North Yorkshire unitary debate refused

Editorial image
Editorial image

Councillors were last week refused a debate on whether a unitary authority should be created to rule the region.

At a full meeting of North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC), a motion was put forward by two councillors to investigate the creation of either one single-tier authority or two smaller all-encompassing bodies to administer the region.

Ukip Councillors David Simister (Bilton and Nidd Gorge) and Sam Cross (Filey) had hoped to open discussions on the proposal.

However, after the meeting, Coun Simister told the Harrogate Advertiser series: “The motion was proposed, seconded and referred to the executive.

“We weren’t allowed to debate it.

“I see it as something we must debate sooner rather than later, because it can save the taxpayer money.”

Earlier this month, we invited readers to have their say.

Alfred Penderel Bright was among those to get in touch.

Mr Bright commented: “I have lived in this district since 1961 and witnessed many changes in the way our council/s work - or do not work properly in some cases.

“My main gripe is with the way in which highways and flooding issues are dealt with by HBC and NYCC.

“There appears to be not only lack of “joined up thinking” but a distinctly negative approach to any constructive criticism about these two vital services.”

NYCC made a bid in 2006 to become a unitary authority in a move that was eventually rejected by the government.

A unitary authority would be responsible for providing all services including education, transport and planning.

Currently, Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) is in charge of district-wide services including waste and localised planning, while NYCC organises, among other services, education and highways.

Email or call 01423 564321.

l Meantime, the project to bring high speed broadband to rural North Yorkshire, as reported in your ‘Advertiser series in October, is set to be extended to every single property in Yorkshire.

The roll out will follow a NYCC spend of £3.1million to bring superfast broadband to 26,000 more homes and businesses across the region.

It is expected to be complete by the end of this year.

The authority’s Executive approved the spend last year, which, combined with £5m grants from the UK government and European Regional Development Fund, will see 93 per cent of premises across the county served by speeds of 25 megabits per second or faster.