What do York’s party leaders think of the devolution plan?

York’s Liberal Democrat and Green Party groups – currently leading City of York Council – oppose plans for the council to merge with Scarborough, Selby and Ryedale councils under a proposed local government restructure.

But the Conservative group favours a merger, while the Labour group is against the planned merger, saying decisions about the city should be made here.

Keith Aspden – Liberal Democrats

Lib Dem council leader Keith Aspden says: “The ‘mega-council’ proposal fails to take into account the physical and economic geography of York and ignores the wishes of our residents, who rightly want decisions for York to be made in York, by people that understand our city and its communities.”

Paul Doughty – Conservatives

Conservative group leader Paul Doughty said: “The Lib Dems merely see the current set-up as their best chance of electoral success rather than what’s best for residents in the city and mercilessly use council communications to pump out their own propaganda at the expense of any real objective choice.”

“It’s a great shame they have refused to work with or have any meaningful discussion with the neighbouring district councils, who have been able to work together cross-party to help come up with this east / west model.”

Danny Myers – Labour

Labour group leader Danny Myers said:“Labour will not accept a Whitehall-imposed decision to merge York with authorities that it has little in common with, either its economy, its history or its values.

“We are listening to our communities across York and those in neighbouring areas, we are open to change, but not change of the sort that is not supported by residents’ natural sense of community.

York’s economy accounts for one-third of the total of North Yorkshire, we should make decisions about our future here and not as a combined East of North Yorkshire Council.”