There were a number of stories making the Harrogate headlines last month, including a new Harrogate Park & Ride scheme.

See the top stories below:

  1. Man held at gun point over imitation firearm

A 34-year-old man was arrested in The Den bar in the centre of Harrogate after customers made reports that he was carrying a firearm. Four officers descended on the bar and arrested the man who was found to be carrying a ‘realistic-looking’ imitation gun, but was also aggressive and threatening towards customers.

  1. Park & Ride scheme announced to tackle town centre congestion

Harrogate Borough Council is to begin a park and ride scheme after findings from the Town Centre Survey highlighted traffic congestion as a major concern amongst residents. The scheme will be the first of its kind in Harrogate and is the first of many new projects aimed at improving the town centre.

  1. Former GCHQ official prosecuted over child porn images

Michael McKeating, a 67-year-old Harrogate man who used to work at the Government’s communications headquarters, had two computers seized in January 2016 after it was found that he had downloaded several images depicting child pornography. While only a dozen images were found it was evident that several more had been viewed. A jury at York Crown Court convicted McKeating on two counts of making indecent images. He was sentenced to a suspended jail term of four years.

  1. Reluctant councillors approve controversial housing scheme

Harrogate Borough Council approved a 210-home housing development “with a heavy heart” after hundreds of objections to the Hallam Land Management proposal off Harrogate Road were received. The scheme will effectively extend Wetherby and, amongst other things, will force some Harrogate children to travel further across town to inferior schools.

  1. Group in £4,000 jewellery haul from Harrogate shop

Crown Jewellers in Commercial Street, Harrogate was raided in early September when a group of two men and three women distracted staff and stole jewellery and cash totalling £3750. North Yorkshire Police have appealed for further information.

  1. Famous Harrogate brand wins Far East contract

Harrogate Water has continued its diverse route to success by landing a major export contract in Vietnam. Harrogate Spring Water has become known all over the world, with recent deals won to supply in Russia and the Middle East. This comes as the organisation has extended into the airline market to partner with Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Thomson Airways.

  1. £12,000 stolen from ex-partner to fund gambling habit

Sarah Wrightson, 52, stole over £12,000 from an ex-partner she had known for more than 40 years and spent it on gambling and shopping. The Harrogate man had recently experienced the bereavement of his brother, who had looked after his finances. Ms Wrightson then began visiting the man, who was named in court, and accessed his bank details on a regular basis over the course of nine months. Due to previous good character and findings from a psychiatric report, Wrightson’s sentence was reduced to an eight-month suspended prison term, a nightly doorstep curfew and a 30-day rehabilitation programme.

  1. Housing development row gets support from music legend

A series of controversial housing developments that “threaten to ruin rural life” in Harrogate have prompted music producer Ken Scott to lend his support to campaigners aiming to halt plans for one such scheme. Scott has worked with The Beatles, David Bowie and Elton John, but recently returned to the area after living in the States, and he has joined a local campaign group trying to resist plans to build 200 homes in the Hampsthwaite area.

  1. 11-year-old hospitalised after drive-by liquid incident

Police were contacted after an 11-year-old boy had a ‘liquid substance’ thrown at him by a passing car as he walked along Plompton Drive in Harrogate. There were no witnesses to the incident and while the boy was taken to hospital as a precaution, the substance was not thought to be corrosive and he was discharged.

  1. Harrogate named in best organ donation area list

New NHS figures have named Harrogate and Knaresborough in the top 10 highest number of people who have signed up to be on the organ donation register. Harrogate is ninth on the list with 85,719 people signed up, which equates to over 50% of the town’s population.

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Catherine Reynolds
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