MP Robert Goodwill says Scarborough would need its town council if devolution plan goes ahead

Scarborough needs its own town council if a radical shake up of local government goes ahead, says the area’s MP.

By Sarah Fitton
Thursday, 16th July 2020, 9:45 am
Updated Thursday, 16th July 2020, 9:48 am
Robert Goodwill MP, pictured in Scarborough
Robert Goodwill MP, pictured in Scarborough

Robert Goodwill says if North Yorkshire devolution happens and Scarborough Borough Council is scrapped, a Scarborough town council would be the way forward.

“My view is that we have to have that lower tier of local government that can respond to people’s concerns,” he said.

“We need to fill that gap by having a Scarborough town council.

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Mr Goodwill said he thinks North Yorkshire devolution is “inevitable”.

As reported by The Scarborough News, the county’s seven district councils - which include Scarborough Borough Council - have been told they must go if North Yorkshire wants devolution, which would bring more powers and spending potential to the county.

Following a meeting with Local Government Minister Simon Clarke last week, it has been proposed to create one or two combined authorities under a metro Mayor for the county in 2022.

The size of the new authority, which would also include York, is still to be decided but the combined 800,000 people living in North Yorkshire and York is considered too large for one stand-alone council.

Councils in the area have until September to submit their proposals for what the future unitary authority could look like.

Mr Goodwill said people in Newby and Seamer would have to be asked if they wanted to keep their parish councils or be included under a new town council.

He added he has raised the idea of a Scarborough town council with Mr Clarke.

Under the present system, North Yorkshire County Council is responsible for education, highways, social care and transport.

The seven district councils are responsible for the majority of planning matters, licensing, bin collections and council tax collections.

York has one council to run all services.

Any of the councils involved in the process can submit a proposal to the Government to be considered.

The Government’s intention is to make the changes from April 2022, with Mayoral elections taking place in May alongside elections to the new unitary authority or authorities.

If the devolution plan moves forward, the county council elections scheduled for next year would be cancelled, as likely would be the elections for the Police, Crime and Fire Commissioner as those responsibilities are presumed to rest with the new elected Mayor.

The Government hopes to put the proposals for the new authority structure before Parliament in the new year.

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