Alan Avery’s letter published in your August 11 issue suggests the local Labour party is viewing reorganisation through rose-tinted glasses.
Make no mistake: this is a thinly disguised political stitch-up. In spite of all the fine words about delegation to Parish and Town councils, very few of these will have the resources to take on additional responsibilities, and there’s no way planning powers could be shared with councils which can afford no professional planning staff. We did have area committees which included non-voting representatives from Parish and District Councils. However, the politburo at North Yorkshire abolished the parish and district representatives only a few years ago. 
Ryedale District Council has not only run its own services, but has been pivotal in campaigns to keep the local hospital open and resist fracking. Local campaigns have persuaded Ryedale to finance the joint-use sports centre at Malton School and to keep local swimming pools repaired and open. The Council’s influence and financial power to support local residents on matters of this kind will be lost within months unless there is a strong campaign for local democracy.
Alan does not seem to appreciate the seriousness of this matter. Representative democracy means the right of people to elect representatives to make decisions on their behalf. At a local level this right is being taken away by his party’s political opponents in order to consolidate their power. 
It is a great disappointment that the Thirsk and Malton Labour Party is not prepared to fight for local democracy. What is the point of having an opposition party if it doesn’t champion the democratic rights of local residents?
Cllr. Paul Andrews