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Drivers wrongly fined face longer wait for refunds

There's fresh controversy in York as 60,000 motorists who were wrongly fined for crossing one of the city's main bridges now face an even longer wait to get their money back. A Government inspector ruled earlier this year that the thousands of drivers who were penalised for crossing Lendal Bridge had in fact done nothing wrong, but now the city council which imposed the fines is embroiled in another row over the refunds, as Lisa Adlam reports.

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Council approves Lendal Bridge refunds

City of York Council has approved a decision to drop the Lendal Bridge legal challenge and refund 60,000 fines given to drivers for crossing it.

Lendal Bridge legal challenge dropped by council
Lendal Bridge legal challenge dropped by council

But refunds will not be given out until another committee meeting after two of the council's groups "called in" the decision.

The move raises fresh doubt over how and when refunds might be issued to drivers who were found to have been fined illegally in a Government review in to the restrictions.

Cabinet meet to discuss refunds

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Cabinet asks officers to put in place process for Lendal Bridge fines to be refunded on request: http://t.co/Bf8WxDCFLI

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Cabinet has started. On the agenda is Lendal Bridge, Fairtrade City York and the Business Rate Discount Policy http://t.co/4dAhefAJ0g.

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North Yorkshire police in u-turn over HQ plans

North Yorkshire Police say that a u-turn on proposals to build new headquarters near Thirsk will save the tax-payer millions of pounds.

The force has cancelled plans for the base after agreeing to share part of Cleveland Police's future HQ. Officials say it's a more efficient option, but more than 600 thousand pounds has already been spent on the process.

Details of multi-million pound revamp for Barnsley town centre announced to public

Council bosses in Barnsley have released more details of a planned 41 million pound makeover of the town centre.

The proposals include a new town square, central library and shopping boulevard. It is hoped the revamp will attract future investment into the town.

Barnsley
Plans for a revamp of Barnsley town centre Credit: Barnsley Met Borough council

"We’ve asked hundreds of people, and held several working groups. People were clear about what they wanted. Among other things, we were told loud and clear that Barnsley needs to keep its markets, to create quality open spaces that feel safe, and to make sure business servicing and parking needs are met."

– Sir Cllr Stephen Houghton CBE, Leader of Barnsley Council,
Barnsley
A new shopping area is included in proposals Credit: Barnsley Met Borough council

New town square – Expected October 2016: A new landscaped public square where routes into the town centre meet. The square will be large enough for market stalls and public events, and will look into the refurbished indoor market.

Revamped metropolitan centre and market hall – Expected early 2017: Bright, open and inspiring, this newly refurbished space will create flow between outdoor and indoor shopping, and easier to get to for shoppers and businesses.

New shopping boulevard – Expected 2017: By extending Lambra Road there’ll be a new route behind the redeveloped indoor markets with new shopping and leisure opportunities.

New central library – Expected early 2017: Proposed for location on Mayday Green, this state of the art building will be a hub for community activity.

New car parking – Expected November 2015: High quality, safe, bright, and easy to access open-air car parking, with plenty of spaces.

Rent reduction proposed for Kirkgate Market traders

Traders at Leeds' Kirkgate Market are to be given a 20 per cent rent reduction to ease the impact of renovation work.

Kirkgate Market traders set for rent reduction
Kirkgate Market traders set for rent reduction

The city council are investing £12.3 million in the refurbishment of the historical market which will cause areas of the centre to be closed.

The rent reduction is yet to be approved by the council's executive board but would begin in October 2014 and last for a year.

Traders on the fish and game row will be offered temporary stalls on Butcher's Row while work in their area is carried out.

The market’s Victorian drainage is being replaced, ventilation will be improved and the sprinkler system and electrics upgraded in the redevelopment.

While this is one of the most exciting developments at Kirkgate Market for many years, we know it’s going to be a challenge. As well as being about the refurbishment of a much loved Leeds landmark, it’s also about people and their livelihoods and the long-term commercial success of the market. We’re determined to find the right balance that allows businesses to trade while working on the fabric of the building and keeping the long-term goal in mind. We’re listening to traders’ concerns, both in respect of changes already experienced and what is yet to come, and that is why we’re proposing a year-long cut to rents.

– Cllr Richard Lewis
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