Monday 18th February 2019,
North Yorks Enquirer

N. Yorkshire’s Poor Relations

N. Yorkshire’s Poor Relations

  • an “In My View” article by NIGEL WARD, lamenting further evidence that the Borough of Scarborough is nowhere near to fulfilling its service potential. Is an increase in Council Tax the answer? Or a decrease in the reckless playing of Monopoly with the public purse?

~~~~~

A survey carried out by Halifax, based on data including:

  • housing market,
  • high employment levels,
  • low crime rate,
  • the environment,
  • strong exam results,
  • smaller primary class sizes
  • health,
  • personal wellbeing
  • leisure

has concluded that the following are the top 50 places in the UK to live:

  1. Orkney, Scotland
  2. Richmondshire, Yorkshire and the Humber
  3. Rutland, East Midlands
  4. Hambleton, Yorkshire and the Humber
  5. Eden, North West
  6. South Oxfordshire, South East
  7. Cotswolds, South West
  8. Ryedale, Yorkshire and the Humber
  9. St Albans, East of England
  10. Derbyshire Dales, East Midlands
  11. Vale of White Horse, South East
  12. Waverley, South East
  13. Hart, South East
  14. East Hertfordshire, East of England
  15. Westminster, London
  16. Winchester, South East
  17. Rushmoor, South East
  18. Uttlesford, East of England
  19. Wychavon, West Midlands
  20. Harborough, East Midlands
  21. South Cambridgeshire, East of England
  22. Rushcliffe, East Midlands
  23. Ribble Valley, North West
  24. Surrey Heath, South East
  25. Wokingham, South East
  26. Harrogate, Yorkshire and the Humber
  27. Babergh, East of England
  28. West Oxfordshire, South East
  29. South Buckinghamshire, South East
  30. Windsor and Maidenhead, South East
  31. Warwick, West Midlands
  32. Elmbridge, South East
  33. Chichester, South East
  34. Stratford-upon-Avon, West Midlands
  35. Lichfield, West Midlands
  36. Malvern Hills, West Midlands
  37. Rochford, East of England
  38. Chiltern, South East
  39. Shetland, Scotland
  40. Richmond upon Thames, London
  41. West Berkshire, South East
  42. Basingstoke and Deane, South East
  43. South Hams, South West
  44. Fareham, South East
  45. St Edmundsbury, East of England
  46. Wycombe, South East
  47. Mid Suffolk, East of England
  48. Monmouthshire, Wales
  49. Daventry, East Midlands
  50. Selby, Yorkshire and the Humber

North Yorkshire County Council is the first-tier authority for North Yorkshire and its boundaries include the following second-tier authorities (in alphabetical order):

  • Craven District Council
  • Hambleton District Council
  • Harrogate Borough Council
  • Richmondshire District Council
  • Ryedale District Council
  • Scarborough Borough Council
  • Selby District Council

The five localities highlighted in bold type in that top-fifty list are also highlighted in bold type in the above list of the seven North Yorkshire Districts/Boroughs.

Conspicuous by their absence are Craven and Scarborough, where residents are less well served than their neighbours elsewhere in North Yorkshire, at least in terms of the Halifax criteria of housing market, high employment levels, low crime rate, the environment, strong exam results, smaller primary class sizes, health, personal wellbeing and leisure.

In fairness, policing, education and health do not fall within the statutory remit of second-tier Councils.

But housing, employment, environment, personal wellbeing and leisure do.

The residents of Craven and Scarborough will not be best pleased to find themselves once again the poor relations in the North Yorkshire family – especially Scarborough, the “low-pay capital” of the United Kingdom and “personal bankruptcy hotspot“.

Notwithstanding SBC Leader Councillor Derek BASTIMAN’s claim (I live in the best place in the world), residents of the Borough of Scarborough will be looking for credible assurances of an improvement in Quality of Life when they go to the polls in May. On the evidence of the past four-year Council term – strewn with disasters, cover-ups and embarrassments – confidence in the present Leadership is at an all time low.

I leave you with the Leader’s remarks, as reported by the Scarborough News (10/08/17):

“A major public-private sector partnership has led to a phased redevelopment of the town’s north bay, including luxury holiday apartments and a new £14 million state of the art waterpark, Alpamare Scarborough, which opened its doors in 2016. The next development to be delivered as part of this partnership is a seven screen multiplex cinema, incorporating high-end food and retail businesses, 24 luxury flats and a multi-storey car park. A future phase will see the creation of a forest holiday village.”

Fantasy Island, or what? The reality, as we now know, is that the “phased development of the town’s north side” comprises a waterpark on the bones of its fundament and a great deal of hot air. And, meanwhile, the North Bay, like the South, has lost its Blue Flag. Can it get any worse?

A younger, more imaginative, more compassionate and more dynamic Leadership is now the first priority.

Vote wisely – by NOT rewarding failure.

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