The MP for York Central Spoke to Luke Hall, Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government ahead of the announcement over Government’s local authority boundary reorganisation. She welcomed the decision to maintain the boundaries of York’s Unitary Authority. Proposals were put to split North Yorkshire into two new authorities – North Yorkshire East, of which York would have belonged, and North Yorkshire West. This position was supported by local MP Julian Sturdy and would have ripped up over 1000 years of history of York maintaining its unique identity.
Rachael Maskell MP strongly campaigned for City of York Council to maintain its current boundaries, presenting a petition to Parliament on behalf of the residents of York who recognised that the city’s economic and cultural future would be best served as a stand alone unitary. This position was also favoured by North Yorkshire County Council, which has a far more rural focus than York.
Rachael Maskell MP responded by saying:
“York is best served by remaining the internationally renowned city that we are. If we are to build a strong economic core to create good quality jobs for people in York, we need York to maintain its unique identity, which will also benefit the rest of North Yorkshire.
“We are proud to be York, but that does not detract from the very serious issues that City of York Council now needs to address, not least in creating a long overdue economic strategy, building the housing that local people can afford and want to live in, and addressing the health and care crisis which is deepening by the day. The Council also needs to get a grip of the climate crisis, and instead of talking warm words and building thousands of new city centre car parking spaces, it needs to institute an integrated sustainable transport strategy and environment plan.
“I will continue to fight for the needs of our city and ensure that every part of York has its voice heard. The people of our city is its greatest asset and I am determined that they shape the future of our city.”