Issue - decisions

Recharging Parishes for By-Elections

20/07/2023 - Recharging Parishes for By-Elections

Considered – A report of the Assistant Chief Executive – Legal and Democratic Services seeking approval that the Authority cover the cost of all parish by-elections for its initial year, and as from 1 April 2024 introduce recharging to parishes within North Yorkshire for all costs incurred for by-elections.  The report all sought a decision on whether the cost of parish elections that took place as a result of the community governance reviews in the towns of Harrogate and Scarborough should be recharged.


Councillor David Chance introduced the report which provided an overview of the arrangements for both scheduled and unscheduled parish elections that had been in place since 2019, noting that some legacy council areas recharged for full cost recovery, some partial, and some did not recharge at all.


He confirmed the proposal was to re-charge only for unscheduled by-elections.  He noted that a reduction in the number of by-elections was not expected as a result of introducing the proposed re-charge and acknowledged the impact would be felt in those areas where re-charging had not previously happened.  Finally, he drew attention to the financial implications associated with the proposal, as detailed in paragraphs 8.2 & 8.3 of the report.


Executive Members noted it was not expected that the number of by-elections would reduce as a result of introducing re-charging and agreed the report set out a pragmatic approach.


Noting that some Parishes may struggle to pay the re-charges in circumstances where a series of by-elections are required over a short period of time, Councillor Gareth Dadd suggested that some discretion should be applied to the repayment of re-charges in extreme examples, and it was therefore


Councillor Carl Les confirmed he was not minded to re-charge Harrogate Town Council and Scarborough Town Council for their elections, given that they were outside of the electoral cycle.


Resolved – That:

i)     NYC cover the cost of all parish by-elections for its initial financial year 2023-2024;

ii)    Recharges to parishes within North Yorkshire be introduced for all costs incurred by the Returning Officer for by-elections, from 1 April 2024;

iii)    In exceptional circumstances, it be delegated to the Chief Executive Officer to agree the repayment terms;