North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe has resigned as a councillor on Harrogate Borough Council.
The news has not been publicly announced yet. However, the council’s website confirms she is no longer a councillor.
The Stray Ferret was alerted to the news by another councillor and has attempted to contact Ms Metcalfe directly, as well as the Office of the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and Harrogate Borough Council for further details. So far only Harrogate Borough Council has replied to clarify there won’t be a by-election.
A spokesman said:
“Under the terms of the Structural Changes Order we are unable to run by-elections to fill vacancies arising after September 30, unless the total number of unfilled vacancies exceeds one third of the whole number of members. Therefore there will not be a by-election for this seat.”
Ms Metcalfe, a Conservative, was elected to the £74,000 commissioner’s role in November last year after her predecessor Philip Allott resigned.
At the time she represented Claro on Harrogate Borough Council and Knaresborough on North Yorkshire County Council.
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She did not seek re-election to the county council in May’s local elections but retained her borough council seat. Her departure today comes four months to the day before the borough council is abolished to make way for the new North Yorkshire Council.
Ms Metcalfe has strong local connections: she was born in Ripon and now lives in Aldborough, near Boroughbridge.
She joined the Conservatives in 2014 and has twice stood unsuccessfully for Parliament: first in Doncaster Central and then in Leeds West.
A fire service review she led this year generated controversy because of its decision to reduce the number of fire engines stationed at Harrogate from two to one overnight.