The Town Council discussed both proposals at an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council on Monday 23rd November and resolved to support the NYCC proposal to establish a single Unitary Authority for North Yorkshire, working alongside the existing Unitary City of York Council on its current boundary.
Following this Meeting the Town Council sent a letter supporting the local government reorganisation, as the Council view this as a significant opportunity to improve and empower the local community.
North Yorkshire County Council is better able to provide strategic leadership, as there is already a range of collaborative areas between North Yorkshire County Council and the City of York.
This approach to restructuring local government through moving to a unitary structure will provide not just financial savings but stronger more resilient joined up services across a single unitary, ending confusion among the public as to which organisation is responsible for which services also giving people a single, unified voice for the entire county.
North Yorkshire County Council currently deliver very good services in adult and child social care services, education, highways, transport and economic development. A single authority would utilise and pool specialist expertise in addition to other resources required to deliver front line services.
The Town Council believe it is important that all councils work together to get the best deal for the local community. The restructure is an opportunity to put in place effective, efficient and sustainable units of local government which can think and act strategically to improve decision-making as well as deliver value for money for local residents.
The Town Council welcome the proposal of double devolution of assets and services as it will give real strength to local councils. The opportunity to take on additional responsibilities in the future will be embraced; the Town Council have a particular desire to improve the services provided. Parking in Leyburn is an ongoing issue that we are currently trying to address, taking on responsibility for the pay & display car park would assist us in resolving this issue. The single unitary authority will also be genuinely local and rooted through local offices to bring community networks together.
The Town Council consider Leyburn a local hub and would put forward to the new Authority that Leyburn would make an ideal location to situate a community office. The NYCC proposal details that “There would be opportunities to rationalise former district and county offices and still to have appropriate office bases for staff across the county in each former district area to be located near to communities”. Thornborough Hall already houses the Richmondshire District Council Community Desk and this works well within the Community Library as a local hub providing assisted digital facilities and information for local residents. If a larger area is required for community offices there are a number of buildings in the centre of Leyburn such as the current police station which could possibly be utilised for a community hub in the future. The Town Council urge North Yorkshire County Council to consider if this building could be utilised once the merge of the Police and Fire Service in Leyburn is complete and propose that any future potential sale of the building is postponed until the new unitary authority is formed.
The Town Council appreciate the detailed proposal and remain optimistic about the proposed local government reorganisation.
Copy of letter of support (attached below) sent to MR Flinton, CEO of North Yorkshire County Council, MR Neil Irving, Assistant director North Yorkshire County Council and MR Rishi Sunak, MP.