Knaresborough residents urged to have say on future of town as part of council survey
Knaresborough residents are being urged to have their say on how the town should be run under major changes coming to council services.
Views are being sought by Knaresborough Town Council which could be given greater control over services such as parking, markets and tourist attractions from May 2023 when local government reorganisation happens across North Yorkshire.
Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council will be replaced by a new county-wide authority under the reorganisation plans, and there is a promise of some of their powers being filtered down to a local level.
Knaresborough councillor David Goode said it was "vital" that people take part in the survey which he believes will build a strong case for the town's future.
He said: "The more responses we get, the better view we will have of what Knaresborough residents think about our town.
"In the survey we ask questions such as what people like about Knaresborough and what could be improved - this is the starting point for us before we look at the future of services.
"It's important to remember though that this process of devolved powers isn't going to happen overnight.
"This is a 10 to 15 year journey which will need small steps in the beginning and then will develop much further."
Other services which could be handed over to the town council could also include parks and gardens, play areas and the running of public buildings such as Knaresborough House and Conyngham Hall.
Harrogate and Scarborough, which are currently the only major places in North Yorkshire not to be covered by a lower-tier authority, are also likely to get their own town councils under the reorganisation plans.
Councillor Carl Les, leader of North Yorkshire County Council, previously described this process of powers being transferred down as a "double devolution".
He said: "We are not just talking about devolving powers down from Whitehall to the county, we are talking about a double devolution of new powers coming to town and parish councils.
"Reorganisation has always been an important thing to do and although some people have questioned whether this is the right time, I believe it is as it will all be part and parcel of our recovery as we come out of the pandemic."
The survey launched last Thursday and will run until 27 January.
To have your say go to www.knaresboroughtowncouncil.gov.uk/resident-survey
Paper copies are also available to collect from Knaresborough Library or by contacting the town council on 01423 864080 or [email protected]
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter