Unfavourable comparison

You recently published an article unfavourably comparing the council tax payments of Whitby and Scarborough residents with those who live in London’s most salubrious boroughs such as Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea.

What the article failed to mention was that people who live in equivalent homes in one of those London boroughs will almost certainly be in a higher council tax band.

For example only one per cent of Westminster’s properties are in the lowest band A with 12 per cent in the highest band H compared to 27 per cent of households in Scarborough in band A with only 0.1 per cent in band H.

Moreover, Westminster receives three times as much in government grant than North Yorkshire and raises three times the income from such as car parking charges.

It is therefore misleading to compare councils of such a radically different nature.

For our part in providing the services that are reflected in the overall council tax, we are confident that as a county council we provide good services at very reasonable cost to meet the particular needs of people living in the UK’s largest rural county.

We are also confident that while we are on target to make necessary savings as a result of continuing reductions in government funding we are doing everything possible to continue to protect frontline services and the most vulnerable in society.

Richard Flinton, Chief Executive, North Yorkshire County Council, by email