Parish coun­cil could be cre­ated in Scar­boro’ town cen­tre wards

The Scarborough Evening News - - WELCOME TO YOUR NEWS - By Carl Gav­aghan carl.gav­aghan@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter @carl­gav­aghan

Res­i­dents liv­ing in Scar­bor­ough town cen­tre could soon find them­selves hav­ing to pay a bit more in coun­cil tax un­der plans from the bor­ough au­thor­ity.

Scar­bor­ough Coun­cil’s cab­i­net is to ex­plore the op­tion of cre­at­ing a parish coun­cil for the town cen­tre wards.

Those in the cen­tre of Scar­bor­ough cur­rently do not pay a parish pre­cept as part of their coun­cil tax, un­like ratepay­ers in Whitby, Fi­ley and Scalby and the rest of the area.

How­ever, cab­i­net mem­bers feel this is “un­fair”.

If the plans are ap­proved it would mean the cre­ation of a coun­cil which would look af­ter is­sues that could in­clude toi­lets and lo­cal works.

It would also mean tax­pay­ers would pay more each year as the new coun­cil would set its own rates along­side the ones res­i­dents cur­rently pay to the bor­ough coun­cil.

Speak­ing at the cab­i­net meet­ing on Tues­day last week, Whitby-based Coun­cil­lor, Joe Plant, said: “Scar­bor­ough should have a parish pre­cept as per other ar­eas, to take over man­age­ment of is­sues like other parishes.

“I’m say­ing that be­cause more and more res­i­dents in my area are ask­ing ‘why has Scar­bor­ough got no town coun­cil?’ Fi­ley and Whitby have a town coun­cil, as well as the smaller parish coun­cils around the bor­ough.

“As you know, in this fi­nan­cial cli­mate ev­ery­one is asked for con­tri­bu­tions to fund schemes such as coastal de­fence.

“If we want ex­tra salt bins the town coun­cils or the parish coun­cils have to ask for them or to fund them, and then they’re asked if they want to take over toi­lets, or con­trib­ute to the toi­lets.

“The list goes on.

“As Scar­bor­ough has no town coun­cil there is no-one to ask. I think, and many other res­i­dents around the bor­ough think, it’s to­tally un­fair.

“Ask­ing [them] for fund­ing or to run things when Scar­bor­ough town does not con­trib­ute to any­thing like [Whitby and Fi­ley] have been asked to con­trib­ute.

“To do it the town and parish coun­cils have to raise a pre­cept, then res­i­dents in th­ese ar­eas have to pay as well for Scar­bor­ough, where is the fair­ness in this?”

He asked port­fo­lio holder Cllr San­dra Turner to bring a re­port back to cab­i­net to see if there was a “fairer” way of mov­ing for­ward.

Cllr Turner, who also rep­re­sents a Whitby ward, said she “agreed with the points made” and said it was “very wor­thy” of of­fi­cers time .

The pro­posal was also sup­ported by Fi­ley ward’s Cllr Mike Cock­er­ill and in­de­pen­dent Bar­row­cliff Coun­cil­lor Bill Chatt, who said that Scar­bor­ough should be able to raise its own pre­cepts to fund work it wants do­ing.

He added: “Peo­ple might say it’s about try­ing to get more power but it’s not, it is about be­ing fair-handed across the board.

“In th­ese eco­nomic times, I think it’s only fair that Scar­bor­ough town, which has the largest pop­u­la­tion, would be able to con­trib­ute money if they had a parish coun­cil and I just think it would be a fairer way to move for­ward.”

Leader, Cllr Derek Bas­ti­man, who rep­re­sents Scalby ward, added: “It’s only right and proper, in my opin­ion, that there is [a parish coun­cil] as why should the ru­ral parishes – and towns as well – why should they be ex­pected to sup­port devel­op­ment pro­pos­als, im­prove­ments, what­ever, within the bor­ough?

“We’ve said be­fore it is dou­ble tax­a­tion.”

How­ever, the plans have not been uni­ver­sally wel­comed.

One Con­ser­va­tive coun­cil­lor told The Scar­bor­ough News: “This has been tried be­fore and roundly re­jected so I don’t know why it would make any dif­fer­ence this time.

At a time when were are about to cut the num­ber of bor­ough coun­cil­lors to 40 to save money I don’t un­der­stand why you would then want to cre­ate a new parish coun­cil with 15 to 20 mem­bers and all the costs and ex­penses or al­lowances that would fol­low.”

Labour leader Cllr Steve Sid­dons said he would need to see the de­tails of any changes be­fore the party de­cided if it was a cause of ac­tion worth tak­ing.

He said: “Any­thing that leads to more open­ness and trans­parency should be wel­comed but we re­ally need to see the de­tails of the plans and whether it is the best course of ac­tion for res­i­dents.

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