North Yorkshire Councillors have made a visit to Scarborough and Whitby harbours following the reorganisation of local government.

Due to the transition from eight county, borough and district councils to one unitary authority in North Yorkshire, the new Council is now responsible for business and economic development, which includes harbours.

Members of the Transition and Local Government Reorganisation Overview and Scrutiny Committee together with Councillors on the Scarborough and Whitby Area Constituency Committee met in Scarborough and Whitby this week in a fact-finding mission.

The group of Councillors started the day by visiting Whitby Harbour and the location of the proposed Whitby Maritime Training Hub, which will be a centre of excellence for the maritime industry as part of Whitby Town Deal. They also met the team at Whitby Lobster Hatchery.

In the afternoon, the local Councillors went to see the site of the Scarborough Harbour West Pier regeneration project, which is receiving a contribution from Scarborough Town Deal.

The Chair of the Council's Transition Committee, Councillor Malcolm Taylor, said: "Due to the recent changes to the structure of local government across North Yorkshire and the full set of responsibilities of the new Council, members of our Committee felt that it is important to organise this day-long visit to find out more about the issues facing our fishing community on the ground and also to learn about the priorities and needs of businesses that operate in coastal areas."

Councillor Bryn Griffiths, Vice Chair of the Transition Committee, added: “This was a great opportunity to visit the Scarborough and Whitby harbours and understand some of the significant issues affecting these communities. The visits provided the local background needed to understand the potential growth opportunities to support communities and businesses alike.”

Member of Scarborough and Whitby Area Constituency Committee, Councillor Neil Swannick, commented: “Scarborough and Whitby Committee covers a large part of the North Yorkshire coast, including the harbours in Scarborough and in Whitby, and we regularly deal with issues specific to our coastal communities. We were very happy to accept the invitation to join the visits with our fellow Councillors.”

Councillor Janet Jefferson who represents the Castle division in Scarborough said: “Having been a portfolio holder for harbours at Scarborough Borough Council, I am passionate about the success of our fishing community and a staunch campaigner for more investment in maintaining our local heritage economy. I was delighted that Councillors from other areas in North Yorkshire have visited our local harbours.”

North Yorkshire Councillor George Jabbour, who is also a member of the North York Moors National Park Authority, added: “In addition to the stunning coast, National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, North Yorkshire has vibrant and thriving towns and economic centres. Therefore, it is incumbent on us as local representatives to champion the interests of the diverse communities across our county."