WE should be very worried about the pressure to be absorbed into a much larger local council.

York has been a self-governing city for over 600 years with the exception of 1974 -1996 when it was governed by North Yorkshire County Council from Northallerton, a period that resulted in much dissatisfaction.

The city is very different historically, socially, politically and economically from rural and coastal North Yorkshire, and a large single council, quite possibly located elsewhere, could only result in the dilution of local decision making and focus on the challenges and opportunities facing the city.

The carrot of saving a large amount of money from amalgamation should be treated with scepticism as also for the ability to bid for a share of a possibly mythical £2.4 billion over 30 years from future governments who will be saddled with unprecedented debts from this year's crisis.

York’s council tax rates are significantly lower than those in the wider area, (Band D £1722; Ryedale £1903, Scarborough £1942) and would almost certainly rise sharply to subsidise the larger costs of delivering services across a wide rural area. A leading proponent of the takeover of York, the leader of Ryedale District Council, tweeted recently "Change to @CityofYork could have massive benefits for Ryedale and the whole county”: it is clearly not the interests of York and its residents that are foremost in this scheme.

Having regained its independence in 1996 it would be a sad loss of identity and autonomy for the the city of York to be subsumed into a large Conservative-dominated rural council. It is important that our city's affairs are led locally with local accountability.

Rita Freedman,

Penleys Grove Street,