WITH millions of pounds worth of public projects in the pipeline Hambleton’s district councillors are right to be worried - and bitterly disappointed - by the astronomical rise in the cost of the Gateway car park at Bedale.

With budgets pulled tight by the Government and councils under scrutiny to get value for money probably as never before, having a 250 per cent hike in the cost of a scheme is a nightmare.

While the Gateway car park is a concern, the site is not a blot on the landscape and the actual impact of not having it seems debatable, depending who you ask, and will only really become apparent over the summer if trade is hit by the new bypass and there is a dramatic drop in the numbers of people stopping in the town.

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But of course the elephant in the room is the Northallerton prison development. That site is currently a blot on the landscape as demolition continues and, while Hambleton council has now teamed up with developers to take things further, the reality is the project really has to go ahead.

If there are spiralling costs and unseen charges there this could pile on the pressure to reduce the scheme and end up with something that is not as impressive as it deserves to be.

It is a vital area of Northallerton and it needs to look good.

So important questions need to be asked. What went wrong for Bedale? How can it be put right? And how can it be guaranteed that it will not happen again?

These are crucial issues for householders, not only in Hambleton but in all areas, and so they need to be seriously addressed by the people who can do something about them......

Over to you councillors and officers.