Voters in Yarm have backed a call for the town to be removed from the control and administration of Stockton Borough Council and instead become the responsibility of North Yorkshire County Council and Hambleton District Council.
Some 1,465 electors voted in favour of the move, with just 177 rejecting the idea. The turnout at the poll, held on Tuesday (27 May), was 24.37%.
The vote is not legally binding. In addition to requiring the support of all councils involved, the move would also need a review by the Boundary Commission.
One of the organisers of the poll, Chris Johnson, told the Evening Gazette that the councils involved should “work out what, if any process, would be done”.
The paper said campaigners felt that Stockton had ignored people over issues such as parking and housing.
Cllr Bob Cook, Leader of Stockton, insisted that resident satisfaction levels in the council's area were high. He said there were times when the council – like all authorities – had to make difficult decisions, but it understood that people had strong views on parking and planning issues.
“These issues would have to be addressed by whichever local authority had responsibility for Yarm.”