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Town dwellers seek Yorkshire tie-up
Nearly nine out of 10 residents in a market town have voted in favour of leaving industrial Teesside and rejoining more rural North Yorkshire.
Though not on the scale of the Scottish referendum, or the proposed question of leaving the EU, the issue of leaving Stockton Borough Council and becoming part of neighbouring Hambleton in North Yorkshire, has been a talking point in Yarm.
The town, which sits on the south bank of the Tees, is administered by Stockton Borough Council, although geographically it sits slightly apart from Middlesbrough's other satellites.
Tradionally, Yarm was part of Yorkshire until the re-organisation of local authority boundaries in the 1970s.
Yarm has a vibrant nightlife with bars which attract Premier League footballers from the North East's clubs. Former England boss Steve McClaren is a regular visitor to the High Street and has family living nearby.
The town has an independent school where Katherine Copeland, the Olympic gold winning rower was a pupil.
Last night a poll showed 1,465 people in the town voted to joined Hambleton, with 177 opting to stay in Stockton. Turnout was 24%.
The vote, called by the town council, is not legally binding.
Campaigners using the yarm4yorkshire twitter name disagree with how Stockton Borough Council has dealt with local issues such as parking and plans to build more homes.
Stockton Council leader Bob Cook said the local authority delivered "a huge range of very high quality services" and it remained committed to weekly refuse collections.
He said local people reported very high satisfaction levels with the council and added: "Of course, like all councils, there are times when we have to make difficult decisions and we absolutely understand that people have strong views on issues such as parking and on planning applications for new houses.
"But it's a fact of life that all local authorities have to ensure that they have proper parking arrangements in their towns and that they deal with planning applications for new houses in line with the National Planning Policy Framework.
"These issues would have to be addressed by whichever local authority had responsibility for Yarm."