Letter: Too much power put into too few hands

M P Laycock from Harrogate fears that there would be fewer safeguards against misguided road schemes and other unsuitable developments if there was an elected 'mayor'.

Thursday, 30th July 2020, 3:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th July 2020, 3:15 pm
Letter: Too much power put into too few hands

It was good to see Malcolm Neesam’s letter (July 23) about keeping a separate Harrogate Council but he did go a bit far in comparing a 1974 local government re-organisation, which substituted North Yorkshire for West Riding County Council in our town’s administration, with a Black Death that arrived in 1349.

Consolidation of local government into ever larger units is supposed to save money and make services more efficient but longer lines of communication can make local government less responsive to local needs.

These changes are being mooted so that North Yorkshire can be ruled by someone called a”Mayor”.

It seems to me that most major local government blunders and scandals in recent years have been caused by too much power having been put into too few hands.

Now we are looking at a proposal to concentrate more power in one individual, who would have more money and more authority to “get things done”.

My fear is that there would be fewer safeguards against misguided road schemes and other unsuitable developments.

Some months ago, an argument was made that more “Mayors” were needed with greater powers of compulsory purchase to overcome “fragmentation” of ownership of properties in order to facilitate major developments.

Is this what local small traders and residents would like to see?