Scarborough retained its Borough Charter status through the establishment of Charter Trustees in the North Yorkshire (Structural Changes) Order 2022, which was made on 17 March 2022. The Charter Trustees were established on 1 April 2023, on the date that Scarborough Borough Council was abolished and North Yorkshire Council became the principal council for North Yorkshire.
The Trustees ensure the continuation of the civic, historic and ceremonial traditions of the former Borough of Scarborough and is responsible for choosing a Mayor and Deputy Mayor from the appointed Trustees annually. The Charter Trustees will remain in existence until such time that a new town council is created which would then assume these civic functions.
The Trustees are North Yorkshire Council Councillors representing the electoral divisions falling wholly or partly within the unparished parts of the former Scarborough Borough, which covers the following divisions:
- Falsgrave and Stepney
- Weaponness and Ramshill
Meetings of the Charter Trustees
The first annual meeting of the Charter Trustees shall be held within six weeks of the reorganisation date. In subsequent years an annual meeting must be held within 21 days of the annual meeting of North Yorkshire Council.
The meeting shall be held in the Council Chamber at Scarborough Town Hall, unless otherwise agreed. Including the annual meeting, no less than two meetings shall be held each year to conduct the general business of the Charter Trustees.
Charter Trustees must be Councillors and, by definition, a politician with responsibilities to the electors of his or her electoral division and will, in most instances, possess a tie to a political group on North Yorkshire Council. However, Charter Trustees are a non-political and non-statutory role with the primary objective being to maintain and promote the historic and ceremonial traditions for the area.
Further information including details of the Charter Trustees, agendas, minutes and other key documents can be found on our Committee details page.
Charter Trustee Mayor
At the annual meeting the Charter Trustees elect a Charter Mayor and Deputy Charter Mayor.
Whilst the Charter Mayor will fulfil a similar role to that of the former Borough Mayor, but mainly representing and attending events within the unparished area of Scarborough. The main focus will be on events of a civic and ceremonial nature such as Remembrance Sunday.
The Mayor will be known as the Charter Mayor of Scarborough and should be addressed as ‘Mr Mayor’ or ‘Madam Mayor’.
2023-2024 Scarborough Mayoral year
At their inaugural meeting on 19 April 2023, the Charter Trustees elected Councillor Ritchie as Charter Mayor and Councillor Jefferson as his Deputy.
Councillor John Ritchie, Charter Mayor
Cllr Ritchie is married to Marilyn who works as a district nurse in the town. They have two grown up children, Oliver and Harriet.
Cllr Ritchie served with the Royal Signals between 1974 and 1979, serving in Germany and Northern Ireland. John was a firefighter for 22 years with the West Yorkshire Fire Service. He left the service in 2001 and studied History and Politics followed by further studies in journalism. His academic achievements led to five years with The Scarborough News, during which time he rose to the role of Head of Content. He has recently gained an MA in history with the Open University.
Cllr Ritchie was elected to represent the Woodlands Division of North Yorkshire County Council in May 2022, although he has previously served on both Scarborough Borough Council (as the Town’s Deputy Mayor from 2015 to 2016) and North Yorkshire County Council.
John is a trustee of Westborough Methodist Church, Chairman of the 46th Scarborough Scout Group, and a governor at both Springhead School and Childhaven Nursery School. He is also a member of the North York Moors Association, Scarborough Archaeological and Historical Society and the Town’s Civic Society.
Outside of politics and his community work, John enjoys watching football, going to the theatre and cinema and visiting Britain's National Parks.
John said: “I love this town and following local government reorganisation in North Yorkshire, I am delighted and honoured to be able to serve as the first Mayor of the Charter Trustees for Scarborough, to keep the mayoralty going strong and to maintain the time-honoured civic traditions of our beautiful and historic town. I am very keen to maintain the community focus of our mayoralty and look forward to meeting many of the town’s residents and community groups when I am out and about in the year ahead."
Councillor Janet Jefferson, Deputy Charter Mayor
Cllr Janet Jefferson became the North Yorkshire Independent County Councillor for the Castle Division in 2009. She is the group spokesperson on the Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee, having served for seven years as the Chair of that committee and member of the North Yorkshire County Council's Scrutiny Board. Janet is also a member of the Corporate Parenting Committee, Chair of the Local Safeguarding Partnership and Member and former Vice Chair of the Scarborough and Whitby Area Constituency Committee. She also represented the County Council for four years on the North Yorkshire Police Authority.
Janet worked as a Secretary/PA in all aspects of administration in construction and other related industries, including being an assistant valuer for a Scarborough estate agency, affording her many years of experience in tendering, planning, managing projects and valuation.
Janet’s community work includes being Chair of the Castle Ward Tenants and Residents Association and Castle Community and Police Group, President of the Scarborough Chamber of Trade and Commerce, and Chair of Scarborough Anti-Theft Group who are holders with the distinction of the Safer Business Award for Scarborough. Janet is a trustee of the Coast and Vale Learning Trust and trustee ambassador of the Friarage Community Primary School with whom she has been involved for over 20 years, linking also with Gladstone Road School.
Janet is a trustee of Wilson’s Mariners Homes, the Rainbow Centre, Plaxton’s Family Housing Trust, member of the Management Committee of the Scarborough Sea Cadets, member of Scarborough Civic Society, and supports the Fisherman/Fireman Boxing Day event and the Scarborough Lions Club New Year’s Day dip. She is also Chair of the Seafest Festival of the Sea now in its 24th year.
Janet along with her husband Geoff have lived and worked at the Train Shop in Eastborough for nearly 40 years. They have a son Nigel, daughter-in-law Julia and two grandchildren, Leia and Eric who live in Edinburgh.
Janet said: “As Castle Division Councillor on the new unitary North Yorkshire Council, I feel privileged to be supporting the Charter Mayor in this inaugural year of the Charter Trustees for Scarborough. Having been a Scarborough Borough Councillor for 24 years, serving latterly as Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources including Harbours, I am proud of the town’s civic traditions having served as the Mayor of the former Borough from 2007 to 2008.”
Scarborough enquiries and invitations
If you would like to invite the Mayor of Scarborough to an event please use our online form.
Invite the Mayor
Please contact us to make enquiries relating to the Scarborough Charter Trustees or the Charter Mayor of Scarborough, or write to:
Scarborough Charter Trustees
Scarborough Town Hall