County Councillors will meet the county’s MPs over the next six weeks to work through some of the challenges facing the county.
North Yorkshire MPs will attend meetings of the County Council’s Area Constituency Committees to discuss local issues with councillors. It is hoped this will enable local issues of regional and national significance to be flagged at Westminster.
Items for discussion at this series of meetings include:
- funding of adult social care and what the County Council would want to see included in the expected government Green Paper;
- local government funding and the particular issues faced by North Yorkshire as a large, rural and sparely populated county;
- development of Catterick Garrison; and
- east/west road and rail routes and the links with economic growth.
Cllr Carl Les, Leader of the Council, said: “We welcome the attendance of North Yorkshire’s MPs to the meetings of the Area Constituency Committees. This provides us with an opportunity to have a focused discussion on local issues that we hope our MPs will then be able to raise in Westminster.
“We are particularly keen at this time that the message goes back about the challenges we face as a council over the funding of adult social care. In North Yorkshire, we have a population that is ageing, living longer and has more complex health and social care needs, including multiple long-term conditions. We also have to deliver social care services across a rural and sparsely populated county that covers 3,103 square miles, stretching from Scarborough on the North Sea coast to Bentham in the west and from the edge of Teesside to south of the M62.”
Currently, more than 40 per cent of the County Council’s budget, £136m, is spent on adult social care.
The Area Constituency Committees have been established as part of the County Council’s drive to devolve decision making. In the future, this means local County Councillors could have a greater say in matters relating to their area.
Cllr David Chance, Executive Member for Stronger Communities, said: “As a council, we are keen to look at ways in which decision making can be devolved to local areas. These committees could be the vehicle for more local responses to locally identified issues. This is only the second meeting of each of the new committees, so it’s early days, but the potential is there.”