About Us

We are a group of local people, residents of Whitby and District, concerned about the direction of the development of our area. We try to cover the whole of Whitby and District in terms of our campaigns. The group originated via a Facebook group in January 2022, starting to get organised around April 2022. We aim to constitute the groups status in the near future, be it as a CIO, CIC or other such structure.

Our work can be split into these categories

  • Communication with residents. We hold public meetings, one per month (except August and December), and these meetings are regularly attended by representatives past and present from local councils, as well as residents groups from east and west of Whitby, and many more besides. Meetings usually have guest speakers on a topic. All meetings are apolitical, putting party politics to a side and concentrating on facts and what can be done to improve the district. If you are a Whitby and District resident, come along to one of our meetings and listen, or, better still, ask questions.
  • Documenting the situation. Where something has an impact on the life of residents, as a basis for comment, we document the current situation. This is provided via a website, and via social media to draw attention to the website. All documentation of the current state is based against factual definitive public domain references. This serves as part of the process of communication with the resident, as well as the basis for making a proposal to improve the situation. Where we need to better understand the current situation and how people feel about it, we will perform consultation (such as the Vision for Whitby exercise in May 2023).
  • Analysis and proposal generation. Where an aspect of life in our district is seen as problematic we utilise our understanding of the current situation, together with all available definitive data, and perform a level of analysis to try to determine a best way forward, to improve life for the resident. This will involve consultation with residents, as well as providers of services (e.g councils, transport providers, education providers, business etc). We welcome the involvement of residents in the analysis/proposal phase particularly if the person has essential skills / experience in that aspect of life.
  • Campaigning for change. Our analysis and proposals inevitably requires campaigning for change, be it on a local, regional or national level. Campaigns can be as simple as email or social media interaction, or they can be more focussed. We welcome involvement of residents in this.

In terms of where Whitby Community Network (WCN) fits in relative to local councils, this figure aims to show the relationships

Note that Whitby Community Network is distinct from a town/parish Council. Some differences are

  • Whitby Community Network covers the area of multiple town/parish councils.
  • Whitby Community Network actively campaigns for change in an area, performing forward planning, whilst a town/parish council has the power to request a few specific things only and doesn’t campaign as such.
  • Whitby Community Network meetings allow all residents to be heard and to participate in a debate about issues, whereas a town/parish council meeting simply has a limited time slot for a few members of the public speak for 3 minutes before a meeting, and they cannot participate in any debate, only councillors can do that.
  • A town/parish council manages (limited) assets and services, whereas Whitby Community Network does not manage assets as such.

Terms Of Reference

This group was set up to support, enable and empower the Whitby and District community including residents, businesses and local organisations. This will offer a network for the community to build a sustainable future for current and future residents and businesses of Whitby and District. The opportunity has arisen partly from trying to coordinate the number of housing pressure groups set up in Whitby and following the decision to form the new North Yorkshire unitary Council in 2023, who’s aim is to devolve more powers to districts centred around market town areas.

The key issues are currently:-

  • the lack of suitable and affordable housing for residents and key workers in the area
  • the limited green spaces in Whitby which are under threat of development, with the main areas not fully accessible to all
  • an infrastructure which is not sustainable
  • an education system that does not support the local population
  • the lack of a strategy to deliver a highly skilled, motivated and productive workforce
  • a health and social care system that does not support the local population
  • the lack of a strategic plan for harbour land
  • the lack of a sustainable Neighbourhood Plan


To develop a strong local community working with residents, local businesses and community groups, together with collaboration with local councils, based on transparency, democracy, localism, and community action in order to protect the historic nature of the town, to build a strong local economy and to provide a sustainable future for Whitby and District.


  • Raise awareness of local issues, including with local councils
  • Provide a forum for residents and businesses where local voices can be heard and listened to
  • Collaborate with other community, ecological and volunteer groups in the local area
  • Influence and work with councils and public bodies by designing local solutions
  • Enable and empower the community to take positive action through such activities as social action and civic engagement
  • Provide support with information, advice, guidance, learning and development opportunities
  • Strengthen local accountable democracy


There is no membership as such. Members of the public can get involved as follows
Meetings : open to anyone living or working in the Whitby and District area (approximately of the four unitary wards of Whitby West, Streonshalh, Esk Valley and Coast, Danby and Mulgrave), those interested in joining us, or by invitation where required.
Committee / Working Parties : those with skills required by the WCN will be voted / co-opted on a needs basis as the organisation develops from both within and external to the local community.
Formal Membership : to be considered once this becomes a formally recognised group.

Trustee Meetings

We hold meetings of trustees at intervals where we discuss matters arising from the group, and to define direction.

Trustees are currently

  • Marie McCrone (Chair)
  • Rob McCrone (Treasurer)
  • Joyce Stangoe (Secretary)
  • Sue Boyce
  • Andy Jefferson
  • Heather Relf
  • Mark Young

and, additionally, other community members (including councillors) are often invited to trustee meetings where appropriate.

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Data Transparency and Accuracy

Where we make use of data on this website, we will always define the origin of that data, and where we make any calculations / analysis using that data we will make the data available for download, typically in spreadsheet format, so that readers of this site can perform their own analysis. Whilst the UK Government has made strides in open data usage, the same cannot be said for local councils; perhaps they can learn from us in this respect.

All data downloadable from this website is “Copyright © Whitby Community Network“. Whilst this data can be utilised / published by third parties, it must always attribute credit to Whitby Community Network.

If you notice any factual / data errors in pages on this website, please report them to us, with a description of the webpage with the error, what you think is incorrect and, where possible, a link to an official document / website where the updated (correct) data can be found. 

We must stress that accuracy is of vital importance to us, and we take great care over what information we utilise, and a reputation for presenting factual information is key. With that in mind, baseless accusations about this group, either on posts on this website or on social media, will be challenged by us and, should we have evidence that the accusation is indeed without merit, we reserve the right to block users.


We do not feel that we can necessarily achieve all that we want to achieve on our own. For that reason we are open to partnering with other groups if it will help us achieve goals for the residents of Whitby and District. Below are some of the partnerships that we have entered into

Partnered with Cycling UK in the Cycle Advocacy Network to be the partner organisation for the Whitby and District area.

Whitby Community Network trustees and members of the public in our sub-group are on the steering group for the 20s Plenty for North Yorkshire campaign.

Whitby & Esk Valley Active Travel are working to promote and facilitate active travel in the Whitby and District area, and are a registered charity, established in 2024.

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