To secure a devolution deal, bringing hundreds of millions of pounds to North Yorkshire and the powers to make decisions locally on how it’s spent, the government has ordered a shake-up of local government.
North Yorkshire County Council is therefore seeking to engage with the public on its ideas.
To set out the position and the choices simply, the County Council has worked with a Yorkshire animator to produce a short animated video. People can watch the animation and give their views at www.northyorks.gov.uk/StrongerTogether
The eight councils currently delivering services for the county’s 600,000 plus residents are now drawing up proposals as to what the future shape of local government in the region might look like, before seeking approval to send them to the Secretary of State for consideration.
There’s a very short timeframe for authorities to put forward proposals to be chosen and consulted on by central government.
The County Council already delivers services to all residents in the county for children and young people, adult social care and public health as well as strategic highways services and trading standards. It’s preparing a bid based on building a new single, strong and sustainable council which would deliver all services across North Yorkshire and respect the independent status of the City of York Council – which is already a unitary or single-tier authority.
The county council’s leader, Cllr Carl Les, said:
We believe that by taking the best services from the county and district councils, and building on those strengths, we can create a new, stronger, single council fit for the future.
One that can work extremely effectively at a very local level through ‘double devolution’ by which we would pass on more powers, and the money to back them up, to those town and parish councils that wanted them. At least 25 community networks would also be set up, covering market town areas, which would offer residents, voluntary groups and businesses the platform to have their say and deliver on local priorities.
We are talking to a really wide range of partners, groups and organisations and listening carefully to what matters to them as we shape the detail of our bid.
As part of this we are inviting thoughts from the public and we are asking them to watch our short animation video and then send us thoughts and any questions. It will take less than three minutes of their time and their feedback really matters to us.”
The animation and more information are available at www.northyorks.gov.uk/StrongerTogether
Cllr Les continues: “Once our bid is fully formed we will be asking members to agree it is submitted to Government so that all proposals can be properly considered.”
Comments can be submitted to StrongerTogether@northyorks.gov.uk