Hambleton Council Leader speaks out on "irresponsible" claims of Northallerton job losses
On 17 August, the Northern Echo carried a story regarding high numbers of potential job losses at North Yorkshire County Council if the county and borough Leaders' plans for two unitary authorities for North Yorkshire go ahead.
Today (18 August) Cllr Mark Robson, Leader of Hambleton District Council, has spoken out strongly in response, calling the claims misleading and irresponsible.
Councillor Robson said:
“As Leader of Hambleton District Council, let me be very clear about this – this claim is
misleading and frankly irresponsible. It is yet more propaganda and shameless
scaremongering from the county council. It both saddens and disappoints me that it’s come
to this. People are already nervous about job and financial security post-COVID, and to add
to people’s woes and worries for what appears to be their own gain is in very bad taste
“Residents and businesses across Hambleton deserve honesty and fairness whilst we work
out what local government in North Yorkshire and York will look like in the future. Only last week myself and the other districts and borough council leaders released a statement to the media calling on the county council to play fair with the public as it campaigns to create its mega council delivering all services across 8,000 square kilometres. It’s disappointing that only days later we see perhaps the lowest blow yet, putting fear into people about their livelihood, all aimed at scaring the residents of Hambleton and council employees into backing their mega-size council campaign.
“In contrast, as leader of Hambleton, I’m listening to residents and thinking carefully, because I want to get change right. My aim is simple – to secure the best possible local council service for the people of Hambleton for the future and the truth is, at this stage in the process, no one knows what that council will look like yet, let alone any impacts on jobs or employment in our district.
“Along with the other district and borough council leaders, we are exploring all the options with an independent studym and we will ultimately be guided by evidence. There’s already good news – early analysis shows there are practical and democratic benefits to creating two unitary authorities with roughly even populations. This would result in new councils across North Yorkshire and York, both large enough to be efficient into the future but local enough to keep local connections to our communities.
“I am standing here today and promising to play fair, to be frank, to put the people of Hambleton’s needs first, and to be open and responsive to feedback as we go through this process. I would invite North Yorkshire County Council to do the same.”