AUGUST 1 (Yorkshire Day) saw the launch of “Working together to get change right” - a campaign for a more local and common-sense approach to government reorganisation in York and North Yorkshire.

It is fitting we chose this date. Yorkshire Day is when we come together to celebrate our unique people, places and culture. But it originated in 1975, as a protest against local government reorganisation and a statement of political identity.

Our campaign marks a new chapter in that story.

On July 7, Simon Clarke, the Minister of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, spoke to the leaders of North Yorkshire’s seven district and borough councils.

He made it clear that the government was open to granting devolved powers and billions in investment - if local government in York and North Yorkshire is reformed.

The question then is not will reform happen – but how? A mega council covering all of North Yorkshire - the largest county area in England - has been mooted.

This sounds seductively simple. But just a glance at the map shows it is unworkable and our citizens deserve better.

As council leaders we have come together to create a fresh bid, based on workable geographies and a deep-rooted understanding of our local communities.

Yorkshire folk are famous for their pragmatism and good, old-fashioned common-sense. Forty-five years on from the original Yorkshire Day, we say let common sense prevail. Let’s call a halt to talk of a mega council and work together to get this change right.

The Leaders of Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby district and borough councils:

Cllr Richard Foster, Craven District Council; Cllr Richard Cooper, Harrogate Borough Council; Cllr Mark Robson, Hambleton District Council; Cllr Keane Duncan, Ryedale District Council; Cllr Steve Siddons, Scarborough Borough Council; Cllr Mark Crane, Selby District Council