Scarborough and Whitby MP urges Government not to scrap North Yorkshire devolution plans

The government has been urged not to scrap plans for devolution in North Yorkshire by one of the county’s MPs.

Tuesday, 22nd September 2020, 9:16 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd September 2020, 9:18 am
MP Robert Goodwill

Robert Goodwill, the Conservative MP for Scarborough and Whitby, has warned that the county could be “left behind” if a proposed unitary realignment of North Yorkshire was dropped.

Mr Goodwill was speaking following reports in our sister title The Yorkshire Post today that senior figures in the government are concerned about the timing of the shake-up in governance as the country tries to negotiate a pandemic and Brexit.

The paper added that a meeting was due to be held today between Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick to decide whether to proceed with the devolution deal.

Devolution for North Yorkshire, under a Metro Mayor, was announced in July with councils in the area drawing up plans for what the county would look like.

North Yorkshire County Council is proposing one large council to run North Yorkshire while City of York Council, which is already a unitary, would remain as it is.

The seven district councils in North Yorkshire have countered with a plan to split the county in half with one authority covering Scarborough, York, Ryedale and Selby with a second encompassing Harrogate, Craven, Richmondshire and Hambleton.

Both plans would include a Mayor.

Mr Goodwill said that if the devolution deal was scrapped then the region would miss out on tens of millions of pounds of extra funding.

He said: “My view is we should still press ahead.

“I am relatively open-minded about the two options but we don’t want to be left behind other parts of the county that have benefited.

“You can see how much funding is being funnelled through the Metro Mayors and the influence the Mayors have nationally and it will save money and get better services for the residents.”

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