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Key council meetings could take place in Harrogate

North Yorkshire Council’s decision-making executive could hold some meetings at Harrogate’s Civic Centre instead of Northallerton, according to the council leader.

Key council meetings could take place in Harrogate North Yorkshire Council’s decision-making executive could hold some meetings at Harrogate’s Civic Centre instead of Northallerton, according to the council leader. The new council formed on April 1 and replaced the seven abolished district councils as well as North Yorkshire County Council. Geographically, it’s England’s largest council area and spans over 3,000 square miles. But its size has led to criticism that decisions will be made far away from Harrogate residents as the vast majority of meetings take place at County Hall in Northallerton. Like Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council before it, North Yorkshire Council has an executive or cabinet system of local government. In this system, the council leader appoints and chairs the executive, which in North Yorkshire includes 10 councillors that meet a couple of times a month. Each executive member has a specific area of responsibility – for example children and young people, highways or finance –  and they collectively make the most important decisions affecting residents. For example, the executive will meet on May 30 in Northallerton to decide whether to put forward a full business case for the £11.2m Station Gateway scheme. Ahead of a full meeting of the council next week, Conservative council leader Carl Les has published a statement that says he wants to hold some executive meetings at locations across North Yorkshire. He said dates are being sought and venues must have public and disabled access as well as have live-streaming facilities, which would open up the option of using Harrogate’s £12m Civic Centre that only opened in 2017. The new council could also choose to hold executive meetings at other former council offices it now owns in places like Scarborough or Skipton. No changes in the executive Councillor Les’s statement said that his executive will remain the same. Below is a list of the ten Conservative councillors on the executive and what they are responsible for: Councillor Carl Les – leader of the council, also responsible for communications, safer communities and emergency planning. Councillor Gareth Dadd – deputy leader, executive member for finance, assets and resources, and special projects. Councillor Derek Bastiman – executive member for open to business, including economic development, regulatory services, the management of waste disposal and the integration of waste collection. Responsibility for building relationships with businesses and with the LEP’s infrastructure board. Councillor David Chance – executive member for corporate services, including legal and democratic services, overview and scrutiny committees, partnerships, performance management, customer contact, locality budgets, refugee and evacuee reception and support, NYLAF and household support fund, member support, IT, complaints and compliments, customer services including the council contact centre. Councillor Keane Duncan – executive member for highways and transportation, both road and rail, plus bus services and engagement with Transport for the North. Councillor Michael Harrison – executive member for health and adult services, including health and wellbeing board, health integration, extra care. Councillor Simon Myers – executive member for planning for growth, the Council’s present responsibility and preparing for the new unitary authority, as well as culture, leisure, sport and housing responsibilities. Councillor Janet Sanderson – executive member for children and young people’s services with responsibility for fostering and adoption, children’s social care, safeguarding and prevention. Councillor Greg White – executive member for working in localities, including stronger communities, area constituency committees, broadband and mobile telephony and to act as the council’s digital champion, working with parish and town councils, libraries, and other face to face contact points (registrars, coroners and records), and the council’s response to climate change. Councillor Annabel Wilkinson – executive member for education, learning and skills, including early years, schools, apprenticeships, FE colleges, UTCs and engagement with the skills part of the LEP. By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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