The Executive is asked:
i. That the responses from the consultation process which took place following publication of the Terms of Reference in July 2022 and the comments of the Member Working Group be noted.
ii. That the draft recommendations as set out in Appendices 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the report be agreed and publicised as part of a Stage 2 consultation commencing on 20 February for eight weeks.
iii. That the executive determine its response to the Notice of Motion approved by Harrogate Borough Council on 21 September 2022.
Considered – A report of the Assistant Chief Executive (Legal & Democratic Services) to present draft recommendations for new town councils for Harrogate and Scarborough, along with proposed minor amendments to parish boundaries in Scarborough.
County Councillor David Chance introduced the report, setting out the Terms of Reference agreed for the community governance review for the unparished parts of Harrogate and Scarborough and the details of the Stage 1 consultation that took place from August to October 2022. Following an analysis of the results, draft recommendations have been developed for each of the areas under review. The Executive is also asked to respond to a Request for a Referendum from Harrogate Borough Council.
Kerry Russett, Head of Democratic Services and Corporate Modernisation at Scarborough Borough Council, spoke about the approach taken for the Stage 1 consultation, the tailored approach taken for each area and the communication channels used to promote the consultation, including a letter sent to every household in the affected areas, along with relevant stakeholders, to ensure maximum participation. She noted the responses received in both the Harrogate and Scarborough unparished areas showed a clear majority in favour of creating a parish council. Looking at the text responses received, the reasons against creating town councils included not wanting the additional council tax or extra layer of local government as well as the extra bureaucracy that may be created. The reasons for creating town councils focussed on the local aspect, such as the need for local representation for residents, local decision making and the need for local knowledge of the areas. For the boundary corrections consulted on in Scarborough (Osgodby, Eastfield and Newby and Scalby) there was a mandate in all three anomalous areas to work to align the division boundaries with parish boundaries due to the geography of the locations and to maintain community identity.
Elizabeth Jackson, Democratic Services Manager at Harrogate Borough Council, outlined the recommendations proposed for the Harrogate unparished area. As part of the resulting discussion, the Leader noted the communication received by Executive members from County Councillor Chris Aldred proposing as part of the Harrogate plans that the current Harrogate Borough Council ward boundaries be used in the unparished area rather than the NYCC division boundaries. It was confirmed that this proposal could form part of the Stage 2 consultation.
Kerry Russett outlined the recommendations proposed for the Scarborough unparished area. Following this, County Councillor Derek Bastiman raised a concern about recommendations 6 and 7 of the Scarborough unparished area recommendations, that the number of parish councillors proposed should be increased to 15 rather than 10, so 3 councillors are elected for each of the five parish wards rather than the 2 proposed.
County Councillor Liz Colling also spoke in support of changing recommendation 6 in the Scarborough proposals to increase the number of parish councillors for Scarborough Town Council from 10 councillors to 15. She believed the 10 parish councillors proposed was insufficient to achieve the ambitions of double devolution and having enough ... view the full minutes text for item 145