Map reveals areas which could be served by a Harrogate Town Council

The areas which could pay an extra tax to fund a Harrogate Town Council have been revealed for the first time in a new map.

By Jacob Webster
Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 12:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 12:15 pm
These are the unparished areas of Harrogate which could get a town council.
These are the unparished areas of Harrogate which could get a town council.

A consultation on whether to create the new council will be held this summer after the proposal gathered the support of politicians in Harrogate which along with Scarborough is one of only two areas in North Yorkshire not to be parished.

And although the move has been well supported by councillors, it will be residents who have the final say on whether it should go ahead.

A new map from North Yorkshire County Council has revealed which areas could vote in this poll and ultimately be served by the town council.

These include:

- High Harrogate and Kingsley

- Valley Gardens and Central Harrogate

- Fairfax and Starbeck

- Stray, Woodlands and Hookstone

- Harlow and St Georges

- Bilton Grange and New Park

- Bilton and Nidd Gorge

- Most of Coppice Valley and Duchy

- Parts of Oatlands and Pannal

- Parts of Killinghall, Hampsthwaite and Saltergate

It has been argued that creating a town council will help Harrogate keep control of its prized public buildings and some services such as parks and tourism when the existing county and borough councils are abolished next April.

The existing councils will be replaced by a new North Yorkshire Council which could filter down some powers to all town and parish councils in what has been hailed as a "double devolution".

Those were the words of councillor Carl Les, leader of North Yorkshire County Council, who also previously said more than one town or parish council could be created in Harrogate - if that's what voters wanted.

A decision to hold the upcoming consultation was agreed at a meeting of the county council's executive today when the next steps of the legal process known as a community governance review were set out.

Councillor David Chance, executive member for corporate services, said: "In the first set of consultations we will consult with the relevant people in the affected areas to gain their views.

"We will then take those views and make recommendations for approval.

"If it was considered appropriate to create town councils, we would then be looking to make such recommendations within a 12-month period.

"And then new town councils could potentially be created in 2024."

Other services which could come under the control of a Harrogate Town Council include events, markets, play areas, community centres and allotments.

These arrangements are already in place at the likes of Knaresborough Town Council and Ripon City Council which charge £25.27 and £70.77 respectively for their annual parish precepts.

The idea of a Harrogate Town Council has already won the support of members of the outgoing Harrogate Borough Council who made calls for the process to be sped up.

County council leader Carl Les also said he believed Harrogate and Scarborough would both be "well served" by a lower tier of local government.

He previously said: “I’m a great advocate of parish and town councils.

“That said, it is for the people to decide whether they want them or not.

“I’m very keen that we start the process as soon as possible and we will go to the public in Harrogate and Scarborough at the earliest opportunity.”

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter