At yesterday’s poll Yarm residents (or around a quarter of them anyway) voted in principle to transferring from Stockton Borough Council to Hambleton Council and North Yorkshire County Council.
I say it was a vote in principle for two reasons; for one thing it was not a binding poll and for another, they don’t know what that would entail in terms of service delivery. I have already posed a series of questions that people should have answers to.
There has been a lot of coverage in the news, it seems to have attracted attention from far and wide. My original article about the questions that need answering featured in the Northern Echo earlier this week. They also covered the story on the morning of poll yesterday. As did the Independent who contacted me for a quote. Following the result the story has been featured in the Evening Gazette twice today already, here and here.
I was also asked to speak on Radio Tees this morning (where interestingly I heard a taxi driver saying cabs licensed in Stockton could not ply for trade or pick up in Yarm. They could only apply for a licence for Hambleton if they have an office there which he said would discriminate against smaller firms. I only mention this as an example of implications people need to be aware of.)
I have said before but it is worth repeating; if a formal referendum does take place in the future where residents are given the full facts about the implications and then vote to support the move, I will get behind them. Until then I want to be reassured that everyone will get quality information in order to make a informed decision and that the four councils will send balanced and impartial material to every home.