Local activists are taking legal action against Scarborough Borough Council over the condition of tourist attractions in the historic port of Whitby.
The Fight4Whitby campaign group argues that the Whitby Urban District Council Act 1905 remains in force and requires all revenue raised from the town's harbours to be used for their improvement.
It argues that Scarborough has put the money raised into its general fund for spending across the district, instead of using it towards match funding the £4m offered by central government to renovate Whitby's harbour and piers. There is also concern about whether the council will keep the town's tourist information centre open.
The group is seeking to raise £50,000 for a legal challenge to the council. It said in a statement: “A lively, working, historic harbour is our key visitor attraction. It is time to take action to stop the rot.”
Lisa Dixon, a director of the council and its solicitor, said: “We can confirm that we are in private correspondence with the legal representative of Whitby and District Tourism Association and the Fight4Whitby group about their claims.
“We remain committed to ensuring the best value for money for taxpayers across our borough through the services that we provide, but it would not be appropriate to comment further on these particular claims at this time.”