I am writing to you as City of York Council's executive member for the environment.

A lot has been written in the letters pages recently about the merits of the proposals for local government reorganisation. However, what is often missing is an understanding of would be the real impact on the day-to-day lives of York’s residents of merging York with Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby.

Such a merger would create a council covering a vast geography (65 miles north/south and 45 miles east/west) with a huge mix of urban, rural and coastal geography.

This would result in disruption to our waste collections as four councils’ operations are consolidated into one.

As the other authorities are largely rural or coastal, with different collection needs, we may be looking at having charges for green waste collection imposed on us, which is the norm outside of York.

There is also the risk that major projects will be affected as York residents pay for activities in Scarborough and Selby.

Some of the current major projects being progressed in York are:

  • York’s Clean Air Zone, the only voluntary one in the UK
  • EV charging points throughout York
  • E-bikes and e-scooter roll out
  • York’s Community Woodland, the largest woodland project in England in 2021

It is clear to me that the risks of a reduction in services to York’s residents, should we lose our independent council, are very real.

Cllr Paula Widdowson,

Ainsty Grove, York