Government announced on Wednesday (21 July) that local councils in North Yorkshire will be reorganised to form one council across the whole of the county, leaving York as a separate unitary council.
This decision follows a consultation held earlier this year on the future of local government in North Yorkshire and York.
The six district and borough councils of Craven, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby had joined together to propose an East/West model of local government.
However, government has decided not to implement the East/West proposal, and instead has accepted North Yorkshire County Council’s bid to create one council across the whole of the county.
North Yorkshire County Council and the district and borough councils of Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby will continue to operate until March 2023. After this, they will cease to exist and the new unitary authority will come into operation.
Despite this outcome, Harrogate Borough Council remains committed to delivering a number of investment projects.
Wallace Sampson OBE, chief executive of Harrogate Borough Council, said:
Understandably, we are disappointed that government has chosen to form one council across the whole of North Yorkshire. We believed the East/West proposal would have been the strongest possible option for levelling-up, and driving future recovery and growth in York and North Yorkshire.
Despite this outcome, Harrogate Borough Council will continue to exist until 2023 and we have no plans to sit back until this time. We have a number of exciting and ambitious projects that have either started or are due to start in the coming months.
Our multi-million investment project at Ripon Leisure Centre is taking shape and further investment at the Hydro in Harrogate and a new leisure centre in Knaresborough are progressing well, for example.
We are also committed to supporting our economy post Covid and will be looking at all projects, before the new unitary authority comes into operation, to explore what investment projects should or could be delivered.
Harrogate Borough Council will now work collectively with North Yorkshire County Council and the six district local authorities to implement the transition plan. Further updates will be provided in the coming months.