Local elections called off – as battle over future of councils heats up

23 Feb 2021 @ 4.59 pm
| Politics

The Government has said North Yorkshire’s two-tier councils must end to make way for unitary local government, which will they say will unlock the door to a devolution deal.

It has now begun an eight-week consultation on how vital services such as adult social care, children’s services, roads and transport, planning and waste collection and recycling will be delivered across the county and in York too.

It means that elections to the current county council (Not including the City of York) will be called off for now. 

The Government is consulting on two options:

  • A single North Yortkshire council for the whole county, replacing the district councils like Selby and Ryedale (But not including York) This would work alongside City of York Council. This option is supported by City of York Council and the current North Yorkshire admistration.
  • Option Two would involve splitting the county in two – West North Yorkshire and East North Yorkshire including York. City of York

Elections will also be held on Thursday 6 May 2021, so you can have your say on who represents you locally and as Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire (as well as another election for the role in East Yorkshire too) 

Ryedale Council Leader Keane Duncan supports Option 2. Here is is speaking on YorkMix Radio

Keane Duncan, leader of Ryedale District Council, argues that Option Two is the best because it’s the only one that will work for both councils.

He says Option One would mean creating the largest council ever in England and he thinks that would be a bad move.

“Two brand new councils will be large enough to be efficient and small enough to keep local links”

County Council Leader Carl Les supports the single unitary council idea – Option One

Cllr Les said: “With a single council we can have the best of both worlds – strong services and a council that is locally responsive. We are proposing a revolution in localism, with local accountability, local access and local action.”

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council said: “York is a unique, self-governing and historic city, and as such we do not believe that any wasteful changes to our structures or boundaries are required.

Any other model of local government would fail to effectively represent York’s history, communities and the unique characteristics of the city.

Having campaigned for a fair deal for York, we would be deeply concerned about any prospect of decisions that affect our city being taken in Scarborough, Northallerton or Selby, by people that know little about our city or its local communities.”

Read more about the consultation on the Government Website here