Everyone should be able to have their say on the future of local councils in North Yorkshire and York
District and borough councils are striving to tackle concerns that people may be missing the chance to take part in a Government consultation on the future of local government in North Yorkshire and York.
The Government has said local government in North Yorkshire and York must be reorganised to form one-tier, unitary authorities – and is currently holding a consultation on two separate proposals that have been put forward. The consultation ends on April 19.
- The six district and borough councils of Craven, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby have joined together to propose an East & West model of local government. Craven, Harrogate, Richmondshire and Hambleton would join together to form a unitary council in the West, with a population of 363,000, and Selby, City of York, Ryedale and Scarborough would form a unitary council in the East, with a population of 465,000.
- North Yorkshire County Council has submitted a proposal to form one council across the whole of North Yorkshire, with a population of 618,000, leaving York as a separate, small unitary authority with 211,000 residents.
The Government’s online consultation is available at https://consult.communities.gov.uk/governance-reform-and-democracy/northyorkshire/
However the district and borough councils are concerned that people who do not have access to the internet, or who may need the consultation in other formats, may be missing out, particularly as most public buildings are currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
If any member of the public needs a paper copy of the consultation, or needs the consultation documents in another format, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Communications, Craven District Council, 1 Belle Vue Square, Broughton Road, Skipton, BD23 1FJ.
Councillor Richard Foster, Leader of Craven District Council, speaking on behalf of the district and borough councils, said: “We’re really keen to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to have their say in this important consultation.
“Reorganisation of councils will affect the lives of more than 800,000 people in North Yorkshire and York. The Government is about to decide how all your local services are going to be delivered in the future.
“The Government has chosen to hold the consultation at a difficult time, when our public buildings are closed and opportunities to promote the consultation are limited. In ‘normal times’ we would have been able to consult much more widely.
“Please do get in touch if you need help in responding to this consultation and are unable to do so online. We will do our very best to make sure your voice is heard.”
The district and borough council leaders are: Cllr Richard Foster (Craven), Cllr Richard Cooper (Harrogate), Cllr Angie Dale (Richmondshire), Cllr Steve Siddons (Scarborough) and Cllr Mark Crane (Selby).