North Yorkshire Devolution: Scarborough residents to be consulted on creating new town council to replace scrapped borough council

Residents in Scarborough are set to be asked their views on whether to create a town council, after county councillors agreed to launch a consultation.

By George Buksmann
Friday, 5th August 2022, 10:03 am
Updated Friday, 5th August 2022, 10:05 am

North Yorkshire County Council and Scarborough Borough Council, along with the county's six other district councils, will be replaced by a new North Yorkshire Council that will deliver all services from April 1 next year.

Scarborough is one of two locations in North Yorkshire not to have a parish or town council.

A central pledge for scrapping the town's borough council was delivering 'double devolution', which will enable town and parish councils to take on greater responsibilities if they can provide a successful business case.

North Yorkshire County Council will consult residents on whether to create a new town council.

North Yorkshire County Council's executive approved a legal process known as community governance reviews of the parts of Scarborough that have no parish or town council at a meeting on July 19.

This will lead to a consultation during the summer in which residents will be asked their views on creating a new council for the town.

The authority said that Eastfield Town Council's boundaries would also be reviewed as the new Middle Deepdale housing developments, which seamlessly neighbour and have strong links to the community, are currently within the Scarborough unparished area. Residents of both areas will be consulted.

Cllr Carl Les, the county council's leader, said: "Parish and town councils will play a key role in representing the views and promoting the needs of communities, so it is vital we look at offering people in Scarborough the opportunity to give their views on whether they want town or parish councils and, if so, what these might look like.

Scarborough Borough Council will be scrapped next year as part of devolution plans.

"At this stage, no proposals would be put forward. Residents would be invited to give their views on the formation of town councils and the reasons behind them. Depending on the response, there would be a further consultation in which people would be asked to comment on detailed proposals."

The review would aim to bring about improved community engagement, more cohesive communities, better local democracy and more effective and convenient delivery of local services.

Executive member for corporate services, Cllr David Chance, said: "Our 'double devolution' plan will see greater powers and funding passed to parish and town councils.

"We will give people, voluntary organisations and businesses a louder voice via community networks based around market town areas and will improve transparency through area constituency committees to oversee their local areas and champion their cause."

Executive member for stronger communities, Cllr Greg White, added: "The first people we should listen to, if we are to consider whether Scarborough should have a town council, are the people who live and work in the town."

The unparished areas of Scarborough include the following current borough council wards:

Ward and (Electorate) as of June 1:

• Castle (5,404)

• Eastfield (part, 84)

• Falsgrave and Stepney (6,202)

• Northstead (5,542)

• Weaponness and Ramshill (5,762)

• Woodlands (5,244)

Scarborough currently has borough status, which entitles the town to have a mayor. In the absence of parish councils, that status could be at risk. To preserve the historic property, privileges, rights and traditions, the structural changes order approved by the Government to enable creation of the single North Yorkshire Council establishes charter trustees for the unparished parts of the towns from April 1 2023.

Charter trustees are the councillors representing the electoral divisions covering the unparished area. They have no powers to deliver services, but will be responsible for ensuring any ceremonial elements continue, including a mayor. If town or parish councils were established, the charter trustees would be disbanded.