Have a say on Harrogate and Scarborough town council proposals

This story was published 6 March 2023

The opinions of residents of Harrogate and Scarborough are being sought on proposals to create new town councils to extend grassroots democracy across the whole of North Yorkshire.

A view of Scarborough beach and sea front

Scarborough and Harrogate are the only parts of the county not to have a parish or town council.

On 1 April, ourselves, Scarborough Borough Council, Harrogate Borough Council and the county’s five other district authorities will be replaced by North Yorkshire Council, which will deliver all local services. A central pledge of this change was to enable town and parish councils to take on greater responsibility if they want and are able to.

Therefore, residents of unparished parts of Scarborough and Harrogate were invited last summer to say whether they wanted to create new town councils. More than two thirds of residents who responded in the two towns were in favour of the idea.

Now, residents are being urged to give their views on detailed recommendations for the creation of the town councils.

Executive member for corporate services, Cllr David Chance, said: “The new North Yorkshire Council will cover a large, diverse geographical area and aims to be the most local authority in the country. We are committed to working with town and parish councils, and other partners, to support communities in driving local action and priorities.

“Having received strong support in the initial consultation for the creation of new parishes and councils to serve them, we are keen to hear views from as many residents as possible on the detailed proposals we are now putting forward.

“If you took part in the first consultation, please share your views again on these detailed proposals. This is a separate consultation, so please make sure your views on the proposals are taken into account by completing the survey.”

The recommendation for Harrogate is that a new parish be established for the currently unparished area of the town, served by a new authority called Harrogate Town Council. The parish would be divided into divisions based largely on those that apply to the new North Yorkshire Council. 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, with a new authority called Scarborough Town Council created to serve it. The parish would be divided into wards, matching those that apply to North Yorkshire Council. A total of 15 councillors would be elected.

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

  • the unparished part of Eastfield Ward, which is recommended to form part of Eastfield Town Council
  • the unparished part of Charles Williams 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

Executive member for stronger communities, Cllr Greg White, said: “Local voices are essential in tackling issues and understanding people’s needs within a community. Town and parish councils give residents the ability to help to determine how the places in which they live look and feel. The benefits can be seen across our communities every day, so I urge people in Scarborough and Harrogate to seize the opportunity this consultation offers to have a say in shaping local empowerment where they live.”

The consultation is open and will run until Friday, 5 May. Residents can take part in the survey.

Alternatively, you can request a paper copy of the survey by calling 01609 536400 between 9.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, or emailing cgr@northyorks.gov.uk

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