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Country News - 2003

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North Yorkshire to disappear under Prescott plans

Tuesday 17 June 2003

DESPITE a huge wave of opposition from public and local politicians alike, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott is to press ahead with a referendum for the creation of a regional "parliament" for Yorkshire - and it has now been admitted that this would mean the end of North Yorkshire County Council.

As we reported yesterday, only a tiny minority of Yorkshire voters want a regional assembly, which many believe will be yet another layer of bureaucracy - and add huge sums of money to local taxes.

This was confirmed by straw polls carried out in the county. The Yorkshire Post reported today that only 1,000 people out of a five million population had publicly supported the call for a referendum and the BBC's Look North programme reported last night that 90% of phone callers were against.

If such an assembly were created - in three or four years time - the abolition of North Yorkshire County Council would leave rural areas barely represented in a body dominated by the big towns and cities of south and west Yorkshire.

Many of these are in areas of great social need caused by the collapse of traditional industries and it has been calculated that North Yorkshire would have just one representative to fight for the rights and resources of country folk.


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