This is a very important consultation as two different structures for local government are being proposed, either a larger single authority (put forward by North Yorkshire County Council) or an East-West model (advocated by some of the District Councils, including Richmondshire District Council). Central government appears to be intent on making changes so retaining the current 2 tiers (County and District levels) does not appear to be an option.
A major driver for central government is to reduce running costs. Your Town Councillors however are concerned that the unitary proposal, which would remove the intermediate tier of District Councils, will reduce democratic accountability as the number of councillors will be significantly reduced. A large, single authority covering all of North Yorkshire will be remote from the residents it serves and the smaller parish and town councils and service levels may be reduced. Some services may be delegated to parish and town councils which may not have the financial and operational resources to provide them.
Whatever your views on this, your Town Councillors urge residents to take part in the consultation which can be accessed here https://consult.communities.gov.uk/governance-reform-and-democracy/northyorkshire/. Responses can be submitted online, be email or in the post. If you don’t have access to a printer, please contact the Town Clerk.
A summary of NYCC’s proposal is available here www.northyorks.gov.uk/strongertogether
A summary of RDC’s proposal is available here https://www.richmondshire.gov.uk/news/news-archive/december-2020/full-business-case-for-reorganisation-model-submitted/