Knaresborough council has ‘long shopping list’ of services it could deliver
Last updated Sep 15, 2023
Conyngham Hall
Should Conyngham Hall be run by Knaresborough Town Council?

Knaresborough Town Council is optimistic it can run services and assets as part of North Yorkshire Council’s double devolution agenda.

North Yorkshire Council has promised to hand more powers to parish councils through its policy of double devolution — and a pilot scheme is set to start next year.

Town councillor David Goode said this week Knaresborough has a “long shopping list” of assets or services it could deliver as part of the programme.

It has already submitted an expression of interest in running the town’s weekly Wednesday market for the double devolution pilot.

Cllr Goode’s comments came during a presentation to North Yorkshire Council’s Harrogate and Knaresborough area constituency committee on Thursday.

The town council, which is on the same level of local government as parish councils, currently charges a council tax precept of £25.85 per household a year for band D properties.

This allows it to provide services including Christmas lights, put on some local events and offer grant support to local charities. It also runs assets including two allotments, a playing field and Knaresborough Wellbeing Hub.

Cllr Goode said potential future options under double devolution included running public toilets, car parks, civic buildings like Conyngham Hall and Knaresborough House or leisure facilities like Knaresborough Pool.

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He also said the town council was considering utilising Localism Act 2011 legislation to take control of community assets.

But he added any asset transfer between North Yorkshire Council to Knaresborough Town Council must be supported by residents.

He said:

“If we’re going to keep community enthusiasm for this programme, residents have to see positive results. We need to walk before we can run. We need to balance services that are potential revenue generators with those that are just a cost on the council.

“This assumes any transfer from North Yorkshire Council comes with funding to maintain the current service levels that it’s run at. Where there is potential to invest, the cost has to be justified and taken only after full consultation with local residents.”

In November, North Yorkshire Council will choose up to six councils that will be part of the double devolution pilot.

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