A meeting of the North Yorkshire County Council’s (NYCC) executive on Tuesday 7 February saw them refuse to support a proposal calling on the government to introduce proportional representation (PR) for all future general, local and mayoral elections.

One Conservative executive member branded the debate as “political posturing” and “peripheral” to the concerns of the public in North Yorkshire who wanted Councillors to be making decisions on housing, health and social care, not PR.

What they have refused to address is the fact that, because of our First Past the Post (FPTP) voting system, the executive members who make those vital local decisions on housing, health and social care, do not have the backing of the majority of their electorate.

In last year’s local elections to NYCC, which served as the first elections for the newly created North Yorkshire Council (NYC) that came into place in April 2023, the Conservatives won just over 41% of the popular vote. The combined Labour, Lib Dem, Green and Independent vote share represents just over 58%, a majority of the voting public in North Yorkshire.

Since then, there has been a by-election which the Conservatives  lost. They now claim the right to all the power on the basis of receiving just over 40% of the popular vote and holding 46 out of the 90 seats.

A fairer system would see the parties represented on the Council in the proportion that people voted for them. A 41% vote share in 2022 would have given the Conservatives 37 of the 90 seats, the rest being shared between the other parties, consistent with their 58% vote share. The executive members of the council would have had to work cross-party to make decisions that legitimately reflect the views and interests of its electorate.

The only thing that will deliver this fairer outcome is proportional representation.

Please sign this petition and if you live in the area write to your Councillor and ask them to support the motion coming to the full Council meeting on 17th May supporting proportional representation for Westminster elections, local and mayoral elections.