Letter: It’s time for our town to have ‘Royal’ status

David Rhodes from Ripley thinks it's time to put the 'Royal' back into the area.

Friday, 21st August 2020, 2:51 pm
Updated Friday, 21st August 2020, 2:54 pm
It’s time for our town to have ‘Royal’ status

As a Lancashire Lad with many Yorkshire ancestors going back to the 1680s, I am confused in reading the Advertiser letters and articles on devolution, claiming that what was always proudly referred to as England’s largest county, now deemed to be a rather undesirable ‘super authority’ and should be split into two or more parts!

At present NYCC already handle approximately 80 per cent of local government work and for many it seems more logical for the county to adopt the remaining 20 per cent, rather than the 20 per cent restructure to adopt the 80 per cent?

The Government have already established a York and North Yorkshire LEP and it seems common sense for the Minister to follow the same option with two unitary authorities based on York and North Yorkshire (with perhaps, geographically, Selby joining York).

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The really important local issue, surely, is for Harrogate town after 50 years without its own town council to push for a HTC and spend time negotiating its duties and responsibilities alongside Skipton, Scarborough, Richmond, Ripon, Knaresborough etc.

An important precedent has recently been set by Sutton Coldfield, who not only regained its own council but also gained Royal status and is now Royal Sutton Coldfield.

There is a strong case for a new Harrogate Town Council HTC to approach the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to become a Royal Town of Harrogate, in view of the numerous long standing connections with the Duchy over centuries.

The most obvious connection being the 200 acre Stray which the Duchy still own. The ancient Royal Forest is an even older connection and there is also the Royal Pump Room, Royal Hall and Royal Baths.

In a recent letter to the Advertiser Malcolm Neesam pointed out the great achievements the town made when it had its own town council concentrating solely on its own needs.

It now seems obvious the town should negotiate with NYCC for its own future management, building on its natural and built spa heritage.

Finally, as 2020 is the 250th anniversary of the Duchy 1770 Enclosure Act, which had the legal provision of 200 acres of open land in the setting of the springs ie the Stray, might our MP

Andrew Jones make a request to his colleague the Right Honourable Michael Gove as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, for the Stray to be known as the ‘Royal Stray’, along side Royal Hall, Baths and Museum?