Richmondshire parishes to be consulted on new charter

Reeth. Photo: North Yorkshire County Council.

A new charter is being drawn up with the aim of ensuring communities are best served with the launch of the new North Yorkshire Council.

The draft charter, which will define the relationship between North Yorkshire Council and parishes and establish how they work together for the benefit of communities, has been drawn up with the help of a working group including representatives from parishes.

North Yorkshire County Council’s executive will be asked on Tuesday, January 10, to endorse the draft charter and to give the go-ahead for a 12-week consultation on the proposal with all 731 parishes across the county, to ensure they all have the opportunity to comment on its contents.

The county council’s leader, Cllr Carl Les, who will lead North Yorkshire Council, said: “Parish and town councils are an important link in the chain of local government and have a vital role in acting on behalf of their communities.

“The new North Yorkshire Council is eager to work with parish and town councils across the county as a key aspect of its commitment to connect with local communities, understand their needs and respond to their priorities.”

Pledges from North Yorkshire Council in the draft charter include working with parishes to promote and protect social, economic and environmental wellbeing for the benefit of communities, engaging on issues that are likely to affect or be of particular interest to an area, consulting on planning, licensing and highways matters, and supporting parishes to maintain their own local services and assets if they wish to, and where it is practicable.

The county council’s executive member for stronger communities, Cllr Greg White, said: “We recognised from the outset in establishing the vision and aims of North Yorkshire Council that our communities are the lifeblood of the county. Each has its distinct attributes and needs, and parish and town councils are uniquely placed to understand and represent these.

“The draft charter is the first stage in a process and presents a framework for a partnership that can be built on as North Yorkshire Council develops and transforms over time.”

The new council will be launched on April 1 next year when North Yorkshire County Council and the existing seven district and borough authorities merge in the biggest shake-up of local government since 1974.

While the new authority will cover the largest geographical area of any of the nation’s councils as it will serve England’s biggest county, it aims to be the most local.

Subject to the executive’s decision, the aim would be to carry out the parish charter consultation early next year with a view to adopting the charter in June or July next year.