Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Yorkshire is three Ridings and the city of York

Yorkshire is three Ridings and the city of York.

It is our county and our heritage.

Changes to local and regional government have never resulted in the abolition of the Ridings and there is no evidence that Yorkshire the county as a whole has ever had a local or regional government purpose.

Yorkshire's existence does not depend on artificial local or regional government boundaries. Local and regional government boundaries can be changed at any time at the whim of bureaucrats and government. And so they should as the demographic and economic situation demands. Local and regional government boundaries are for the purpose of delivering services and their boundaries should not determine who we are.

“The identity of our counties is marred by a confusion of geographical and administrative boundaries created in the middle of the last century and perpetuated to this day."                                                                                                                       Association of British Counties


Matt Campbell said...

Er, I would counter your points thusly:
- It is demonstrable that administrative boundaries shape identity.

- The boundaries of the historic counties to which we ascribe identity and belonging were always intended to operate as administrative boundaries. The medieval and pre-medieval monarchs who create these units would not have differentiated between administration and belonging in the way you and many people do now. Ergo, if Yorkshire does not exist administratviely in its original form, it is hard to argue that it continues to exist. Otherwise let's all join Sinn Fein, who have been fighting since the 20s to create something in fact that they claim has a 'spiritual' reality (a 32 county Republic of Ireland).

This whole 'what should the boundaries of X area be' thing is flawed without a democratic accountablility. I would like to see democracy routinely applied every few years to the shape of council and local authority areas, in the form of a plebiscite as to where the 'seat of government' for your local/regional area should be. Council areas should be shaped and reshaped according to the will of the people.

If this ends up in odd shapes, well, we started with pretty odd shapes to begin with.

People just _are_ odd, but they need to feel a sense of identity, of belonging (which is mutable and not fixed); the people living in a given region should be consulted on the borders of that region and if their oddness and sense of identity makes life difficult for administrators, tough. Local government exists for the people, not the other way round.

Chris Abbott said...

Not when they change every every few years like they do. We are not the people of whatever name some bureaucrat decides is what the Council should be called. You also get vested interests claiming that we the people of whatever the readership area of the local newspaper is or some sub regional body claiming we are the people of their area.

What the UK needs is stable geography, unaffected by local, regional or sub regional administrative areas which need to change from time to time, and we have that with our counties.