Pat Marsh removed from Harrogate and Knaresborough planning committee
Feb 22, 2024
Conservative John Mann will replace Lib Dem Pat Marsh.

Councillors voted to remove Pat Marsh from the Harrogate and Knaresborough planning committee yesterday.

It follows comments Cllr Marsh made on social media platform X that were widely condemned as antisemitic and led to her suspension by the Liberal Democrats.

Cllr Marsh, who didn’t attend yesterday’s full meeting of North Yorkshire Council in Northallerton, chaired the council’s Harrogate and Knaresborough planning committee, which determines significant planning applications in the area.

Councillors from across the floor agreed it would be “inappropriate” for her to continue in the role or sit on the committee.

Cllr Michael Harrison, a Conservative who represents Killinghall, Hampsthwaite and Saltergate, put forward the proposal.

He said:

“I’m sure members are aware of a controversial issue affecting Cllr Marsh this week. It’s fair to say many of us were genuinely shocked by events, she serves on the planning committee and chairs it but it’s no longer appropriate for her to do either. It’s important we move swiftly.

“I think it’s in the public interest we make these changes now and the public would expect us to.”

The move was supported by all of the Liberal Democrats, with High Harrogate and Kingsley councillor Chris Aldred adding:

“It is totally inappropriate for Cllr Marsh to maintain as chair and sit on that committee.”

As part of the vote, councillors also chose Cllr John Mann, a Conservative who represents Pannal & Oatlands, as the new chair.

He was previously planning committee chair on the defunct Harrogate Borough Council.

Cllr Aldred will be the new deputy chair and Cllr Michael Schofield, independent councillor for Harlow and St Georges, will replace Cllr Marsh on the committee.

It means the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats now have three councillors each on the committee.

The next meeting of the planning committee is on Tuesday in Harrogate.

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