North Yorkshire County Council is proposing to merge all North Yorkshire councils into one mega-sized council covering 615,000 residents across a geography of more than 8000 square kilometers. York would remain a separate (and very much smaller) neighbour, isolated from the wider county. Both unitaries would then come together as a combined authority under an elected mayor. The combined authority would be the vehicle for a devolution deal.
Leaders of the seven district and borough councils in North Yorkshire are opposed to this “mega-sized” model as they do not believe it will offer the best deal for businesses and our economy either now, or in future years.
It would create a single massive bureaucracy (the largest unitary authority in England) remote from local businesses and the economy.
• It would diminish the level of representation and influence businesses could have on key decisions affecting their future. Under the County’s model, the number of elected members would reduce by more than two thirds making businesses’ access to representation more difficult (especially given our rural geography) whilst councillors would struggle to make their voice heard in one large pool of elected members.
• It would create a huge imbalance between North Yorkshire and York in the combined authority. Either North Yorkshire would overpower its much smaller neighbour (to York’s detriment) or some artificial level of equality would have to be imposed, giving York an undue level of power over the wider geography. Both would cause difficulties for a future mayor, and risk distracting the combined authority from the vital role of driving economic growth for our region.
Read more information in the Mark Goldstone, West and North Yorkshire Chamber, Head of Policy at the Chamber
Get Change Right Business is another document containing further information. You can help to decide how this happens. Find out more about what’s proposed and how to make it work best for your business.