses with Zoe Metcalfe, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire.

Ripon BID would like to thank all those who attended, Stuart Gill for chairing the meeting andJanet Moore from Wakeman’s House Café who provided the excellent buffet lunch and looks forward to being able to host another networking event soon.

Ripon BID is an independent, not-for-profit, business-led initiative working to create the environment for businesses in the Ripon city region to succeed.

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The BID aims to deliver on issues that are important to its member businesses including being a powerful lobbying voice.

For more information please contact: Lilla Bathurst, Manager, Ripon BID 01765 530910 [email protected] or visit https://visitripon.co.uk/ripon-bid/

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