Stray Act plans scrapped
9:31am 16th February 2017
(Updated 12:16pm 16th February 2017)
Plans that have divided Harrogate, that would have seen the relaxation of restrictions governing the use of the Stray, have been scrapped.
Harrogate Borough Council had put forward proposals to amend the Stray Act, in order to make it easier to host more large scale events like 2014's Tour de France.
But in a statement, it said interim results from its recent consultation had indicated no clear majority for change.
Thousands of people shared their views.
Councillor Michael Harrison, who lead the consultation, said: “This is a complex issue and one which I acknowledge aroused suspicions among the public about the Council’s motives.
"There have been doubts raised that the Council would listen to the outcome of the consultation if it was not to their liking.
"This is regrettable as the motive for holding the consultation was quite simple: to find out what people thought and to take action accordingly."
He added, “Whilst we await a full summary of the consultation it appears views are mixed and because of what seems likely to be a balanced headline result I do not think it appropriate to pursue any changes to the Stray Act to relax the rules governing its use.
“In saying that we must acknowledge that a significant amount of people do want us to be able to use the Stray for the occasional larger or community event and the council will do what it can to accommodate these within the existing limitations.
"We will take time to assess the outcome of this consultation fully, including the many thousands of additional comments and suggestion the public have made, and will share the full results in due course with both the Duchy of Lancaster, who own the land, and residents.
“We also asked people to tell us what they thought of the current use of the Stray for temporary events and how it could improve. We received many suggestions and I want to reassure residents that each of these comments is welcome and each will be considered when we look at future applications for the temporary use of the Stray.”
"Whilst we await a full summary of the consultation it appears views are mixed and because of what seems likely to be a balanced headline result I do not think it appropriate to pursue any changes to the Stray Act to relax the rules governing its use."
Harrogate Borough Council had said the consultation was necessary to hold occasional larger events on the Stray which require Parliament to suspend parts of the Act.
This was done for the Tour de France and also recently for the Tour de Yorkshire - due to take place later this spring.
However Parliament has indicated that it is unwilling to repeatedly consider such suspensions to the Act in future, meaning any future opportunities could be lost and additional community or charity events could be ruled out.
Speaking to Stray FM, Chairman of the Stray Defence Association, Judy d'Arcy Thompson, who campaigned against the changes, said:
"I think this is a very clear victory for the voice of reason and the people of Harrogate who really hold their Stray so very close to their hearts and don't want things altering.
"They don't want the council to be able to use and abuse their Stray.
"I'd just like to say thank you to everyone who voted against these proposals.
"We await with great interest being told the absolute numbers involved, for and against.
"I think Harrogate Council should at least come forward and tell us the true result."
Share This StoryTweet
Teenager 'critical' after collapsing in Easingwold
Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: Police launch witness appeal.
Missing pensioner and dog found safe and well
Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: 89-year-old Elizabeth Costar was reported missing from her home on Harlow Manor Park.
Police dig at double killer Christopher Halliwell's former home
National: Police are digging up the garden of a house where double killer Christopher Halliwell once lived.
Ex-Swedish PM Carl Bildt tells Donald Trump: 'Stop digging'
World: Former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt has advised Donald Trump to "stop digging" after the President defended his comments over the country's immigration system.
England's Joe Root hopes to be 'instinctive' captain
Sport: New England Test captain Joe Root says he hopes to be an "instinctive" skipper, and wants to lead a "tougher" national team to the next level.
Drake slams Grammys: 'I was labelled rapper because I'm black'
Showbiz: Drake has accused Grammy organisers of racial profiling, for labelling his music as rap due to the colour of his skin.
MP welcomes record high employment
Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: Skipton and Ripon's Julian Smith is calling it "great news for our country and for local people".
WATCH: Lizzie's six months to become a jockey
Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: Lizzie Richmond, who lives near Ripon, has set her sights on racing at York this summer, in memory of a friend who died from cancer.
WATCH: Harrogate car dealer opens its showroom to charity at Christmas
Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: A car dealer has opened its doors to the Supporting Older People charity in Harrogate.
LISTEN: Award Winning Pateley Bridge Welcomes You Over Christmas
Christmas: Officially the Best Village High Street is wanting to see you for last minute festive shopping and for a day out over the Christmas period.
10 things to consider when choosing an Estate Agent
Features: Check out Ewe Moves Top Tips
Four Things You Wouldn't Expect To Find At A Fish and Chip Restaurant
Food and Drink: On top of the fish, chips and mushy peas, some takeaways are going above and beyond.
Plans to improve mental health of new mums
Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: North Yorkshire County Council says its project will focus on women living in more rural areas.
The Yorkshire floods: one year on
Special Reports: People affected by last year's downpours describe what has happened in the last 12 months
Tour de Yorkshire host venues confirmed
Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: There'll be no re-run of this year's memorable Tour de France stage finish in Harrogate.