North Yorkshire ‘super council’ would weaken democracy in York - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Coun Anne Hook, Deputy Leader, York Liberal Democrat Councillors, City of York Council.

The future of York is now caught up in North Yorkshire's devolution debate.

THE local government restructure proposals submitted by North Yorkshire’s district councils fail to recognise the needs of local communities, undermine local recovery efforts and weaken local decision making.

York’s Liberal Democrats oppose these plans, dreamt up by Conservative councillors desperate to save their declining influence.

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Pushing York and its villages into a distant, undemocratic and unaccountable ‘‘super’’ council stretching from the outskirts of Redcar and Cleveland to those of Doncaster, along the east coast, would undermine our pandemic recovery efforts in York, centralise decision-making, remove local accountability and weaken local community engagement.

What will be the end destination of North Yorkshire devolution?

The district council’s self-commissioned report fails to understand the physical and economic geography of York and North Yorkshire and ignores the wishes of York’s residents, over 1,000 of which have already backed York Liberal Democrats’ campaign against their proposals.

If the district leaders would have bothered to meaningfully consult us rather than simply disregard the views of the city’s residents, we would have made clear that any such change will have a detrimental impact on our city, its residents and businesses, as services would be further stretched and local accountability removed.

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.

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Thank you

James Mitchinson