EVEN though the realignment of local authority committees is not normally worthy of public comment, an exception deserves to be made for North Yorkshire County Council’s changes that have been instigated by its leader Carl Les.
By refining its area committees so they directly correlate with the area’s Parliamentary constituencies, the purpose is to make it easier to hold MPs to account and persuade them to use their position to influence the Government.
This is key. For some time, there’s been a sense that North Yorkshire’s MPs, who are all Tory with one exception in York, have not been sufficiently vocal when it comes to making sure that the county receives fair funding to cover 3,300 square miles and serve 1.15m residents.
It’s the same with devolution. With the notable exception of Scarborough and Whitby’s Robert Goodwill who has publicly backed the One Yorkshire campaign, his colleagues seem surprisingly reluctant to challenge the obfuscation of Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry who is intent on blocking the will of 18 councils and South Yorkshire’s mayor.
And, like their colleagues in West Yorkshire where the Tories lost ground at the last election, their indifference over the chaos on the region’s railways has been interpreted by voters as a positive endorsement of Chris Grayling at a time when residents want the Transport Secretary, and others, held to account.