Police Hub, Post Office, Potholes and Public Transport: Councillor George Jabbour's 2023 Report

As I wish the readers of the Gazette & Herald a joyful and successful 2024, I would like to summarise the encouraging progress made in 2023 on a few local priorities.

I wrote twelve months ago that a key challenge facing Helmsley and the surrounding villages was the lack of a Post Office. Thanks to Helmsley’s Black Swan Hotel, we now have a temporary solution at their premises. While it is not perfect, it is far better than nothing. Having said that, every option is being explored to find a full-time alternative.

I am delighted that Kirkbymoorside Fire Station now hosts a new police hub, particularly given its strategic location with respect to the various parishes that I represent within the Helmsley and Sinnington division. Hopefully, this will increase police visibility and cut response times.

There have been extensive road closures across our area, causing inconvenience to drivers and businesses, despite efforts to minimise disruption. Nevertheless, I was glad to see the resurfaced roads, fixed potholes, painted yellow lines and repaired bridges.

I had the chance to meet the Prime Minister multiple times in 2023 and to attend a reception at Number 10 Downing Street. At every possible opportunity, I campaigned to support:

(a) the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill, which is now law, because it has provisions that will positively impact beautiful parts of the country, such as ours, which also have many second homes

(b) the £2 bus fare cap initiative, which has now been extended until December 2024, because it helped improve our local bus services

I am pleased with the outcome on both fronts.

Moreover, I can confirm that the Helmsley Hopper bus service, which connects Nunnington, Harome, Helmsley, Sproxton, Ampleforth, Oswaldkirk, Malton and Norton, will be available for another year.

Furthermore, I have organised meetings and events to deal with community concerns, and assiduously sent regular articles to our informative local paper in Ryedale, the Gazette & Herald, to keep local people updated.

I will continue to use every occasion to be an effective representative. My public attendance record at all meetings of North Yorkshire Council so far is 100%.

Two years ago, when I was selected as a candidate for the Helmsley and Sinnington division, I was told that I had no chance of winning. However, after the May 2022 election, I ended up receiving the second largest vote share -as a percentage of registered voters- amongst the 90 North Yorkshire Conservative candidates. Each time I remember this, it makes me even more determined to repay the trust that residents put in me.

It is such an honour to serve as a Councillor for Helmsley, Sinnington and the surrounding villages.