Give your views on option to create new local voice for towns. 

In a move to ensure residents of two of North Yorkshire’s major towns have a strong say in decision-making at the most local level, residents of Scarborough and Harrogate are being asked their views on the creation of town councils for their areas. 

Parts of Scarborough and Harrogate are the only major towns in North Yorkshire not to have a parish or town council. 

On 1 April next year North Yorkshire County Council, Scarborough Borough Council and Harrogate Borough Council along with the county’s five other district councils will be replaced by a new North Yorkshire Council that will deliver all local services. 

A central pledge in the case for this change was “double devolution”. This will enable town and parish councils to take on greater responsibilities if they want to and can make a successful business case. 

Now residents of unparished parts of Scarborough and Harrogate are being invited to give their views on creating councils for the two towns. The consultation begins today (Monday, 22 August) and runs until Friday 30 September.

The consultation is part of a process called a community governance review which aims to bring about more cohesive communities, better local democracy and more effective and convenient delivery of local services. 

The unparished areas of Harrogate include these current county council divisions: Bilton and Nidd Gorge; Bilton Grange and New Park; Coppice Valley and Duchy (part); Fairfax and Starbeck; Harlow and St Georges; High Harrogate and Kingsley; Killinghall, Hampsthwaite and Saltergate (part); Oatlands and Pannal (part); The Stray and Hookstone; and Valley Gardens and Central Harrogate. 

Everyone in these areas will receive a letter explaining the consultation and inviting them to take part. 

People can complete the consultation online at Printed copies and information in alternative formats can be requested from our customer support team on 01609 780 780 or via email to 

Copies of the Harrogate consultation will also be available from: 

  • Harrogate Library, Victoria Avenue, Harrogate HG1 1EG . 
  • Bilton and Woodfield Community Library, Woodfield Road, Harrogate, HG1 4HZ.  
  • Harrogate Borough Council, Civic Centre, St Luke’s Avenue, Harrogate HG1 2AE.  

Currently Harrogate and Scarborough each have borough status which entitles them to have a mayor. In the absence of parish councils that status could be at risk. To preserve the historic property, privileges, rights and traditions, the structural changes order approved by the Government to enable creation of the single North Yorkshire Council establishes charter trustees for the unparished parts of the towns from 1 April 2023.   

Charter trustees are the councillors representing the relevant electoral divisions. They have no powers to deliver services but will be responsible for ensuring any ceremonial elements continue including a mayor. If town or parish councils are established the charter trustees will be disbanded.