City partners and York supporters came together today to launch the new ‘We Back York’ campaign and explain why it’s crucial for the future of the city that York continues on its existing footprint.
The event, held on Facebook live, launched a cross-organisation petition that will be presented to the House of Commons in the New Year. The petition, which makes the case for York to remain as a self-governing city, urges the House of Commons to listen closely to York residents and businesses and to commit to work together on any decisions to do with York’s council.
Residents and businesses are encourage to get involved in the campaign and show their support for York by adding their name to the petition that declares they are “best served by having an independent council on its current boundaries”.
By signing the petition, local residents and businesses will reject any notion of a local government restructure in York and agree that it is crucial:
- To protect York’s unique historical identity and 800 year connection between the Lord Mayor, city and council.
- To continue to keep local decision making in York.
- To protect residents from a significant rise in council tax (above any as a result of covid) and from service disruption
- To recognise York’s geography (compact urban and sub-urban) is distinctly different to its surrounding area (rural and coastal)
- To continue to prioritise the city’s recovery from the pandemic.
Residents and businesses can sign the petition here: www.change.org/Webackyork
At the event, Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of the City of York Council said:
I am delighted to see such visible and vocal support for York today. It is encouraging that so many of people have come together to show their commitment for our city.
“Many local residents and businesses have told us they expect us to prioritise the city’s response and recovery from Coronavirus whereas, instead, a local government restructure in York would have significant detrimental impacts on our communities at this critical time.
“It is clear to see that any change to York’s footprint would either increase the cost to residents, or stretch services further, and make it harder to meet York’s own unique challenges. We fundamentally believe that decisions affecting York, should continue to be made here in York. If any resident or business feels the same, then please sign the petition at www.change.org/Webackyork to make this clear to those in Westminster.”
Cllr Andy, D’Agorne, Deputy Leader of the City of York Council said:
Residents have clearly told us that what matters is retaining the size of our city, and that residents do not support being forced into a merger which would also be costly in terms of increased council tax.
We are now inviting residents to show their support for York by adding their name to the petition. We want as many residents as possible to sign the petition so we can make it clear to the House of Commons that York wishes to remain a self-governing city.
Tom Gibson, Clerk to and Past Master of the Gild of Freeman of York, added:
Since the 13th century the Freemen of this City have had a responsibility to promote what they see as the interests of the Businesses and residents of York.
As such the Gild has no hesitation in supporting the council’s proposals to retain the existing borders of the City, as the best interests of those who live and work here. We urge everyone who cares about the future of our City to sign this petition."
Show your support, and sign here: www.change.org/Webackyork