Richmondshire and Hambleton council chiefs have rejected suggestions they could unite with the Tees Valley authorities.
The leaders of the two district councils, which serve populations of 90,500 and 53,700 across 1,311sq km and 1,318sq km areas, said they did not feel joining the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) would be in the best interests of their residents.
The comments from Conservative councillors Mark Robson and Yvonne Peacock follow fellow Tory and Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen stating he would welcome the North Yorkshire councils “with open arms” into the TCVA.
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It serves a population of 700,000 across the mostly urban area of Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Hartlepool, Darlington, Redcar and Cleveland.
Mr Houchen said: “I recognise that along the River Tees we’re one half Yorkshire and another Durham.
“That’s why I’ll always have discussions with North Yorkshire districts to see how we can work together to deliver jobs and growth across the area.
“The world doesn’t stop at political boundaries, and the names of local authorities don’t define us. If Hambleton, Richmond, or Scarborough want to join forces with me to deliver for people, my door is always open.”
The North Yorkshire council leaders said they were committed to joining 16 other authorities in the One Yorkshire devolution plan, which has been submitted to the government.
Hambleton council leader Cllr Robson said: “This would water down what we do and how we operate. The district operates very well at the moment. Joining the TVCA would not be appropriate just because Great Ayton and Stokesley are close to Teesside.”
Richmondshire council leader Cllr Peacock added: “We know what happens even 20 miles from our border can make a difference in Richmondshire, but to us the future is One Yorkshire.
“Our residents can recognise that and are proud to be Yorkshire.”