Ryedale District Council at risk in local government streamlining move

The days of Ryedale District Council (RDC) look set to be numbered as a result of a shock new Government plan to streamline and shake-up local government.

Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 7:42 am
Ryedale District Council leader Keane Duncan said every authority needs to be part of the shake-up discussions.

Under the plans, RDC would disappear after 46 years and become part of a big new authority, the make-up of which is now up for discussion, with council chiefs being asked for their ideas by Minister for Local Government and Communities, Simon Clarke.

Ryedale Council and other councils in North Yorkshire have to put forward their ideas and proposals by September, but Mr Clarke has said any proposals for unitary councils must show close links to communities. He has indicated that populations of such a new streamlined council would be about 300,000-400,000.

A new council could see Ryedale, Scarborough and Hambleton as one authority

It is understood that the new look local government in Ryedale would come into effect in April 2022, closely followed by mayoral elections.

However, RDC’s Leader, Keane Duncan, has given a robust response.

He said: “It’s a shock to be told, effectively, that your council could be gone within months. The message from government is clear – they want evolution, they want re-organisation and they want it fast.

“We cannot bury our heads in the sand. Every authority needs to be part of the discussions. I am open minded how we might look and how we might work more cost-effectively and more efficiently.

“But the one thing I stand in total and absolute opposition to is a super council of 600,000- 800,000 residents.

“Such a council would no longer be local government in any sense.”