North Yorkshire Council

Updates from Councillor Angus Thompson





A66 Upgrade and Scotch Corner

There was great disappointment when the go ahead for the duelling of the A66 was not signed off in November by the government minister. This was I understand because part of the file was incomplete, but everything is now in order for go ahead to be signed on 7th March 2024.

The funding is still in place and work is due to commence on the section between Stephen Bank and Carkin Moor in September next year. Good news indeed with hopefully no more delays.

This however still leaves the question of Scotch Corner roundabout. I have been promised that National Highways are agreeable to a meeting in January between local representatives, myself being one, planners from Richmond and others from NYC Highways. Scotch Corner is to be the item at the top of the agenda. We need to know NH’s intentions. I have been told 3 different versions of this in the last 9 months. The latest one is to make the roundabout into 3 lanes with a slip road onto the south bound road from Middleton Tyas and a slip road for the north bound carriageway when coming from the west.

Mayoral Election

An election will take place on 2nd May 2024 to elect the first ever Mayor of North Yorkshire and the City of York. It has taken years of work to get to this stage which I see as a very positive move forwards from the region’s position. The Mayor will have a budget set by the government estimated at £300M over the next 30 years. This money will be used to promote growth and jobs for the region. It will not be used to subsidise council services.

There are many very successful Mayors around the country of both political persuasions but none more so than Ben Houchen on Teesside. He has been able to attract the Treasury to Darlington, and countless other great projects. He has been enormously successful in attracting investors, private backers and banks to invest in projects on Teesside and this is what the job of the Mayor is all about. Whoever is elected here will not be another representative of the council, will not be involved in housing or education etc. etc.

The one thing the new Mayor will take over is the position of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner. This has not been possible in some areas for example Teesside because it covers more than one county.

Boundary Commission

The new council has 90 members representing 89 divisions. It is in my opinion working well but one of the stipulations when it was set up was that the boundary commission would come in to do an overall review before the next council elections in 2027.

The Commission’s remit looks specifically at:

  1. Number of councillors.
  2. Division arrangements.
  3. Parliamentary process.
  4. Implementation.

The Statutory Requirements which the Commission must demonstrate in their recommendations are:

  1. Electoral Equality.
  2. Community Identities and Interests.
  3. Effective and Convenient Local Government.

Do give feedback and recommendations to them as they go through their processes. I will keep you informed as the commission goes through various stages.

There will be a consultation on the draft proposals between 4th March 2025 and 12th May 2025. The publication of the final proposals will be on 26th August 2025.

Anti Littering Signs

I have had positive feedback from a number of people regarding the ‘Littering is a Criminal Offence’ signs which I am trialling in my division. The idea is that Highways move them around every 8 weeks or so. If you have an area which you feel may benefit from their presence, please let me know. I have been contacted already on this asking if one or more could be put on Hang Bank which is a real litter disgrace off Barton Interchange as you head north on Deer Street.

They are not a perfect solution to our litter problem, but they do act as a deterrent.

Finally, may I extend my very best wishes for the festive season and wish you a happy and healthy 2024.




The new North Yorkshire Council came into being on 1st April this year after months and months of planning and preparation. The transition from 7 District Councils and the County Council went amazingly smoothly, thank goodness.

NYC has an annual turnover of £1.4 billion and is the largest county in the UK both geographically and in turnover. The budget deficit this year is £30 million but with annual savings estimated at least £30 million we should see the benefits of the Unitary Council without losing services.

In the past the Planning Committee and Licencing Committee have been District Council committees but of course they no longer exist so 2 new committees have been set up to sit alongside the Richmond Area Constituency Committee. In planning terms this will cover the entire old Richmondshire and Hambleton Council areas except the part in the National Park and the Hambleton area from Thirsk southwards which is in Thirsk and Malton constituency.

Scotch Corner roundabout is becoming a major headache to local residents and motorists. I said at a recent Planning Committee that if we are not careful Scotch Corner roundabout will be well named as North Yorkshire’s biggest car park. I intend to put a question to the Executive Member for Highways at the NYC next Full Council Meeting asking him to take issue with NH regarding the fact that when consulted regarding planning applications which if granted, will increase the volume of traffic on the roundabout, NH appear to give no regard to the traffic figures and state that there is no problem with the increase in traffic if the application is granted. This is simply adding more vehicles to the problem. I will come back to this matter in the near future. 

I have mentioned before in PC meetings my ongoing campaign against litter and fly tipping. I have agreed with Highways to trial signs in my division which can be moved around, saying things like ‘littering is a criminal offence. Bag it, bin it, take it home’. These signs have been trialled in County Durham and appear to have had success. I fully appreciate this isn’t a perfect solution but I hope it will prove to be a step in the right direction. I am in the process of writing to Rishi making suggestions as to what should be done at a National Level to combat this ‘British Problem’.

The 20’s Plenty campaign rumbles on but a blanket 20mph speed limit in all built up areas and villages throughout the county does not seem a possibility in the lifetime of the present council ie. the next 4 years because of the financial deficit. It would cost between 8 and 12 million pounds to set up. What is more likely is the possibility of PCs being able to request a 20mph zone in part of their village eg. outside a school.

Recycling is an issue which we will be looking at very closely over the next few years. We in Richmondshire are out of step with Hambleton for example in that we ask for recyclates to be placed in separate boxes in terms of glass, tins and plastic in another box. In other former districts everything goes in one box and is sorted back at the yard. But for us to move onto another system, in all probability the vehicles would have to be replaced. In many cases these are leased so it will pay to wait until the end of the finance arrangement before changing the system.

Food recycling is on the government’s agenda. This would involve every household being issued with a plastic container which could sit on their kitchen windowsill into which food waste would be deposited and collected by the council on a weekly basis. This system is up and running in many counties particularly in the south and the reports I have heard say it works well. 

The food waste collected then goes into an anaerobic digestor and generates electricity. In our case this would probably take place at Allerton Park. In the meantime residents are encouraged to compost whatever they can in terms of food waste eg. potato peelings. Councils are being given 20 years to formulate a plan for food waste so it may be sometime before we go down the route. We can learn by mistakes of others and the start up costs will be high in any case.

On the first Thursday in May next year we will, subject to Government approval, go to the polls to elect our first ever Mayor who will represent North Yorkshire and the City of York. Anyone who is on the electoral roll within the area can stand for election, subject to having 10 people who are also on the said electoral role as seconders. But what we need is a dynamic character like Ben Houchen who has been a huge success in his position on Teesside to be an ambassador for our region. The difference between our Mayor and Ben will be that our Mayor will take over the position of Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner too.

Angus Thompson.

16th May 2023.