THE government has decided that North Yorkshire’s county council and seven district councils should be replaced with up to two new unitary authorities.

The change will deliver significant savings in back office functions and free up more money for service delivery.

It will also enable the government to devolve power to York and North Yorkshire, so more key decisions can be taken within the county.

One option would be to retain the current City of York and create a new unitary authority with the same boundaries as the current county council.

Some district councillors would prefer the City of York to be abolished allowing the creation of two entirely new authorities, with around 400,000 residents in each, although their opinions on which bits should go with which seem to vary.

I can see the advantages of the “York plus North Yorkshire” proposal, which seems to offer the least disruptive and most cost effective solution.

I struggle, however, to see a convincing case for any of the pick and mix alternatives, all of which would involve needlessly breaking up existing services.

Ryedale District Council currently serves just 50,000 people so any

new authority, whether it has 400,000 or 600,000 residents, will feel very different and would need to find new ways to involve their individual local communities in decision making and service delivery.

Cornwall and Durham, which both made similar transitions a decade ago, have shown that by establishing local committees and empowering town and parish councils they have actually improved local accountability in their areas.

County Councillor Greg White, Pickering Division

Please be kind

I RECENTLY attended a clinic appointment for the first time since February and was taken aback to find a senior nurse in a distraught state.

At 9am her week was continuing in the same vane as it had begun on Monday, in that she commented a number of times that people were “unpleasant and horrible”.

As I left I said to her, “I hope your day gets better”.

It appeared that some people’s attitude towards the nursing profession was very demanding and that patience was running thin. This effect had affected her so much that she replied “It won’t”.

Local nurses are trying to play catchup in the best way they can for each one of us and are trying to give everyone the attention that they deserve.

Please do your utmost to bare

with them, speak nicely to them, encourage them and be patient.

Don’t reduce them to tears. It is amazing what a kind gesture can achieve.

Terence Maw, Thornton-le-Dale

Can you help?

WOULD you be kind enough to help Yorkshire’s deaf children get a hearing life?

There is just one place, The Ear Trust, giving cochlear implants in the whole of Yorkshire, which are absolutely vital if a child is to be part of the hearing world, socialise, hear birds and music, etc.

They need funds particularly now, so if you have any unwanted old jewellery, watches, fountain pens or any small auctionable items, please email me at

I take these to auction. No charges are made and a cheque goes to wonderful trust. Thank you and I sincerely hope to hear from you.

Eunice Birch, York