THE ‘Yarm for Yorkshire’ poll due to take place next week has been criticised by a parliamentary hopeful for being held too quickly.

Louise Baldock, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Stockton South, said there were serious, unanswered questions about what would happen if the town left Stockton Borough Council.

However she has been accused of “scaremongering” by Jason Hadlow, former Yarm mayor and campaigner for the poll.

Ms Baldock, who grew up in Yarm, said she understood the emotional attachment to Yorkshire, but added: “There is a wealth of difference between what you write on the end of your address and who provides vital services.”

She said outstanding questions included whether wheelie bins would be emptied fortnightly instead of weekly, whether street lights were turned off during the night as they are in parts of Hambleton and would parking fees rise to match those of Northallerton.

Ms Baldock also said there were concerns about road gritting, home care for elderly people, use of the tip and access to schools.

Yarm resident Ian McGregor added his voice to the concerns about the poll, which will be held on Tuesday, May 27, but will not be legally binding.

In a letter to The Northern Echo Mr McGregor said the £4,000-poll was being held “because a town council meeting was hi-jacked by less than two dozen people.”

He said he had lived in Hambleton and services were superior in Stockton.

Mr Hadlow, a prominent member of Yarm Residents Association, hit back. He said: “There seems to be some scaremongering going on, led by people who should know better. Let’s be clear there will be no deterioration in services and authority boundaries change all the time.”

Hambleton Borough Council has declined to comment. North Yorkshire council leader John Weighell said he was neutral on the issue.