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Harrogate finally set for town council elections in May 2025

Tuesday, 9 July 2024 12:26

By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter

Proposals to create a Harrogate Town Council are progressing.

Proposals to create a Harrogate Town Council are finally moving forward with elections set to take place on May 1st 2025.

It follows the results of a third round of public consultation which have been published this week.

Harrogate was set to get its own town council this year along with Scarborough but the process was delayed after councillors on North Yorkshire Council, which is charged with setting up the new council, asked to redraw its ward boundaries.

A committee that is overseeing the creation of the town council will meet in Northallerton next Monday to discuss the results of the consultation and put forward a recommendation to full council later this month.

If these councillors agree on July 24, the new parish of Harrogate will come into effect on April 1 2025 with the first elections taking place a month later.

There will be 19 councillors on the town council who will each represent wards previously used by the defunct Harrogate Borough Council such as Saltergate, Coppice Valley and Valley Gardens

Just 300 people responded to the consultation with 71% backing single councillor wards.

22% said they would prefer two councillors per ward and 7% said they did not know or left a blank answer.

Despite all the back and forth around the town council, there is still no concrete indication of what services it might provide.

This has perhaps been borne out in the number of people who took part in the consultation with enthusiasm seemingly thin on the ground.

The three consultations have also cost the public more than £100,000 to conduct.

It’s been suggested by NYC that residents would pay between £40 and £60 on top of their council tax each year to pay for the new council.

Harrogate has had an upheaval in local government over the last few years with the abolition of Harrogate Borough Council, the creation of North Yorkshire Council and the introduction of a new county-wide combined authority led by mayor David Skaith.

Town or parish councils are the first layer of local government and often provide services such as parks and public toilets, although under North Yorkshire Council’s “double-devolution” agenda they are being handed more responsibilities.

For example Ripon City Council is set to run the city’s town hall and market square later this year.

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