Harrogate set to appoint a new leader

The leader of Harrogate Borough Council has been replaced following a vote by members of the ruling Conservative group.

Conservatives have voted to elect Coun Richard Cooper as its leader replacing the former leader Coun Anthony Alton as their leader. The local Conservative Group’s decision is expected to be ratified at the annual council meeting on June 12, with Coun Cooper set to become council leader.

Coun Cooper said today: “We are entering different times with different challenges.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A planning inspector recently said the authority’s local plan, a planning blueprint which offers sites for potential redevelopment, did not have enough space earmarked for housing and employment opportunities, causing concerns from local members. However Coun Cooper said fresh ideas were now needed.

“The council’s request for a suspension of the Sites and Policies Development Plan Document Public Examination has been rejected by the Planning Inspector, and therefore we need fresh ideas as we develop a new Local Plan,” Coun Cooper added.

“My politics are simple. I believe in communities, partnerships and solutions. I want to work with people, to take them with me, to listen and to persuade.”