IF you ever wanted an example of why London-centric decision-making is bad for us, take a look at the current Ministry of Justice consultation on closing Northallerton Magistrates Court.

They’ve taken a cold, hard look at the court system in North Yorkshire, put them in a table, compared their distances apart and come to the conclusion we can lose Northallerton – and asked us if we agree.

Only the table estimated Richmond lay a full hour and 50 minutes from Northallerton and the town was nearer Middlesbrough. And the list forgot altogether that there was as court in Darlington significantly easier to reach for people in the north of the county.

A Ministry of Justice press officer suggested this was a mere typo. And therein lies the problem. If you’re unfamiliar with North Yorkshire then Northallerton, Richmond, Middlesbrough; they’re all just points on a map. We’re sure it was a typo and we’re sure the Ministry of Justice has never tried catching a bus from Richmond to Middlesbrough.

Luckily Richmond MP Rishi Sunak and Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan also appeared to be left less than impressed with the consultation and have contacted the new Justice Minister about the proposal.

But it has highlighted why we need to be making more of our own decisions, whether it’s North Yorkshire, Yorkshire as a whole or the North of England.

Discussions on devolution have stalled over many years, as the wildly different political landscapes that make up Yorkshire have struggled to get over their differences.

But it’s time they did. And if there are difficult decisions to make in the county, it’s time we made them.