County Councillor Clive Pearson welcomed Rt Hon. Sir Robert Goodwill MP to the meeting, who in turn thanked the Chair and was pleased to have the opportunity to attend committee meetings back in person. He began by welcoming the appointment of Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister and hoped this would lead to a period of financial stability.
On Local Government Reorganisation, the MP was keen to see the creation of town councils in the unparished parts of Scarborough and Harrogate, with a consultation with residents ongoing. Mr Goodwill also welcomed the proposed creation of a mayoral combined authority for York and North Yorkshire as part of a devolution deal. He felt this would provide powers and funding to enable the region to unleash its full economic potential and in doing so level up, raise living standards for local communities and make a full contribution to the UK economy.
Sir Robert explained that the lack of NHS dentistry services continues to remain a concern in the constituency, with local residents struggling to find emergency treatment. Mr Goodwill welcomed the addition of further dentistry provision on Falsgrave in Scarborough and hoped to see progress in Eastfield.
The difficulties in booking GP appointments and in primary care were also raised as a concern. Mr Goodwill welcomed the £47m investment in Scarborough Hospital as part of a new Urgent and Emergency Care Centre and hoped it would help with the recruitment issues for new doctors and nurses on the Yorkshire coast.
It was noted that the sealife mortality off the North East coast has been recently investigated by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, with an inquiry held and the Secretary of State subsequently asked to consider a number of actions by the select committee.
Mr Goodwill was very worried about the supported housing situation in the constituency and helping residents with the cost of living crisis.
Following this introduction, issues raised by elected members included:
· Communication errors regarding the hospital care of a patient that had led to delays in treatment, and how this could be resolved.
· Property developers buying HMOs and converting them into single rooms
· The views of Mr Goodwill on climate change matters such as fracking and nuclear power
· Whether the legislation to bring in Environmental and Land Management schemes (ELMs) is going ahead?
· Reports in the media about the use of sewage dry spills by water companies and how these can be stopped.
· The views of the MP on trail hunting and progress with the Animal Welfare Bill.
· The current state of rural bus services in the constituency and what action can be taken.
· Parish and Town Councils picking up existing District and Borough Council responsibilities following Local Government Reorganisation.
· Putting pressure on NHS England to resolve the lack of dentist provision in Eastfield
· The importance of recruiting planning staff to maintain service standards given shortages across the country in this area.
The Chair thanked Sir Robert Goodwill MP for his attendance and his responses to members questions.