THOSE of us who live in North Yorkshire are currently in ‘consultation’ regarding the future replacement of county and district councils, including North Yorkshire County Council and Craven District Council.

We can have one unitary authority covering the whole of North Yorkshire with the exception of York which will stand alone as a separate authority.

Or we can opt for an East/West split, roughly at the A1, creating two unitary authorities.

What is not on offer is to maintain the status quo, or to support one devolved authority for the whole of Yorkshire.

The middle tier of district councils will vanish (ie no more Craven District Council) but whether the powers and responsibilities vested in them will all go up, or some up and some down is not clear.

So it was with the introduction of the Police and Crime Commissioners: a list of candidates was offered but no option to say we did not want that role to be created.

This is a form of ‘democracy’ rather like saying, “lunch is a choice: steak and chips or burgers and chips”. Should the response be, “But, I’m a vegetarian” back comes the response “Lunch is a choice: steak and chips or burger and chips”

Surely, without going into the merits of the different unitary authorities, or the choice of candidates for PCC….now, in North Yorkshire, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner…. we deserve better than this. Other people’s thoughts would be appreciated.

Alan F Hickman