Thomas Bridge 12 May 2015

County leader pushes for town hall merger

The outgoing leader of North Yorkshire CC has called for his county to be merged with districts to form a unitary.

Conservative councillor John Weighell, who will step down later this month, said a town hall merger would be necessary ‘as money for all councils becomes even scarcer’.

‘I hope we carry on looking for efficiencies, including merging the county council and district councils to form a single council,’ he added

‘That would save money for the council tax payer and help to protect services.’

He also raised calls for greater power sharing to local authorities outside of metropolitan areas, warning ‘there can be too much focus on cities and not enough understanding of the needs of rural areas or the opportunities for devolution to counties’.

Reflecting on his near 14 year tenure as leader of the council and Conservative Group, Cllr Weighell paid tribute to the level of co-operation seen at North Yorkshire.

‘When I hear of some relationships at other councils,’ he said, ‘I am very grateful for the way we carry out our work in North Yorkshire.’

Cllr Weighell’s successor will be elected a meeting tomorrow.

Photo: © Graham Horn

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