Plans To Create New Town Councils
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Councillors are due to consider plans to introduce town councils in Harrogate and Scarborough after a majority of householders backed the plans to introduce grassroots democracy in the two towns.

Harrogate and Scarborough are the only parts of North Yorkshire which do not have a parish or town council.

However, members of North Yorkshire Council are due to be asked to consider the plans to create town councils for both areas to ensure that local communities have a say on how services are delivered as effectively as possible.

North Yorkshire Council was launched on April 1, and a central pledge was that town and parish councils would be allowed to take on greater responsibilities, if they want to and can make a successful business case.

As centres of population without parish councils, residents of unparished parts of Scarborough and Harrogate have been given the chance to give their views on whether they wanted to create a council.

The latest consultation which was carried out over nine weeks between March and May this year saw a letter and information pack sent out to all households in the areas which are under review.

A total of 1,698 responses from Harrogate were received with 65.5 per cent in favour of the creation of a town council. In Scarborough, there were 731 responses, with 69.9 per cent in favour of a town council being introduced.

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for corporate services, Cllr David Chance, said: “The public consultations which have been carried out in the areas under review have shown that there is support among residents who responded to the consultation for town councils to be created for both Harrogate and Scarborough.

“Full consultations have been conducted to gauge the public’s opinions on the proposals, and the recommendation is now for a full council meeting to discuss the plans for the two new councils.

“If the decision is taken to introduce the town councils for both Harrogate and Scarborough, this will provide more democratically-elected voices for both areas to ensure that the views of local people are heard effectively to help us deliver key services.”

A previous consultation which was carried out in the autumn of last year also saw widespread support from those responding to the consultation to create the two new town councils.

The recommendation for Harrogate is that a new parish should be established for the currently unparished area of the town, and that the new parish council be called Harrogate Town Council.

The parish would be divided into divisions, based largely on the divisions that now apply since North Yorkshire Council was established in the spring. A total of 19 members would be elected to the town council.

Similarly, in Scarborough the recommendation is for a new parish to be established for the unparished area, and for a new council called Scarborough Town Council to be created to serve the area.

The parish would be divided into wards, matching the divisions for North Yorkshire Council, and a total of 15 councillors would be elected.

In Scarborough, the proposed new parish would exclude the following areas:

The unparished part of Eastfield Division, which is recommended to form part of Eastfield Town Council.

The unparished part of Charles William Apartments, which are recommended to form part of Newby and Scalby Town Council.

The three unparished properties at Osgodby, which are recommended to form part of Osgodby Parish Council.

Members of North Yorkshire Council’s standards and governance committee will meet on Wednesday next week (July 5) to discuss the plans for the two new town councils. They are being recommended to refer the proposals for further debate at a full council meeting later this year.

The town councils would be formed for administrative purposes from April 2024, and the first elections would be on May 2, 2024, when councillors would be elected for a reduced term of three years. Elections would then take place every four years from 2027.

The cost of establishing the town councils would initially be borne by North Yorkshire Council, and then charged back to the new authorities.

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