Harrogate Borough Council

Borough Councils’ commission research on support for new East & West local government, part of the move to Devolution

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Council leaders from Craven, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby, submitted an outline bid to Government on 9 November 2020, for their proposal  that an ‘East and West’ model is the best way to reorganise local government in the region.

The model would see Craven, Harrogate, Richmondshire and Hambleton join together to form a unitary council in the West, and Selby, City of York, Ryedale and Scarborough join together to form a unitary council in the East.

North Yorkshire County Council has submitted its own bid to create a ‘mega-council’, which would create a unitary authority covering the whole of North Yorkshire, with a population of 618,000, while preserving the existing City of York unitary authority with a population of 211,000

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has said that proposals should “command a good deal of local support” and  “evidence of a good deal of local support” – that was put in the letter from the Ministry.

The research was conducted by market research company, The Buzzz, using an online consumer panel, and surveyed 560 people across the county and the City of York. The final sample for analysis was weighted by age and gender within each council area and by socioeconomic group.

A sample of 560 means a sample of 0.07% of the population

Normally for a piece of research like this, Buzzz would recommend face to face interviewing due to the relatively small geographies involved. Given the current COVID situation this wasn’t possible.

  • A telephone survey wasn’t appropriate due to the significant amount of information that the survey respondents needed to absorb before answering the survey questions.
  • It was therefore agreed that Buzzz would use an online Consumer access panel to run an online survey. This is a well-established method of market research whereby a group of respondents who have agreed to take part in market research and have been pre-screened for demographics are invited to take part in the panel
  • Respondents were screened into the survey based on where they live and whether they had responsibility for council tax at their address
  • The final sample for analysis was weighted by age and gender within each council areas and by socioeconomic group (ABC1-C2DE) over the whole sample

The survey has shown that residents are more positive about the East and West model across all districts and boroughs in North Yorkshire. They were asked to choose between this, and the two council proposal ’proposal by NYCC and the City of York.

Councillor Angie Dale, Leader of Richmondshire District Council, speaking on behalf of the Leaders, said:

This research clearly shows that a large majority of people across North Yorkshire would prefer our East & West model of local government reorganisation.

We believe it is by far the best option for our communities, keeping services local and effective, giving people a strong voice and fair representation, while delivering necessary and realistic efficiencies.

We know from speaking to residents, businesses and other organisations that people have huge misgivings about North Yorkshire County Council’s model. Our model also has the greatest support from local authorities.

However, we still want to hear the views of more residents and businesses. You can take part in a similar online survey at www.get-change-right/consultations and you can email us at feedback@get-change-right to tell us your thoughts. We are still gathering evidence to support our model and your views are a key part of this process.”

 

Results by district:

In favour of East & West model (%)

In favour of North Yorkshire & York model (%)

East & West ratings (0-10)

NYCC & York ratings (0-10)

Craven

63

37

6.0

5.0

Hambleton

67

33

5.9

5.0

Harrogate

75

25

6.0

4.9

Richmondshire

92

8

5.5

3.7

Ryedale

74

26

5.9

5.2

Scarborough

78

22

6.7

5.1

Selby

62

38

6.2

5.2

York

46

54

6.2

5.2

The six councils held democratic meetings to discuss the proposals in early November and all voted to approve submission of the case for change to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The district and borough council leaders are: Cllr Richard Foster (Craven), Cllr Richard Cooper (Harrogate), Cllr Angie Dale (Richmondshire), Cllr Keane Duncan (Ryedale), Cllr Steve Siddons (Scarborough) and Cllr Mark Crane (Selby)




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