THE attempt to moveYarmback under the control of a Yorkshire council has moved to the next phase.

YarmTown Council, which paid for a recent referendum on the issue, has now decided to ask Stockton Borough Council to refer the issue to the Government’s Boundary Commission.

Campaigners for the change were also boosted by the leader of North Yorkshire County Council, John Weighell, who said his personal view was that he would support Yarm joining his council.

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Stockton Borough Council could refuse the request, but some argue that would leave the authority looking undemocratic.

The idea is for Yarm, which has a relatively high number of council tax payers paying a higher rates, to join Hambleton District Council and North Yorkshire County Council. Those councils would also have to refer the issue to the Boundary Commission.

Only 24 per cent of eligible people voted in last month’s poll, but of those 89 per cent chose the ‘leave Stockton’ option.

People in the town have been upset by the introduction of pay and display parking on Yarm High Street and the large number of housing developments approved in the town and surrounding areas over the last two years.

A Yarm Town Council meeting on Tuesday voted to send a letter to Neil Schneider, the chief executive of Stockton Borough Council, asking him to confirm Stockton Borough Council will write to the boundary commission asking for a review.

Paul Smith, chairman of the Y4Y steering committee, said: “We are delighted that we have the full support of Yarm Town Council.”

A letter by John Weighell, leader of North Yorkshire County Council, sent to Yarm Residents Association that has been seen by The Northern Echo, said: “As a true Yorkshireman, I believe that Yorkshire starts at the River Tees and I fully support what you and your organisation are doing.

"However, this is a personal view and not my view as leader of the county council. To give the county council’s agreement, this legally would have to be a key decision made by the executive and possibly our full council meeting.”

Bob Cook, leader of Stockton Borough Council, said the council would consider what action to take after considering advice.

He went on to point out that professionally-commissioned opinion polls showed that in fact there was a high regard for services from Stockton Council.

He added that controversial pay-and-display parking had been introduced by Hambleton Council on Northallerton High Street, which was more expensive than in Yarm, and that national planning regulations are the same everywhere.