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COUNCIL SUBMITS RESPONSE TO CONSULTATION ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT REORGANISATION FOR NORTH YORKSHIRE

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A response to the Government’s consultation on local government reorganisation for North Yorkshire has been submitted.

At a meeting of full Council held last week, elected members were asked to determine a response from Hambleton District Council, to the Secretary of State’s consultation on proposals for a unitary local government in York and North Yorkshire.

Council agreed the current way in which local council services are being delivered in Hambleton, continues to be the preferred option. However, the consultation offers only two options, both of which are unitary models.

It was agreed that if the current arrangement is not an option, they would call for the option which will provide the best possible service to residents of Hambleton and the option which will limit job loss in the Hambleton district to be taken forward.

In February the government launched the consultation, which is based upon two proposals, received in December:

  • Six of the seven districts within North Yorkshire, proposed two unitary councils (East and West) – the East comprising Ryedale, Scarborough, Selby districts and the current unitary of York, and the West comprising Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate and Richmondshire districts.
  • North Yorkshire County Council proposed a single unitary on the footprint of the existing administrative county, to operate alongside the existing unitary City of York Council.

As part of the consultation the government is seeking views on both options and welcomes views from any interested parties including residents. The consultation closed yesterday.

The Government will now decide, subject to parliamentary approval, which, if any, proposals are to be implemented, with or without modification.

Leader of Hambleton District Council, Councillor Mark Robson said: “As Leader of this council, I continue to firmly believe that the way we currently deliver council services to local businesses and residents is the best one.

“Hambleton residents currently enjoy the third lowest council tax in the country and the lowest in North Yorkshire. I’ve no doubt, should the status quo be replaced by a unitary authority, that residents will see a significant rise in their council tax bill at the same time as a reduced, more remote and less responsive local council service.

“Although the status quo is not an option we are being consulted on, I feel it’s important we reiterate our preference to stay as we are, in our response to government, as well as making it clear that if we don’t have any choice other than the two unitary models put forward, that the option government elect to go with must be the one which provides the best service for residents, businesses and visitors and protects the most jobs in the Hambleton district going forward.

“At Council last week, it should be noted all Councillors present, including the Leader and Deputy Leader of North Yorkshire County Council, voted unanimously in favour of this response to government, showing the strength of feeling on this.

“I stand by what I have always said; I cannot support anything that will be detrimental to the residents of Hambleton and a move from a two tier locally responsive council service to any unitary model can only be a backward step in terms of a quality, effective, value for money council service for Hambleton.”

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