Following a full Parish Council meeting where residents were offered the opportunity to have their say on Town Council status, Sherburn in Elmet Parish Council has unanimously agreed to rename itself as Sherburn in Elmet Town Council.
Residents were invited to attend the meeting with councillors or submit any questions or concerns via email, social media, or letter, before a decision was made.
Town Council Chairman Gary Limbert said that residents’ responses were in the main very positive about the change, although some wanted to know what it would mean for the village, however it was accepted that Sherburn in Elmet is now larger than many other Town and Parish Councils within North Yorkshire.
There are in fact 731 parishes in North Yorkshire including 25 Town and 129 Parish Councils, Sherburn is now the 10th largest in North Yorkshire with a population in excess of 8,000 and growing, with new housing developments still to be completed! It is also the biggest employer within Selby District, and probably North Yorkshire, mainly at the industrial park and the newly developing Sherburn2 business park.
The Town Council does appreciate that many old and new residents want to live in a semi-rural location and to be part of a thriving community, this will not change, and even though Sherburn in Elmet has increased in size, through population, housing development and employment, it still has a thriving and passionate community.
Sherburn in Elmet County Councillor Bob Packham said that the decision to have a change in name to a Town Council was in large part linked to the decision being made by Central Government to change the system of County and District Councils in North Yorkshire and will see the old system significantly change from 1st April 2023.
The changes will include a single unitary council for North Yorkshire, with the exception of York City Council, which will remain as a separate unitary council. This will mean that all current district councils, including Selby District Council will no longer exist. The new North Yorkshire Council will have 90 unitary councillors, being those elected as county councillors in May this year, to represent people across North Yorkshire. Where previously Sherburn had 3 Selby District Councillors and 1 County Councillor we will now have just a single North Yorkshire Councillor. Our North Yorkshire Councillor, representing Sherburn in Elmet and Huddleston and Newthorpe until May 2027 is Bob Packham, who can be contacted at: Cllr.Bob.Packham@northyorks.gov.uk
In short, the new single unitary council will have control over council tax, so rates will be standardised across the county instead of being set by the local district councils. Councillors are working to ensure that the new council will retain a local office at the current Selby District Council offices to offer face to face “expertise and advice”. It is likely that the new Council will look to devolve (hand down) powers to Town and Parish Councils to run and manage assets and services in their local areas “where they want to”, and to maintain community run services such as Sherburn and Villages Library.
There will be one website to visit and one phone number to call for information and to report issues and concerns. Communities will be supported by a new partnership that bring together residents, councillors at all levels, PP’s, businesses, community groups, the NHS and emergency services.
North Yorkshire Council are wanting to work in partnerships with forward thinking local councils, and these are likely to be the larger town councils of North Yorkshire, the Town Council wants and needs to be key in these conversations and decision making.
There will also be area committees made of councillors local to their area, and they will make some local decisions and hold the new council to account. The boundaries for the area committees have yet to be determined.
The services you rely on will continue, and local people will have a voice in their shape, and if you do need to contact the council there will be simple ways to do so.
Many of the Town Council owned facilities and amenities are or have been managed and run by local community groups and/or organisations, thus letting the community decided what is better for them, these include sporting facilities like Football, Rugby, Bowls, Tennis, Angling etc all are run and managed by local community volunteers. Other amenities and services like the local Library and two Community Centres are also run and managed by many volunteers and paid staff.
The help and support from the Town Council for these facilities, amenities and services will not alter, in fact the Town Council hopes that it will improve greatly, with increased designated funding now available to apply for.
If you have any questions or concerns that you would like to discuss then please don’t hesitate to contact you’re your local County Councillor Bob Packham Cllr.Bob.Packham@northyorks.gov.uk or Sherburn in Elmet Town Council Chairman firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01977 681024.