AS we bid farewell to 2017, Ryedale leaders reflect on the past 12 months and look ahead to what 2018 might bring

NATIONALLY, it’s been a year of twists and turns but, locally, we have had some great successes.

We are closer to securing the much-needed upgrade to the A64 as Highways England adopts a new direction, recognising that we do need a dual carriageway. I will continue to work to secure the money needed for the work to be completed by 2023.

By 2019, we’ll see new trains and twice the number of trains on the York, Malton and Scarborough line and £400m has been allocated for new road and rail links to connect the cities of the North.

The Government has also committed to redressing the balance between spending in the North and the South – something for which I have been campaigning hard. There’s more money for local schools so that every child has access to a good education.

Following my campaign to increase the number of firefighters crewing the new Tactical Response Vehicles, North Yorkshire Fire Authority has said there must be a minimum of four in attendance.

We’ve made progress on broadband and mobile coverage and our campaign to keep the former Lambert Hospital in Thirsk for community healthcare use is making progress.

The Tour de Yorkshire will visit many of the towns and villages in Ryedale next year and Filey is to be included for the first time.

This is all good, positive news. I will continue to take up issues on behalf of my constituents, whether they are supporters or not, and my door is always open to anyone who needs my help.

Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton

THERE are many reasons why Ryedale is a wonderful place to live, but for me it is always the people who make any place.

During my civic year I have become acutely aware of two things, Ryedale is full of people willing to give of their time to help others and their community and people identify with and are proud of Ryedale.

There is a clear sense that Ryedale does exist, that it is not just the bit between York and the coast.

It is good to see initiatives encouraging the market towns to work together and a growing number of Ryedale wide partnerships to reflect this sense of place and identity.

At Ryedale House we are all working more closely together under a One Ryedale banner. I hope we can all keep supporting each other, our communities and our Ryedale.

William Oxley, chairman of Ryedale District Council

THIS year has seen North Yorkshire remain the safest place in England, and Ryedale continues to see a year-on-year fall in crime. However, the Ryedale Neighbourhood

Policing teams are not complacent, and recognise the issues we have faced in 2017. The wider policing service has met an unprecedented demand following terrorist attacks, and your local policing team have responded with increased visibility to provide reassurance at public and well-attended events from country shows to Christmas markets.

Ryedale has also found itself involved in the debate surrounding hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”. North Yorkshire Police are striving to balance the needs and wishes of everyone at Kirby Misperton, including people assembling and protesting peacefully, businesses carrying out their lawful activity, and local residents going about their daily lives safely and without disruption. Time will tell what the enduring legacy of this period will be, but it is worth reflecting on our strength and resilience as a community forming part of that future.

The Ryedale Neighbourhood Policing Team is looking to the challenges that the New Year will bring, with a continuing determination to support victims, safeguard the vulnerable and reduce harm to our communities.

Some of those challenges will showcase the best of our area, with Ryedale once again hosting the Tour de Yorkshire, and your local police team playing an important role in ensuring the success of the event.

Martin Dennison, Safer Neighbourhood Inspector, Ryedale and Whitby