A SELBY councillor has slammed plans to make vital decisions on the future of local government in the district more than 40 miles away.

On Tuesday, members of North Yorkshire County Council, meeting in Northallerton, will vote on whether to recommend scrapping two-tier council arrangements in the county.

But Coun Brian Marshall, a county councillor, Selby District Council member, and a Barlby parish councillor for more than 40 years, said further consultation with local people was needed before a decision could be made.

"My concerns are that this will be debated and voted on in Northallerton without my constituents in Barlby and Selby being consulted," he said.

"Local people voted me in to represent them - but how do I know what they want? I may support the proposal, but on a big decision like this I don't feel I can go purely on what I think is right. There should have been consultation with parish councils."

Under the current system, the county council is responsible for areas such as education, highways and waste disposal, while the district council deals with ones like housing, waste collection and licensing.

The Government has published a White Paper encouraging two-tier authorities to merge into one unitary authority, providing all council services.

Last week, district councillors voted against such a move, instead opting for an enhanced two-tier arrangement.

The plans would involve more "back office" work, such as human resources and finance, being pooled with other local authorities to cut down costs.

North Yorkshire and the county's six other district councils - Ryedale, Harrogate, Craven, Scarborough, Hambleton and Richmondshire - must make their recommendations to the Government by next Thursday. Ministers will then decide the fate of Selby District Council.

Selby council leader Mark Crane said moving to a unitary authority would be expensive.

"The Government has to bear in mind that we are where we are, and if we get rid of all seven district councils in North Yorkshire, it would cost up to £100 million disbanding them," he said.

John Marsden, the county council's chief executive, said: "It is important that we seize this golden opportunity to harness all the skills and resources across local government to do an even more effective job."