North Yorkshire County Council Election Results 2022 – “A Life Changing Experience” for Local Candidate, Richard McLane

Greens claim second place to the Tories in the Kirkbymoorside & Dales division, raising their overall number of votes across the Ryedale district by 159% compared to the same election in 2017.

Having only entered politics very recently, local business owner and Green candidate Richard McLane, more than doubled the number of votes in his area to 549 in May 2022 from just 170 achieved five years previously, coming a close second to Greg Wright who was representing the Tories.

After visiting every home and farm in his division, from Bransdale to Rosedale and Kirkbymoorside up to Cropton, Richard summarises the experience as ‘both life-changing and an utter privilege to have met and listened to how so many interesting people live in the unique surroundings we can all call home.’

Having gained a clear understanding of the real challenges people in our community are facing, Richard is saddened he won’t be representing them on the Council. He does however feel incredibly grateful for the support he received throughout the campaign, having built such a strong following in what was a relatively short space of time.

A Green Surge or A Protest Vote?

Richard’s success in this campaign is characteristic of the Green surge we’ve seen nationwide during the local elections, with the party having achieved a record 545 councillors on 166 councils, in comparison to 445 councillors on 362 councils in 2017.

Richard with Green Party winner of Sowerby & Topcliffe division Dave Whitfield, whilst campaigning in April

Five of these councillors were elected on to North Yorkshire’s County Council (with several close seconds) – compared to zero wins five years ago in the same region.

In particular the Green’s strong track record to influence localised, relatable issues – giving their candidates the freedom to do what is best for their community – has certainly been a highly influential factor in their success in Ryedale.

From the results across the Ryedale district, we can see that the 159% rise in voter support for the Green’s, was largely at the expense of the Conservative and Liberals.

Table 1: Greens achieve greatest rise in voter support compared to 2022

RYEDALE DISTRICT% Change20172022
Lib Dems-2%195612.5%192411.9%
Yorkshire Party 00.0%500.3%

Across all divisions in Ryedale, Greens received support in 5 out of the 8 newly formed divisions (63%) compared to 2 out of the 6 seats available (33%) in 2017. In recognition of the increased support the Green’s received, winner of the Kirkbymoorside and Dales division Greg Wright made his way to Richard after the count was confirmed, asking in his opinion, ‘what the Conservatives needed to be prioritising’.

In his conversation Richard made reference to the need for a focus on the environmental crisis we face, reminding Greg of the recent motion he had himself drafted declaring a climate emergency and extending his offer of support in pushing this through, should it be needed.

“Our constituents expect that simple steps and incentives towards reducing our environmental impact are now made standard and encourage, for example, the increased use of sustainable packaging; providing widespread access to vehicle charging points and; ensuring all new properties are built as energy efficiently as possible,” Richard confirms. “Any politician who is not willing to make these initiatives a priority is sealing their fate and will eventually suffer as a result.”

Whilst the Ryedale district had the highest electorate turnout (38.9%) in North Yorkshire, Richard observed with concern, the disconnect between young people and politics.

“Having spoken to so many of the younger generation over recent weeks, it was quite depressing to learn of the distrust they have in politicians and their refusal to go out and cast a vote” Richard comments.

“Our politicians have a duty to reverse this inclination and need to think hard and fast about why this segment of our voters have become so disengaged.”

“Time will tell if my conversation with Greg was genuine and whether he is going to take our division’s environmental concerns seriously. The Green’s success can clearly be attributed to how hard our representatives are working to resolve localised issues, which contribute to global problems that will inevitably affect us all,” Richard concludes.

So What Next?

Well to provide some solace to all those who placed their trust in Richard, he now commits to continue on his quest and influence the priorities he campaigned on – in particular helping to secure the future of family farms and drive increased local food production within the Ryedale district.

He also plans to play an active role in pushing effective policy change through, by persistently communicating with our political leaders on the things that matter to the people in our area.

Please feel free to contact Richard if you have issues or concerns that you believe the government should be taking action on. And thanks again to all those who took the time to vote and offer their support to Richard in this election campaign. Email:

Kirkbymoorside & Dales Division Council Election – Why Vote Richard McLane

Following the much appreciated support I received in the recent Cropton Ward by-election, I have put myself forward to stand for the newly formed Kirkbymoorside and Dales Division for the North Yorkshire County Council election, taking place on May 5th 2022.

Born in Ryedale and having established my own business in this area, I have lived in the Kirkbymoorside and Dales division for 18 years. Over recent weeks and months, I have had the pleasure of meeting so many of you, allowing me to obtain a good understanding of the needs and challenges of both residents, local businesses and farmers in our community. It is my passion to develop a sustainable plan which ensures your future within our district is secure.

As local residents – for me, your needs come above party politics. And here lies the benefit of voting for the Green Party. As candidates, we are encouraged to represent the individual needs of our area and are not obliged to follow rigid policy like other parties. I’m here to represent you.

