Council must consult 'early and openly' on Knaresborough reopening plan, say Lib Dems

Knaresborough's Liberal Democrats say council bosses must hold direct talks with businesses and residents in order to reopen the town's high streets safely next week.

By Jacob Webster
Thursday, 11th June 2020, 1:44 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th June 2020, 1:46 pm

On Monday all non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen after more than two months of coronavirus closures.

And to get the high streets safely back to business, Harrogate Borough Council has been given more than £140,000 of government cash for measures such as signs, street markings and temporary barriers.

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Knaresborough councillor Hannah Gostlow says the council must consult "early and openly" on its plan to reopen the town's high streets.

Barriers to widen pavements have already been introduced in Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon - and the council says it is working on more measures.

But with just four days to go until shops reopen it has yet to reveal its plans in full.

Knaresborough town councillor Hannah Gostlow said the council must consult "early and openly" about how £140,000 is spent.

"Only by engaging with Knaresborough Town Council, Knaresborough Chamber, community groups, and residents can we get this right and minimise risk", she said.

"We need to work together."

A spokesman for Harrogate Borough Council said: "We are taking a leading role in supporting businesses in high streets right across the district, to reopen next week. This includes Knaresborough.

“As well as providing practical help and advice to retailers on how to trade safely and make sure they are ‘Covid secure’ we are working on a campaign to encourage people back to the high street while staying safe.

“We will be consulting with a range of stakeholders to make sure the support we offer has maximum benefit across the whole of the district.”

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter