Tory grip on Harrogate loosens but they will control new North Yorkshire unitary council - just

The Conservatives' grip on Harrogate has slipped after huge victories for the Liberal Democrats in today's elections to the new North Yorkshire Council.

By Graham Chalmers
Friday, 6th May 2022, 5:08 pm

The Lib Dems have won ten of the 21 seats which will represent Harrogate on the new council, while the Tories took nine after having majority control of the district for more than a decade.

But the Tories look to have secured a narrow overall majority on the new authority set to run all of North Yorkshire Council

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The Lib Dems celebrate their success in Harrogate in elections for the new council authority set to run all of North Yorkshire.

On a night when the cost of living crisis and Prime Minister Boris Johnson's leadership seemed to have an impact on the minds of many voters, there was also success for the Green Party's Arnold Warneken who won the Ousebourne division.

Meanwhile, Independent Andrew Williams was elected as councillor for Ripon Minister and Moorside.

Big upsets came as Conservative deputy leader Graham Swift lost the Coppice Valley and Duchy division to Liberal Democrat Peter Lacey.

Conservative Phil Ireland was also beaten by Lib Dem Matt Walker in the Knaresborough West division.

Another senior Conservative was defeated as Pateley Bridge and Nidderdale candidate Stanley Lumley came second to Lib Dem Andrew Murday.

In total, there were 10 Liberal Democrats elected, nine Conservatives, one Green and one Independent.

Coming into the vote, the Conservatives held 73% of seats which represent the district on North Yorkshire County Council and Harrogate Borough Council, while the Lib Dems had 17%.

For the new North Yorkshire Council, this figure has slipped/increased to 43% for Tories, while the Lib Dems will have 48% of district seats.

In all, the Conservatives took 47 of the 90 seats available across North Yorkshire.

The councillors elected today will serve one year on North Yorkshire County Council before transitioning to the new unitary authority when it launches on 1 April 2023.

This is the date when the county, district and borough councils - including Harrogate - will be abolished in what will mark the biggest changes to local government in North Yorkshire in almost 50 years.