Town council to seek more powers - could devolution be the answer for Whitby?


Whitby Town Council has expressed an interest in taking on more powers, following comments from the town’s MP saying he would support such a move.

Robert Goodwill told the Gazette last week that the answer for Whitby moving forward could be to hand out more responsibility locally.

He said: “What I would like to see is Whitby Town Council taking over more powers, more town councils are taking on more local powers.

“I would be very happy to work with them to take on powers from the borough council.”

Town councillors voted on Tuesday to contact Mr Goodwill to discuss how they can take on greater responsibility.

Cllr Phil Trumper said: “It’s something that we have been talking about for quite a few years on this council – taking back more services and assets for the town, so the town can have more of a say in the town council.

“It’s local people at the town council so it would be local people running local services and assets.”

Cllr Trumper cited the town council taking over running of the public toilets and the old Spital Bridge refuse site being turned into a car park as two examples of initial steps they have made to take on more responsibility.

He added: “We need to start building on that and taking on more.”

Reflecting on calls for a town poll regarding Whitby potentially moving from Scarborough Council to the Tees Valley Authority, a statement from the Yorkshire Party said the party is unsurprised to learn of discontent towards Scarborough Council from Whitby, but added: “We don’t see Whitby’s future as part of the Tees Valley. We don’t see the Tees Valley as having a long-term future. It’s an unambitious, unloved city region created by London pen pushers.

“We see Whitby as part of a vibrant dynamic devolved Yorkshire and with enhanced powers of its own.”

Should Whitby run more of its own services locally, or do you think the current council set-up works?

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