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Councillor chosen as next Harrogate charter mayor

Councillor Chris Aldred, who represents High Harrogate and Kingsley for the Liberal Democrats, has been confirmed as the Harrogate charter mayor from next year.

Councillor chosen as next Harrogate charter mayor Councillor Chris Aldred, who represents High Harrogate and Kingsley for the Liberal Democrats, has been confirmed as the Harrogate charter mayor from next year. Cllr Aldred will be the town’s second charter mayor, which is a role created by North Yorkshire Council following the abolition of Harrogate Borough Council in April. The non-political, unelected role involves promoting the historic and ceremonial traditions of the Harrogate area during events such as last month’s Remembrance Sunday. Cllr Aldred was chosen this morning by the Harrogate charter trustees, which are 10 councillors who represent divisions covering the unparished parts of Harrogate town. He will be supported by deputy charter mayor Michael Schofield, who represents Harlow & St Georges as an independent. The mayoral tradition will pass to a future Harrogate Town Council but this is not expected to happen until at least 2025. The current charter mayor is Cllr Michael Harrison, who represents Killinghall, Hampsthwaite and Saltergate for the Conservatives. The current deputy charter mayor is Cllr Aldred. Cllr Harrison said:

“As charter trustees we’ll still be in play for at least one more year. "We asked for nominations and I’m delighted to report that there was one nomination for charter mayor to be Chris Aldred as charter mayor and Mike Schofield for deputy mayor. "I’d like to congratulate both of those people.”
Cllr Aldred and Cllr Schofield will become charter mayor and deputy at a meeting in May. The charter mayor role differs from the former Harrogate Borough Council mayoralty, which covered the whole of the former borough with the mayor undertaking a wider range of engagements. The charter mayor is not entitled to expenses such as a chauffeur driven car that the former HBC mayor could benefit from. Although the charter mayor is still entitled to wear chains and civic regalia as worn by previous mayors. At the meeting this morning, councillors approved increasing the annual budget for charter trustee business from £12,100 a year to £12,800, with most of the money set to be spent on North Yorkshire Council staff costs. It means a Harrogate resident living in a band D property will spend 46p on the charter trustees and charter mayor next year through council tax. By Thomas Barrett, Local nDemocracy Reporter Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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