North Yorkshire County Council has now sent the government its bid for a mega-council, paired with the significantly smaller City of York unitary. The six district and borough councils of Craven, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby have submitted an alternative proposal for an “East and West” model of two unitary councils of a similar population and economic size. This would see Craven, Harrogate, Richmondshire and Hambleton join together to form a unitary council in the west, and Selby, York, Ryedale and Scarborough join together to form a unitary council in the east.
Hambleton District Council voted not to submit any proposal, nevertheless we felt you should still be given the option to take part in any consultations, which is the reason for writing to you now.
The East and West unitary will provide the strongest approach to unlocking devolution – potentially worth billions to the region in investment – whilst also being the optimum size for effective strategic and local service delivery to citizens and communities. The model also offers the opportunity to improve services and efficiencies in York.
We are now working on our full proposals, which will be submitted to government on 9 December. In the full proposals we will set out how we will ensure strong local representation through local area committees. Town and Parish will be an integral part of the new structure, and there is also the opportunity to take on more devolved powers for those that wish to do so.
It is important that any proposal has strong public support and Town and Parish Councils are a crucial part of that. Many of you have already engaged with us, shared your views and helped us to shape the outline East and West model. We are very grateful for this.
If your Town or Parish Council would now like to indicate support for the East and West proposal, there are two ways to do it.
- You can participate in our market research question HERE. This asks you to whether you prefer the unitary model put forward by the County Council (a very large North Yorkshire-wide unitary, paired with the very small unitary City of York), or the East and West balanced unitaries model put forward by the six district and borough councils.
- You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org expressing your support.
Please remember that we do need your comments by the end of November to include in our final full submission to Government.
Thank you very much for engaging with this important issue, and we look forward to hearing your views over the next couple of weeks.
Councillor Keane Duncan
Leader, Ryedale District Council
on behalf of the six districts and borough councils