The Green Party think that it is important that local councillors remain exactly that. Local. We are appalled that all the key decisions about the future of local democracy in North Yorkshire have been made in London and that we as citizens will never be given the opportunity to express your views at the ballot box before your local council is abolished.
If the local government proposals did proceed, the North Yorkshire Greens would wish to see:-
1 – A meaningful public consultation on any proposed new local government structures. Such a consultation should be conducted fully within communities; to include a postal mail leaflet at the very least and not just an online consultation. This is to ensure inclusion for those who are on low income or vulnerable and who might not have access to the internet. Those who are service users of adult social care, help at home, reliant on buses etc could be disproportionately affected by any council re-organisation.
2 – Any new Council must underpin its activity with the commitment to address the climate emergency on the lines of the Green New Deal.
3 – Any new Council should have no fewer elected Councilors than currently exist in the current District Council arrangements to ensure proper representation for communities.
4 – The Single Transferable Vote should be used to elect both councilors and the Mayor as is already the case in Scotland. This would ensure the Council/s are more representative of what could be much larger wards/divisions.
5 – The Mayor’s Business Plan and Budget needs to be agreed by a majority vote of the whole Council to be enacted in the same way as happens with the London Mayor needing the approval of the Greater London Assembly to proceed.
6 – A nominated Deputy Mayor should be part of a Joint Ticket with the Mayoral Candidate in the elections. Deputy Mayors should not be appointees. It is crucial that those in powerful positions are directly accountable to citizens.
7 – Only Elected members should be part of the Mayor’s Cabinet. There should be no appointees.