So whilst the integrity of the Conservative government continues to be questioned and they proceed to abolish the Ryedale District Council, creating a single council which covers all of North Yorkshire – from Settle to Scarborough to Selby – now more than ever, our community needs to elect someone who will stand up for us all and who you can trust to make a difference.

I will do my utmost to be that person and I hope you will give me that opportunity.

Here Are My Priorities:

Having grown up on a working farm in Ryedale, I know how important agriculture is to our regional economy. We need to protect small-scale family farms and put in place the necessary support measures to make farming sustainable and profitable for future generations.

Our local economy needs to thrive and so it’s essential we support local food production and distribution. High quality, locally produced food must be accessible and affordable to everyone in our community. I will campaign for fair prices, reduced imports and better distribution.

I’ve had lots of feedback from residents highlighting concerns about road safety – particularly in those villages with busy roads running through them, such as those on the A170. I will support investment to both control & reduce traffic speed through these locations.

Our young people are the future and we need to look after this generation, ensuring they can access affordable housing and good employment opportunities. I’m ready to make change that helps long-term so they can live in our area for years to come.

In addition to the above, I will be prioritising improvements to social care standards and will be confronting one of the biggest threats our society currently faces; climate change. NYCC is persistently refusing to join the list of 307 councils across the country who have now declared a climate emergency. This cannot continue.

Please use your vote on the 5th May and remember, the Green Party gives me the platform to support and take action on the priorities that matter to us, as residents of the Kirkbymoorside & Dales Division. Thank you.

Hedge Laying Event at Lodgefield Farm

What a fantastic turn out we had for our hedge-laying event last month – where we invited all those interested to join us to either watch or help with laying a section of hedging at Lodgefield Farm, Gilling East. Having grown up in this spectacular location perched on the hillside overlooking the Gilling valley, Richard McLane and family welcomed people from the Ryedale district to learn from award winning hedge-layer Edward Caldecott, as he demonstrated the art of hedge-laying and explained the benefits of this traditional craft.

The hedge itself had been planted by Richard McLane’s mother 20 years ago and hadn’t been touched since. Primarily hawthorn and dotted with a small number of field maple and ash trees, the hedge had reached a height of over three metres and so was in need of some care to sustain its healthy growth. Thankfully we were lucky with the weather and whilst it was a crisp January morning, the sun was shining and it didn’t take long to get warm.

With almost 50 people attending throughout the course of the day, attendees were varied, coming from all walks of life, ranging from local farmers and landscape gardeners to engineers, conservationists, builders and children with their parents in home education. Having met people travelling from Scarborough, Beningbrough and Thirsk, it was both rewarding and reassuring to see such a genuine interest in hedge-laying and the associated benefits it offers the farming sector and our natural environment.

Please do look out for future and upcoming events on our FACEBOOK PAGE – but in the meantime we thought it would be of interest to summarise our hedge-laying technique and highlight why you may want to consider practising this century-old craft yourself:

Why Consider Hedge-Laying?

  • To prolong the life of your hedgerow and help new growth flourish
  • To create a life-long boundary for containing stock and animals for farming purposes
  • To rejuvenate stunted, bare-stemmed hedging; neglect remains their primary threat
  • To overcome the damage caused by excessive use of herbicides and over-cutting
  • To encourage new growth from the base, enhancing and maintaining our landscape
  • To improve your local biodiversity, creating a haven for wildlife and helping nature thrive

10 Steps To Successful Hedge-Laying

  1. The best time of year to lay your hedge is whilst the plants are dormant and bird activity is at its lowest, typically October to March each year.
  2. Before you begin, check the regional style of hedging which is typically adopted in your area. Here in Ryedale we prefer the Yorkshire style – however THIS WEBSITE has some helpful advice when making this decision.
  3. Clear out dead wood from beneath the hedge and remove all growth which is out of line – this provides clear access to carry out subsequent steps.
  4. Select evenly spaced pleachers (the main stems that are cut and laid). Younger stems will regenerate more successfully than the older more mature pleachers. N.B the larger field maple trees were not laid as they crack very easily.
  5. Remove vigorous species such as Elder, as these cannot be laid successfully and they will suppress other plants as they try to re-establish themselves.
  6. Cut pleachers so that the trimmed stump sits circa 5-10 cm above the ground – ensuring beforehand, that the tops aren’t tangled in the rest of the hedge which allows them to fall freely.
  7. Whilst you should not cut right through the pleacher in order to give the best chance to re-grow, you must cut far enough so it can lower in to its new position without being forced.
  8. All pleachers must be laid to the same angle and ideally should be laid uphill to help the flow of sap.

The McLane family would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who attended their hedge-laying event for their enthusiasm and interest – and for making the day such a memorable occasion. They look forward to seeing their freshly laid hedge flourish over the years to come and hope to see some of you again at future events.

Please remember to follow their Facebook page to keep up to date.