Contact: Ellen Walker 43455
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Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Cllr Delaney, Cllr Keal, Cllr MacKenzie and Cllr Raine.
Declarations of Interest
Members to indicate whether they will be declaring any interests under the Code of Conduct.
Members making a declaration of interest at a meeting of a Committee or Council are required to disclose the existence and nature of that interest. This requirement is not discharged by merely declaring a personal interest without further explanation.
There were no declarations of interest.
Questions on Requisition
The attached questions will be directed to the Leader. A written response from the Chief Executive will be provided ahead of the meeting.
From Councillor Wass – Question 1
“Who made the decision that the mega Council was not appropriate for the people of Ryedale? And on what evidence?”
The Leader replied:
“Thank you Councillor Wass for your question. In anticipation of the government's letter, inviting proposals to reorganise, North Yorkshire, seven districts and borough councils jointly commissioned KPMG to assess a range of options in an objective and fair way. The case for change concluded that the east and west model performs more strongly than any other. With the so-called mega council option failing in terms of service delivery and democratic accountability and financial sustainability. Full details of the analysis can be found in the case of change document.
A decision by Ryedale District Council members on whether or not to support the submission of the east and west model included in the case for change will take place at this week's extraordinary meeting of all Council.
Supporting submission of east and west to government does not necessarily equate to support for this proposal or rejection of any other. Formally, it means that this council believes that east and west should be submitted to government for consideration.
While I am a supporter of unitary local government in principle, I remain certainly opposed to reorganisation at this uncertain and worrying time for our residents. This view is shared by the other six districts and borough leaders. Sadly, the County Council appears determined to submit its mega council proposal on Wednesday. If that happens, I feel this Council has no option but to respond by submitting the east and west proposal to the Secretary of State. This will allow him to consider two proposals, each with their respective strengths and weaknesses, for making any decision. Ultimately, it is his decision, but we can help influence and shape the outcome in the best interests of Ryedale residents”
Councillor Wass then asked a supplementary question:
“Where does it actually mention though, in the report, you know, the words, 'mega council', I've looked through the record, and I can see where that phrase is used, or is being commissioned in its wording. It's a weighted phrase, if you like the word 'mega council', which are making or loading us to think in a certain way. So, I just want to know where that phrase has come from, because as I say, it's not mentioned in any of the reports.”
The Leader then replied:
“Thank you, Councillor Wass, for your supplementary question. I think the simple answer very much is 620,000 people, 8000 square kilometres. This would be the biggest local authority ever created in England. And if this isn't a mega council, then there is no mega council anywhere else in the country. This would be something unlike local government that exists anywhere else in the country”.
From Councillor Brackstone – Question 2
“In the above decision, who had the competency to decide on i), children and young people services?”
The Leader replied:
“Thank you, Councillor ... view the full minutes text for item 16.