ONE of the features of the new North Yorkshire Council that many people may not understand is that there will be local committees beneath the large overall council that will make important decisions on issues like planning. The current plans is for this local area to cover the whole of the Skipton and Ripon Parliamentary constituency.

After the election the situation on this local area committee is that Conservatives hold seven of the seats, Independents four, Greens two, and LibDems two. There are no Labour county councillors in our area despite 2,632 people voting for them.

It is the view of the Green Party representatives on this committee that it covers an area which is far too large and that this will make it really hard for it to properly champion the best interests of local people. Someone living miles away in Ingleton could be supplying the local knowledge on decisions made in Ripon whilst someone living close to Masham could make a decision that impacts on Skipton.

We will be seeking to work collaboratively with councillors from all parties with the aim of fixing this. It will be interesting to see whether the new North Yorkshire Council responds positively to the views of the people they elected, or whether decisions it made before they decided who people wanted to represent them are stuck rigidly to, and this clumsy feature of a hasty re-organisation remains in place.

County councillor Andy Brown (Green Party), Cononley

County councillor David Noland (Green Party), Skipton