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The future of the Dunsforths' Parish Meeting

» Posted in Village Meeting on Fri 10th Jan, 2020

You may be aware that save for a few loyal souls the Parish Meeting, which exists to handle local administrative issues, is not well supported. In addition, no successor to Nic Holmes as Chair has been identified from the 200+ existing electors.

Further to consideration at the December 2019 Parish Meeting and after discussions within Harrogate Borough Council (HBC), it seems that the best way to deal with the current situation is to conduct a Community Governance Review (CGR). CGR’s provide an opportunity to make changes to the community governance arrangements of a parish/parishes. This can lead to the abolition of a parish, the creation of new parishes or the merging of a number of parishes etc. The initial thoughts are that the Parish of Dunsforths should either be grouped or merged with a neighbouring Parish. 

The review takes a number of months to complete and involves various stages including a consultation with electors. In starting a review imminently, HBC would aim to have the review completed and signed off at their full Council meeting in December 2020. 

The process is as follows (please note that the dates are indicative only and may change depending on circumstances):

  • ·         A report setting out the terms of reference for the review will first be taken to the General Purposes Committee at Harrogate Borough Council in March.
  • ·         This will then be put before full Council in April for approval.
  • ·         Over the next couple of months the draft recommendations will be drawn up following consultation with a representative from Dunsforth Parish Meeting, neighbouring parishes, Cllr Myatt, Cllr Windass and any other local stakeholders.
  • ·         The draft recommendations will then be taken back before the General Purposes Committee for approval in June.
  • ·         Once the recommendations have been agreed HBC will publish them along with consultation documents.
  • ·         A consultation will then take place over the summer months (exact dates tbc)
  • ·         Once the consultation has concluded the above stakeholders will analyse the results and draft final recommendations.
  • ·         The General Purposes Committee will consider the matter in November before full Council makes the final decision in December, ready for implementation the following May (2021).

In order to proceed with the CGR, Nic Holmes has confirmed to HBC that he is prepared to stay on as Chairman and act as the Parish spokesperson until the review is complete. However, because of his other commitments all other Parish administrative duties will be limited to essential functions only with effect from the AGM in May 2020.

If you have any questions or would like any further information, please feel free to get in touch at dunsforthvm@gmail.com. In the meantime, the process outlined above will begin in January/February 2020.

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