Knaresborough Town Council
Knaresborough Town Council is a Parish Council that has, like many of the large urban parishes, resolved to be known as a Town Council, which carries the right to a Town Mayor instead of a Chairman.
Knaresborough Town Council was created in 1974 as successor to the former Knaresborough Urban District Council. Although it is styled as a Town Council, it has the same status in law as a Parish Council.
Knaresborough is one of the 143 parishes within the Harrogate Borough Council area, which includes Ripon, Pateley Bridge and Boroughbridge. The Town Council has 15 members (Councillors) with 5 Councillors representing each of the three wards in the town, Knaresborough King James Ward, Knaresborough East Ward and Knaresborough Scriven Park Ward.
Elections to Knaresborough Town Council are keenly contested by all major political parties as well as by independents. There are fifteen Town Councillors who are elected to serve for a four-year term of office: the most recent elections taking place in May 2015. The Councillors appoint one of their number to serve as Mayor for a one-year term of office. The Town Mayor is both the political leader of the Council (chairing Council meetings) and the Civic head (representing the Town at public events). The current Mayor is Councillor Bill Rigby.
None of our Town Councillors receive an income from their role as Town Councillors. They are able to claim expenses for any official business but in theory very few ever have.
The Council currently has three part-time employees: The Town Clerk, the Deputy Clerk and an Office Assistant, all of whom are based in an office at Knaresborough House. Town Council staff are expected to be completely politically neutral.
Town and Parish Councils have a limited range of powers but are consulted about, and can influence decisions on, a wide range of functions and services outside their control. Much of the Council’s work involves lobbying Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council on behalf of the Town. The Council presently owns allotment land at Bilton Hall Drive and Stockwell Road, King George V Playing Field and Knaresborough Community Centre.
The Town Council meets in the Council Chamber every two weeks at present. There are also several Committees and Working Groups, which meet regularly or whenever there is business to discuss. Meetings are held on a Monday evening commencing at 7.30pm.
Knaresborough Town Council is funded by its Parish Precept which forms part of the Council Tax. This income is used to fund the running of the office, community projects and also provides small grants to local community groups.