SKIPTON Town Partnership exists to promote the economic prosperity of the town.

Now, in its second five-year term, it receives money from local businesses to fund projects that benefit the town and attract visitors.

Many events would struggle without its input.

The Yuletide Festival would be a much smaller affair and the Puppet Festival might not even happen as the partnership provides grant aid that allows it access to Arts Council funding.

It also pays for the Skipton Town Ambassadors, who provide help, advice and directions to visitors and keep a check on the local environment, looking out for litter, dog fouling, graffiti, fly-posting and other anti-social activities.

So far, so good, you might think.

However, all is not well as some businesses, mainly those outside the town centre, feel they are not getting value for money.

They cannot opt out of the scheme and, until the present term ends in 2019 and a new vote is taken, they are legally obliged to pay a levy of an extra one per cent on their business rates.

As a protest, 90 businesses – nearly 20 per cent of the total – failed to pay their contribution and were taken to court on Friday.

Four representatives even attended the hearing to publicly voice their concerns, saying parts of the town had been ignored and got absolutely no benefit from the partnership.

It should be a wake-up call for the group.

There is no doubting it does good work, but it has to embrace all the businesses in town, whether they are based on the High Street or in Devonshire Place.

By working together, they can make Skipton even stronger and add further vibrancy to a town which, in 2014, was voted the best place to live in Britain.