Plans to create a new Scarborough town council put in motion

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Plans for the creation of new town councils in central Scarborough have been set in motion with the approval of plans by North Yorkshire County Council.

North Yorkshire County Council’s executive approved plans for proceeding with a review and consultations on the creation of new town councils in the Scarborough and Harrogate town centres.

The decision to proceed with the creation of the new town councils comes ahead of next year’s local government reorganisation which will see borough and district councils replaced by a new North Yorkshire Council.

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A report presented to the NYCC executive committee states that though most rural areas and all smaller towns within North Yorkshire are covered by town or parish councils, the two largest towns, Harrogate and Scarborough, remain unparished.

Scarborough seafront.Scarborough seafront.
Scarborough seafront.

“The new council would seek to develop parish or town councils where they don’t currently exist and people wanted them, including Harrogate and Scarborough.”

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr David Chance, said: “If it was considered appropriate to create new town councils, then we would be looking to make such recommendations within 12 months. And then, new town councils are being looked at being potentially created in 2024.

“In the meantime, and if no new town councils are created, then charter trustees will be put in place from April 2023 to ensure that the ceremonial activities of the boroughs of Harrogate and Scarborough could continue.”

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Council officers from both Scarborough and Harrogate borough councils were present at the meeting and gave advice on the plans.

As part of the process of creating the town councils, residents in the affected areas, along with elected representatives at all levels, will be invited to respond and give their views on community governance in the affected area.

NYCC has allocated a budget of £100,000 to include the costs of undertaking the consultation and “costs of engaging an AEA consultant”.

At the meeting, a question was raised by Cllr Derek Bastiman, a member of the NYCC executive committee, who asked whether the St Leonard’s and Endcliffe Crescent areas could be included in the Woodlands ward.

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Kerry Russett, part of Scarborough Council’s democratic services team, said the suggestion was “exactly the kind of idea” the council was hoping to receive as part of the consultation, adding that it would be considered.

An amendment was also tabled at the meeting concerning the approval of the relevant cabinet member, set out in the council’s report, which was approved along with the wider recommendations.