A Community Governance Review (CGR) is a review carried out by a principal council and is used to consider whether parish council arrangements in an area should be changed.

What is a Community Governance Review?

The aim of the review is to bring about improved community engagement, communities that are more unified, better local democracy and more effective and convenient delivery of local services.

This consultation wants to ensure that community governance continues to reflect the identities and interests of local communities. Reviews provide an opportunity to consider what the most effective governance arrangements are.

Why are we conducting a Community Governance Review of Harrogate and Scarborough?

On 1 April 2023, a new unitary authority, North Yorkshire Council that will deliver all local services, will replace North Yorkshire County Council, Scarborough Borough Council, Harrogate Borough Council, along with the county’s five other district councils.

A central pledge in the bid for a new unitary authority was “double devolution”. This will enable town and parish councils the opportunity to take on greater responsibilities. Currently, parts of Scarborough and Harrogate towns do not have a parish or town council that could choose to take on these responsibilities.

Putting in place the most local tier of decision making could give residents more ownership and control of services delivered on their behalf. As well as taking on responsibility for some local services, parish and town councils have a strong voice in planning issues, separate to the statutory planning authority.  A more localised council would give residents a bigger say and there would be an additional tier of councillors to represent residents, focusing on more immediate local issues.

The unparished areas lie mostly within the more urban areas. Harrogate and Scarborough currently have Borough status, which entitles them to have a mayor. To preserve the historic property, privileges, rights and traditions, the structural changes order approved by the Government to allow the creation of the single North Yorkshire Council establishes Charter Trustee areas for both Harrogate and Scarborough from 1 April 2023.

Whilst Charter Trustee areas are intended to protect the history and traditions of an area, they have no powers in respect of providing services to residents and the trustees may carry out ceremonial functions only. Charter trustees are the councillors on North Yorkshire Council representing the electoral divisions in the unparished areas.

Parish and town councils play a key role in representing the views and promoting the needs of communities and provide services to their residents. Parish Councillors are directly elected to the parish council by the electors of the parish area. This review will seek views on whether town or parish councils should be created in the currently unparished areas and if so, what these might look like.

Parish Councils (some are called Town Councils) are the first level of local government. Currently there are three tiers of local government in the Scarborough and Harrogate districts:

  • North Yorkshire County Council,
  • Harrogate or Scarborough Borough Council and
  • Parish or town councils in all parished areas.

From 1 April 2023, the County and Borough Councils  will no longer exist and there will be two tiers of local government in areas of Harrogate and Scarborough that have town and parish councils, North Yorkshire Council and the town and parish councils. There will be only one tier for unparished areas.

Parish councils have relatively few statutory functions (things they have to do). The statutory functions are, for example, the holding of meetings, the management of its finances and the preparation of annual accounts. A parish council employs staff, owns and manages premises, and provides services.

How do Parish Councils operate?

Residents of the parished area elect councillors. They represent residents and their interests and councillors will make most of the decisions about what a parish council does in meetings. Although the public has a right to attend meetings of a parish council and its committees, it is the councillors who collectively make decisions about council business and what services or facilities it provides.

How are they funded?

The parish council must carefully budget for the expenditure it will have to pay in the next financial year. A parish council may generate income from money from rents from premises that it leases or licences for use by others, or from the services or facilities it provides (for example sports facilities, off street car parks). It may also receive grants for certain projects. The main source of income derives from the precept levied on the residents in its area. The precept is incorporated into a local resident’s council tax bill.

What do they do?

Although parish councils have few statutory functions or duties (for example: things they have to do) there are many things they can do if they choose. What they choose to do will depend on the needs of the local community they serve. They have the discretion to exercise a range of statutory powers related to the provision or support of certain services or facilities which benefit their area, and/or the residents that live there, examples might include sports facilities, allotments, local youth projects, bus shelters, litter bins, off street carparks, community centres, parks and open spaces, community transport schemes, neighbourhood planning, crime reduction measures, street lighting, festivals and fetes, traffic calming measures and tourism activities.

From 1 April 2023, the new North Yorkshire Council will replace the Borough and County Councils.  Currently, Harrogate and Scarborough have borough status, which entitle them to have a mayor. The unparished areas of the town lie mostly in the urban centres and in the absence of an existing parish council, charter trustee areas will be established for these parts of the two boroughs. Charter trustee areas are intended to protect the historic property and traditions of an area, but they are not intended to act as administrative units. Trustees have no power in respect of providing services to residents and the trustees may carry out ceremonial functions only.

