YORK council has hit back at new proposals from district leaders to create two brand new councils for North Yorkshire.

Seven leaders from district and borough councils in North Yorkshire have suggested developing an east and west model which they claim would keep local government “local” in the county.

City of York Council, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby would be in the east, while Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate and Richmondshire in the west.

The proposal has been submitted by Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby Councils.

Councillor Keane Duncan, leader of Ryedale District Council, said: “We want the best councils for North Yorkshire and York. That’s why we came together six weeks ago to ask KPMG to conduct an independent study into all the options.

“The evidence shows that this model performs most strongly, with significant advantages over the ‘mega council’ model proposed by North Yorkshire County Council.

“Our model will likely achieve greater financial savings in the long-term, stronger democracy and more effective services, while best delivering the Government’s devolution agenda. Overall, the model delivers two authorities large enough to be efficient into the future, but small enough to keep connected with our communities.”

The model advocated by district and borough leaders would create an east authority with a population of 465,375 and a west authority with a population of 363,297.

The county council’s plan, meanwhile, is to create a unitary authority covering the whole of North Yorkshire with a population of 617,982, while preserving the existing City of York unitary authority population of 210,618.

A spokesman for City of York Council said:” York council has not been formally consulted on these proposals and if we had, we would have made clear that any change will have a detrimental impact on residents, businesses and communities, disrupting services and increasing council tax.”