One of the worst rows begun by Harrogate Borough Council was that of 1983-6 when the public became increasingly alarmed by the damage caused to Valley Gardens by its use as a site for the tents and pavilions erected temporarily by Harrogate Flower Show.
Although public pressure caused this policy to be abandoned in 1986, the flower beds lost to provide level sites for the tents have never been restored.
Some Advertiser readers may share my concern that the recent siting in Valley Gardens of a “festival” for street food vendors will spark a further breach between the public and the council.
The admirers of street food can be satisfied by locating the stalls and their ancillary equipment in the street, thus leaving Valley Gardens for those who value their peace, beauty and un-trampled grass.
It is particularly regrettable that some of the splendid volunteers who work along with the council’s dedicated staff in maintaining the gardens to so high a standard have in their conversations with me become so demoralised by the damage caused by the “festival” that they are considering abandoning their efforts.
It is reasonable to suggest that the beauty of the gardens and the success of the “StrEat” Festival could be ensured by the simple expedient of another location for the latter.