Unlike parish councils, the powers of charter trustee areas are limited to the following remits:

  1. to promote the historical links and traditions of the former borough
  2. to support activities that enhance the links
  3. to support activities of the Mayor in conjunction with those roles
  4. to determine expenditure that supports these objectives.

There are similar statutory requirements as for parish councils relating to, for example, the holding of meetings and the management of their finances and accounts. 

How do Charter Trustee Areas operate?

The Charter Trustees are the councillors chosen by the electors of the relevant electoral divisions to represent them on the new North Yorkshire Council.  Charter trustees must have a Charter Mayor (Chairperson). They are elected annually at the Annual Meeting of the Charter Trustees in May. Charter trustee meetings are led by the Chairperson and advised by a Clerk who is there to see that business is conducted within the law.

How are they funded?

Charter trustees have the ability to raise a precept in the same way as a parish council. The precept is incorporated into a local resident’s council tax bill.

What do they do?

Their role is purely ceremonial. Their task is to maintain the traditions and functions of the mayor and to safeguard historic and ceremonial property, other than land and buildings of the former borough area. Charter Trustees do not have the power to deliver services or undertake other activities in the same way that a parish council does.

What will the review focus on?

We will consider the community governance arrangements for the areas under review and whether to recommend

  • creating a Parish Council to take over the ceremonial functions of the charter trustees and provide other local services. Charter trustee areas would be dissolved on creation of a new parish council.
  • not creating a Parish Council in the Charter Trustee Areas so that charter trustees continue to exist and undertake ceremonial functions only.

If the review concludes at the draft recommendation stage that a new parish council should be created, it will also consider and make draft recommendations for

  • the electoral arrangements, including the number of councillors and whether parish warding is appropriate
  • the ‘style’ (whether it should be known as a town, community, neighbourhood, or village rather than a parish council)

Minor boundary changes to correct anomalies will be considered if necessary. During the review, boundary anomalies may become obvious where, for example, it may seem more appropriate for a small unparished area to be included within a neighbouring parish rather than either remaining within the unparished charter trustee area or becoming part of any new parish which may be created.  Three such areas have already been identified, which are included within this review, all within the Scarborough Borough area, being Eastfield Town Council, Newby & Scalby Town Council, and Osgobdy Parish Council.  More about those areas can be found below. In any such case, affected residents and parish councils will be consulted.

The review will also consider other forms of community governance. There may be other arrangements for community representation or community engagement in an area, including area committees, neighbourhood management programmes, tenant management organisations, area or community forums, residents’ and tenants’ associations or community associations, which may be more appropriate to some areas than parish councils.

The review will be mindful of such other viable forms of community governance in its consideration of whether parish governance is most appropriate. However, what sets parish councils apart from other kinds of governance is the fact that they are a democratically elected tier of local government, independent of other council tiers and budgets, and have specific powers.

The review will take account of

  1. the impact of community governance arrangements on community cohesion
  2. the size, population and boundaries of the local community.
  3. any alternative forms of community governance in any part of the area under review

The final recommendations made at the end of the review will seek to ensure that community governance across the area under review:

  1. is reflective of the identities and interests of the community in that area; and
  2. effective and convenient to the community in that area.

How will the review be carried out?

Before making any recommendations or publishing final proposals, the council must consult local government electors for the area under review and any other person or body (including a local authority) which appears to the council to have an interest in the review.

The Council will therefore:

  • publish Terms of Reference for the Review
  • write to local Members of Parliament, the PFCC, County Councillors, Borough Councillors
  • write to households in the unparished areas
  • inform local groups and interested parties including public and voluntary organisations

Before making any recommendations, the council will take account of any representations received. The council will publish its recommendations as soon as practicable and take such steps as it considers sufficient to ensure that persons who may be interested in the community governance review are informed of the recommendations and the reasons behind them. The council will notify each consultee and any other persons or bodies who have made written representations of the outcome of the review.

The timetable below sets out dates for two periods of public consultation.

Date

Action

19 July 2022

North Yorkshire County Council Executive to approve Terms of Reference for the Community Governance Review

August to September 2022

Formal initial Community Governance Review consultation

October to December 2022

Consideration of responses and drafting of recommendations

January 2023

North Yorkshire County Council Executive to approve Draft Recommendations for further consultation

February to April 2023

Further public consultation on Draft Recommendations

April to June 2023

Formulation of final recommendations

July 2023

Final recommendations to be considered by Full Council.

By Summer 2023

Reorganisation Order made

May 2024

Parish council elections to be held under any new arrangements that may be decided.

Link to reports/decisions

Report to Executive – 19 July 2022

How do I get involved?

