DRIFFIELD town council has accused the East Riding of Yorkshire Council of ploughing investment into Beverley almost at the complete expense of other market towns in the county.
Town councillors were incensed when new broke during their summer recess of plans to spend £2.5 million pounds on improving Beverley’s Saturday Market
For they have spent months campaigning for the ERYC to take action to help them tackle numerous eyesores which currently blight the image of Driffield.
This culminated in a meeting with Alan Menzies, director of planning and economic regeneration – who was said to be sympathetic to the town’s plight.
Coun David Credland was so aggrieved about the money earmarked for the Saturday Market scheme that he complained to the leader of ERYC, Coun Stephen Parnaby - claiming that it was against the interests of the people of the Driffield and its council.
He said news deliberately flaunted the fact that ERYC was not putting money into Driffield and said the timed release of information cocked a snook and showed a complete lack of integrity.
Coun Credland wrote to the ERYC as an individual but raised the matter during a full town council meeting last week.
Members agreed with his sentiments and instructed the clerk, Mrs Claire Binnington, to write to Coun Parnaby in protest.
She told him: “I have been instructed by Driffield Town Council to write to you with regard to the recently announced plans to spend £2.5 million pounds on improving Saturday Market.
“The council are firstly, extremely concerned that such a project was announced in August, a traditional time of recess for many authorities and for holidays. Such cynical timing rendered any objections or questions to this decision very difficult and clearly shows little or no regard to the opinions and concerns of either town and parish councils or the general public.
Mrs Binnington said: The Town Council would like to emphasise that such funds should be spent on roads and pavements around the county in much more urgent need of attention than Saturday Market, the majority of which, with the exception of Saturday when the market is in place, is largely used as a car park. We understand from various sources that even the residents of Beverley itself greeted this announcement with dismay, as they feel there are roads and pavements deserving of much greater priority in Beverley than Saturday Market.
“The Town Council do find it frustrating that continually such large sums of investment are ploughed into Beverley almost at the complete expense of other market towns in the East Riding. We too have many worthy projects deserving of funding to protect and improve our vitality.
“We understand this funding has been made available via an ‘underspend’ in the highways budget. How the ERYC have managed an underspend considering the miles and miles of roads in urgent need of attention is quite beyond comprehension and we would greatly appreciate some kind of indication as to how this ‘underspend’ has been achieved, and also the process by which the ERYC council as a whole reached the decision that this ‘underspend’ should be spent entirely, in effect, on a car park?”
Coun Stevphen Parnaby stressed that the Saturday market scheme had been “diligently prioritised.”
“The council continues to spend more than £10 million annually on planned road maintenance and recently the council announced that an additional £3.2 million would be spent on highway maintenance.”
He said: “The works proposed for Saturday market are in the programme on merit.#
“The council has a system for prioritising maintenance work based on Government accounting requirements.”
“Both the footways and carriageways in Saturday Market urgently require maintenance.
“Structurally, both the footways and carriageways have failed and are in need of major maintenance rather than minor repair.
“We strongly believe that there will be enormous benefits obtained from taking the opportunity to provide a better balance between pedestrian and vehicular priorities and enhance heritage features of the town, such as the Market Cross.”
READERS - tell us what you think. Send an email to email@example.com, write to Times House, Mill Street, Driffield, YO25 6TN, post on the Driffield Times & Post Facebook page, Tweet us @driffieldnews, or send a text starting DTP (space) EDITOR (space) and then your comments, name and address to 61500. Texts 25p plus network charge.