North Yorkshire Council letting voluntary groups in Harrogate down, claims Liberal Democrat councillor

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A Liberal Democrat councillor has accused North Yorkshire Council of letting Harrogate down by not yet selecting a ‘Community Anchor Organisation’ that could galvanise the town’s voluntary sector.

Last year, North Yorkshire Council announced it would partner with a network of organisations to share their experiences, contacts and resources.

Grants of £15,000 a year for up to three years are available.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Although the council has picked 24 anchor organisations across North Yorkshire, so far there is none in Harrogate.

A Liberal Democrat councillor has accused North Yorkshire Council of letting voluntary groups in Harrogate downA Liberal Democrat councillor has accused North Yorkshire Council of letting voluntary groups in Harrogate down
A Liberal Democrat councillor has accused North Yorkshire Council of letting voluntary groups in Harrogate down

Councillor Chris Aldred (Liberal Democrat, High Harrogate and Kingsley) told a full meeting of the council on Wednesday that the “long and drawn out” process to find a suitable organisation has been “very disappointing” for the town’s charitable sector.

Councillor Aldred said: “Community and voluntary organisations within North Yorkshire’s largest town frankly expected better than this from their new ‘most local council’.”

This month the council launched a third public consultation on the creation of a Harrogate Town Council, with elections set to be held in May 2025 if it’s created.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A council spokesperson confirmed to the Local Democracy Reporting Service this week that the combined cost of the three consultations is £118,000.

Councillor Aldred suggested the council was not serving the interests of Harrogate residents by delaying the creation of a town council and not yet selecting a Community Anchor Organisation.

But Councillor David Chance, the Conservative’s Executive Member for Corporate Services, accused Councillor Aldred of wanting “instant fixes and not a good realistic outcome”.

He said the council is working with Harrogate & District Community Action to identify an anchor organisation that would be a good fit for the community.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Councillor Chance said: “The Community Anchor Organisation model is about supporting local places and there was always a recognition that the largest urban areas like Harrogate, which both includes a number of distinct areas, will require research to ensure the chosen solution delivers maximum impact.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.