To cut to the punchline, or for those that have little interest, we don’t know what is happening.
We have spoken to both County Council and the Borough Councils. They have both publicly put out their solutions, or a single and two council models, but it is not clear what they have been asked to do. Borough Councils have worked together to put a combined proposal from all the Borough Councils (two councils) and North Yorkshire County Council have proposed a single council – both have been running PR campaigns to convince the public.
Devolution of the North has been a bit of buzz word for sometime, but coupled with that is a massive reorganisation of local government, or at least it is believed to be part of any devolution plans.
The changes come under the Ministry for Regional Growth and Local Government. That is a ministry that that has seen 3 Ministers this year.
- Luke Hall is the current Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government, took position on 8 September 2020
- Simon Clarke, 13 February 2020 to 8 September 2020
- Jake Berry, 14 June 2017 to 13 February 2020
We contacted the ministry, and they were unable to answer our question as to what is being asked of North Yorkshire, and by when.
The comms team provided a statement that talks about broad objectives and a white paper that will be published.
A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesperson said:
We have set out a clear commitment to level up all areas of the country by empowering our regions through devolving money, resources and control away from Westminster.
We are considering a range of options and will set out our detailed plans in the White Paper that will be published in due course.
North Yorkshire is now in a waiting game. It looks likely that significant work of both County and Borough Councils will then be resumed or modified against the White Paper when it is released.