On the 24 September 2014, the Full Council of North Yorkshire County Council took a vote on the spend of a billion pound waster incinerator project at Allerton Park, near to Knaresbrough. The vote had been referred to the Full Council by the Executive Committee.
Cllr Jim Clark has confirmed that he took the decision to not attend the vote as his vote “was not going to alter the outcome of the vote” and it was a vote that was “only ratifying the vote of the County Council Executive” Committee. He instead attended a free meal following the opening of a new office in his capacity of Mayor.
The Mayor’s schedule for the day began with attending a local opening in the morning before the ribbon-cutting at the Smithers-Viscient new laboratory premises.
Cllr Clark said that he attended the meal after the ribbon cutting and there simply wasn’t time to go to Northallerton for the debate on the incinerator as he needed to prepare for hosting a reception at 6pm that evening.
Time-line for the day:
11:30am – Mayor opens new business in Harrogate
1:15pm – Mayor enjoys a free three course lunch at Rudding Park as part of the opening of the new business.
2pm – 5pm County Council debate on Allerton Park Waste Incinerator
6pm – Mayor hosts reception for 3 local Commonwealth Games medal winners
Cllr Clark added: The office of Mayor is apolitical regarding matters which concern the Borough.
As a civic head my main responsibility is to carry out the duties of the office of the Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate – such as representing the district on ceremonial occasions, attending events organised by local people, businesses, and community groups, and to host formal and informal functions.