Accountant agrees to pay back £90,000 theft

A finance chief at Harrogate’s leading bus company has been spared a two-year jail sentence after agreeing to pay back “every penny” of £90,000 he defrauded from the company. Mark Suter of Transdev Blazefield took the money over a five year period and spent it on luxury purchases that he claimed as legitimate business expenses.

Budget cut plans for Harrogate school branded ‘disastrous’

The headteacher of specialist school the Grove Academy has called plans to cut funding to the school in light of a £5.5million deficit as ‘disastrous’. Richard Sheriff believes the move to divert funds back into mainstream education will have the opposite effect and in fact put more pressure on mainstream schools.

Harrogate man jailed for changing room video offences

Jonathan Watson of Harrogate was jailed for six months by York Crown Court after he was found guilty of making a series of covert videos recordings, including one of a woman in a unisex changing rooms in a public swimming baths. Watson also filmed six teenagers at a property in Knaresborough. Having finally admitted to the offences, Watson was jailed for six months and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for seven years.

Primary School awarded wildlife grant

Kirk Hammerton Primary School was celebrating this month when it was awarded a grant of nearly £9,000 to create a new wildlife area. The Allerton Park Landscape and Cultural Heritage Fund awarded the school with £8,766 to create an area containing a pond, stepping stones, planting beds, seating and wildlife habitats.

Local body calls for robust approach to stop Stray vandals

The Stray Defence Association has called for a robust approach after a summer of repeated vandalism in Harrogate town centre. MPs and Harrogate Borough Council have been asked to take a new approach after trees were burnt, saplings uprooted and the Valley Gardens vandalised during 2018. MPs have since agreed to work with police to prevent a repeat of this year’s outbreaks.

Cutting edge electric buses being powered by diesel

The Harrogate Bus Company has cited infrastructure issues for its fleet of electric buses having to be powered by a diesel generator. Eight trailblazing buses were unveiled in July, but four months later the £4million scheme has hit a snag and diesel generators have been used as a ‘short term interim measure’.

Helicopter chase halts phone shop raid

Six people were arrested after a helicopter and dog units were called out to deal with a smash and grab raid at an EE mobile phone shop in Harrogate. The shop on Cambridge Street was smashed into via the front door and several smartphones and tablets were stolen. Over three hours later a group of six people had been hunted down and arrested.

Harrogate bars scoop Top 100 title

A Daily Mail survey of the top 100 bars in the UK has named two Harrogate bars amongst its prestigious elite. A panel including Tom Parker-Bowles and wine expert Olly Smith were particularly taken by the Harrogate Tap at the town’s train station and the Blues Bar on Montpellier Hill.

Harrogate police step up plans to stop Christmas pickpockets

An increased police presence is expected in Harrogate town centre to curb pickpocketing and other crimes in the run-up to Christmas. A highly visible tactic is being deployed to thwart opportunistic thieves, with police dogs, automatic-number plate recognition, firearms officers and CCTV also being used to deter crime.

Vital town landmark sees visitor boost

Harrogate Conference Centre has long been a crucial part of the town’s reputation as a mecca for events and conferences, but after a challenging year it has received a recent boost in visitor numbers. Convention business is crucial to Harrogate’s economy and an upturn in revenue has prompted the conference centre to announce a £1.45million investment in its facilities.

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Catherine Reynolds
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