RESIDENTS in North Yorkshire have voiced their concern over the council’s plans to unify saying that some areas “are going to miss out.”

The Northern Echo spoke to residents in Richmond ahead of the local election next week which is set to bring the region into an age of a new unitary authority.

It will see all seven district councils merge into one in April 2023

In North Yorkshire on May 5, like many other regions, residents will be voting for who they would like to represent them among 90 councillors for the next five years.

Read more: What you should know about next week's local elections (especially if you're in this area)

However, it was announced in July last year (2021) that a new single council would be formed to deliver all services across North Yorkshire on the footprint of the current county council with 89 new divisions.

The council will then become a new unitary authority on April 2023 with the name North Yorkshire Council.

Robert Glover, from Richmond however, said that he was against the new single council as he feels that some areas will become “anonymous.”

The Northern Echo: Robert GloverRobert Glover

He said: “I probably will be voting in the election next week, I tend to leave it to the last couple of days and read through all the stuff that’s come through the post and then do a comparison.

“Yeah I’m a bit against North Yorkshire Council becoming a single council to be honest, I just think that if you centralise everything then places become anonymous.”

Asked about any issues he felt where affecting Richmond currently and needed to be addressed, Mr Glover said “too much social housing” was a big problem.

The Northern Echo: Picture: CONNOR LARMANPicture: CONNOR LARMAN

He said: “Too much social housing in the middle of town I would say, but no other major issues really.

“I think Covid has had a big impact on things and this town has changed considerably in the last couple of years, certainly with the number of visitors that there are.”

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However, he concluded that North Yorkshire isn’t “a bad little place” so he didn’t want to see any “major” changes.

Speaking to another resident in Richmond, he said he is “not really bothered about any changes” and does not see any “benefits from the election."

The Northern Echo: Picture: CONNOR LARMANPicture: CONNOR LARMAN

A resident of Hawes in North Yorkshire said that some areas of the region were "going to miss out."

She added that she would be voting for "the Green Party" in the upcoming local election.

She said: "Yes I will be voting, I like the Tory candidate in Hawes, but I can’t vote Tory, it’s going to be the Green Party, I sponsored a green lady and I’ll vote for her."

Asked how she felt about North Yorkshire Council becoming a single council she said "I don't like it."

She added: "It’s too big and being up at Hawes at the end of the dale, we’re going to miss out.

“John Blackie used to be our councillor at Hawes, he was a maverick and fought tooth and nail for us, he got us all sorts of things but he died so we’re vulnerable.

“Things will just get worse with the unitary authority because it’s going to be in York and they won’t care will they."

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When asked if there were any big issues she wanted to address in the election she said "holiday lets" were taking over.

She said: "Holiday lets taking over are a big issue, I’m surrounded by holiday lets at the moment there’s only a third of the properties where I live that are actually lived in, so I think that needs watching."

The Northern Echo: Picture: CONNOR LARMANPicture: CONNOR LARMAN

The resident added that she felt nationally the county was "a disgrace" 

She said: "Nationally I think it’s a disgrace, I can’t stand the man and I’m sorry but I really can't stand his morals at all."

Speaking about what she would like to see after the election she stressed that she wanted "more environmental efforts" to be made.

She added: "I’m also in a national park where they have to deal with environment, agriculture and tourism, they have those three strands and I think they’re tipping far too much into tourism and there’s not enough on agriculture and environment, because it’s tourism where the money comes from."

North Yorkshire County Council’s chief executive, Richard Flinton, who is the county returning officer for the election on Thursday, said: “All eight councils are already working hard together to ensure that the new North Yorkshire Council is well-placed with the aim of being the most local large council in England.

“The new council will be introduced to oversee the whole county - but it will also be truly representative of the people that it serves, whether that be someone living in Settle, Selby or Scarborough.

“The services which are overseen by our colleagues in the district councils - such as planning and housing - will be taken on by the new council from April 1, 2023.

“We will continue to work closely with City of York Council, which will remain in place alongside the new North Yorkshire Council.

“But people should be reassured that customer services across all seven district councils and the county council are good, with the aim for the experience to be at least as good, and where possible better, from day one of the new authority.

“Ultimately the restructuring of the councils will help save millions of pounds by streamlining operations, providing better value for money for taxpayers and allowing us to become even more efficient at the most important role we perform – providing vital services from education to social care and roads maintenance to recycling for the public.”


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