On 1 April 2023, North Yorkshire County Council, Scarborough Borough Council and Harrogate Borough Council, along with the county’s five other district councils, will be replaced by a new North Yorkshire Council that will deliver all local services.
A central pledge in the case for that change was “double devolution”. This will enable town and parish councils to take on greater responsibilities, if they want to and can provide a successful business case.
On Tuesday, 19 July 2021, North Yorkshire County Council’s executive will be recommended to approve a legal process known as a community governance review of the parts of Harrogate and Scarborough that have no parish or town council. If agreed, this would lead to a consultation during the summer in which people would be asked their views on creating councils for the two towns.
North Yorkshire County Council’s assistant chief executive for legal and democratic services, Barry Khan, said:
Should the county council’s executive decide to go ahead with the community governance review, within the consultation residents will need to consider what powers would be available to a town council, what local services it could provide and what they could get for their money. All these considerations will be explained within the consultation materials, subject to the executive’s agreement to go ahead with the review.
Any new town or parish council would be likely to charge a parish precept within council tax bills.
Even if no parish council was formed, the Charter Trustees could and would be likely to charge a small precept after their first year, 2024 onwards, if still in existence in the absence of a parish council.
The Charter Trustees will be formed for the unparished areas of Harrogate and Scarborough from April 2023, as provided for within the Structural Charges Order, to protect the civic and ceremonial elements of those areas.