Your views about the proposals are welcomed.  Follow the links below to see maps of the areas under review and electorate statistics and to submit an online response.

Online responses may be submitted using the button below:

Have your say on Harrogate Community Governance Review here

If you would prefer to submit a paper response you can visit the following locations where you can view printed versions of the information and complete and hand in a paper version of the online survey form.

  • Harrogate Library, Victoria Avenue, Harrogate HG1 1EG 
  • Bilton and Woodfield Community Library, Woodfield Road, Harrogate, HG1 4HZ 
  • Harrogate Borough Council, Civic Centre, St Luke’s Avenue, Harrogate HG1 2AE 

You can also email cgr@northyorks.gov.uk or call 01609 780780.

The closing date for responses is 30 September 2022.

List of Electoral Areas and numbers of households/electors

Division

Electorate

(as at 1 May 22)

Households

(as at 1 May 22)

Bilton and Nidd Gorge

5,959

3663

Bilton Grange and New Park

5,943

3747

Coppice Valley and Duchy (PART)

5,576

3776

Fairfax and Starbeck

6,036

3806

Harlow and St Georges

6,524

3863

High Harrogate and Kingsley

6,466

4356

Killinghall, Hampsthwaite and Saltergate (PART)

1,686

1191

Oatlands and Pannal (PART)

4,224

2436

The Stray and Hookstone

6,155

3530

Valley Gardens and Central Harrogate

6,300

5154

Totals

54,869

35,522

Online responses may be submitted using the button below:

Have your say on Scarborough Community Governance Review here

If you would prefer to submit a paper response you can visit the following locations where you can view printed versions of the information and complete and hand in a paper version of the online survey form.

  • Scarborough Borough Council, Town Hall, St Nicholas Street, Scarborough, YO11 2HG
  • Scarborough Library, Vernon Road Scarborough YO11 2NN

You can also email cgr@northyorks.gov.uk or call 01609 780780.

The closing date for responses is 30 September 2022

List of Electoral Areas and numbers of households/electors

Division

Electorate

(as at 1 June 22)

Households

(as at 1 June 22)

Castle

5,404

4,989

Eastfield - unparished part

84

44

Falsgrave & Stepney

6,202

4,213

Northstead

5,542

4,160

Weaponness & Ramshill

5,762

5,215

Woodlands

5,244

3,445

Totals

28,238

22,066

Online responses may be submitted using the button below:

Have your say on Eastfield Community Governance Review here

If you would prefer to submit a paper response you can visit the following locations where you can view printed versions of the information and complete and hand in a paper version of the online survey form.

  • Scarborough Borough Council, Town Hall, St Nicholas Street, Scarborough, YO11 2HG
  • Eastfield Community Library, High Street, Eastfield, YO11 3LL

You can also email cgr@northyorks.gov.uk or call 01609 780780.

The closing date for responses is 30 September 2022

List of Electoral Areas and numbers of households/electors

Eastfield Town Council

Electorate

(as at 1 June)

Households affected

(as at 1 June)

Councillors

Eastway Ward

2,676

1,734

6

Westway Ward

2,059

1,392

5

Totals:

4,735

3,126

11

Online responses may be submitted using the button below:

Have your say on Newby and Scalby Community Governance Review here

If you would prefer to submit a paper response you can visit the following locations where you can view printed versions of the information and complete and hand in a paper version of the online survey form.

  • Scarborough Borough Council, Town Hall, St Nicholas Street, Scarborough, YO11 2HG
  • Newby and Scalby Library & Information Centre, 450 Scalby Road, Scarborough, YO12 6EE

You can also email cgr@northyorks.gov.uk or call 01609 780780.

The closing date for responses is 30 September 2022

List of Electoral Areas and numbers of households/electors

Newby and Scalby Town Council

Electorate

(as at 1 June)

Households

(as at 1 June)

Councillors

Newby Ward

4,863

 

8

Scalby Ward

2,935

 

5

Totals:

7,798

 

13

Online responses may be submitted using the button below:

Have your say on Osgodby Community Governance Review here

If you would prefer to submit a paper response you can visit the following locations where you can view printed versions of the information and complete and hand in a paper version of the online survey form.

  • Scarborough Borough Council, Town Hall, St Nicholas Street, Scarborough, YO11 2HG

You can also email cgr@northyorks.gov.uk or call 01609 780780.

The closing date for responses is 30 September 2022

List of Electoral Areas and numbers of households/electors

Osgodby Parish Council

Electorate

(as at 1 June)

Households

(as at 1 June)

Councillors

Whole area

1,077

698

7