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Scarborough Council Accounts Could Be Signed Off

Scarborough Council Accounts Could Be Signed Off

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Carl Gavaghan at 12:03pm 18th October 2019.

A resolution is in sight for a long-running saga which has seen Scarborough Council’s accounts for the last four years left in limbo.

The council’s 2017/18, 2016/17 and 2015/16 accounts were held up as the authority is locked in a legal challenge with a group of residents over how it classifies income and expenditure from Whitby harbour.

Earlier this year, it was confirmed that the 2018/19 accounts had also been caught up in the row.

The challenge has come from the Fight4Whitby pressure group which launched a legal challenge in 2016 citing the 1905 Whitby Urban District Council Act, which stated that income from Whitby harbour must be ring-fenced for use within the harbour.

Now, in a report to go before the council’s Audit committee on Thursday next week, external auditor Mazars states that there could be an outcome as soon as this month.

It adds:

“Following our work in response to the complaint from an elector which has recently included further procedures to review relevant records of the council including the county archives and assess the impact of legislation, a revised provisional view has been drafted and this is currently under technical review.

Our current expectation is that the provisional view will be issued by the end of October and the complainant and the council will have three weeks to respond.”

Scarborough Council has always denied the claims of the Fight 4 Whitby Group and is now in the process of making a Harbour Revision Order to clearly set out the boundary of the Whitby Harbour and council land. The order would not affect the historic position relating to the accounts but could help to prevent any future legal challenges.

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