Why council shake-up will help thousands - an open letter by North Yorkshire County Council's leader
The Leader of North Yorkshire County Council, Coun Carl Les has said the forthcoming major shake-up of local government in the county brings the "chance to enrich and improve lives and offer residents everywhere a fairer future".
Writing in an open letter after the Government announced it would grant Northallerton control of the county in the local government reorganisation in 2023 which will see the abolition of Harrogate Borough Council, Coun Les said:
"In North Yorkshire we are famous for our straight talking so I want to be clear on what an opportunity we have before us.
"Government has given the green light for a new single council, which will deliver all local services to every household in the county from spring 2023. Not in itself perhaps the most exciting line on earth – but the benefits this approach will bring are real and must not be underestimated.
"Put simply, that’s eight councils, with a wealth of dedicated and skilled staff between them, coming together to form one focussed workforce, joining up all those services that will make life easier for everyone.
"Aligning things like planning, broadband, highways and housing to build stronger communities. Joining up job opportunities with education and skills. Support for families with health, leisure and cultural offers
"The chance to enrich and improve the lives of very many people here and offer residents everywhere a fairer future.
"It will also save tens of millions that can be ploughed back into strengthening public services and empowering communities to drive and deliver on what matter most to them.
"So we are rolling up our sleeves because alongside all the essential business as usual priorities, we will be continuing our good work with town and parish councils and community groups.
"Together with our district council colleagues we will work hard to design and deliver the revolution in local powers and decision-making we promised as part of our proposal.
"We will be pursuing the benefits of devolution to ensure that our great county can play its full role as a rural powerhouse, punching its weight nationally and regionally and flying the flag for our county, a place we are all proud to call our home.
"So, whatever your view on the timing of, detail or context for big changes to how services are future proofed here, please come together as one to help deliver the very best for every single person in the county.
"Team North Yorkshire is resilient, caring and focussed. Let’s show the nation what we can do."
Coun Carl Les
Leader of North Yorkshire County Council