A new North Yorkshire Council would empower local communities and make services easier to access.

We already deliver 80% of services by spend in every community across North Yorkshire with staff working on the ground in every town and village and even in people's homes. So for every £5 spent on council services in North Yorkshire £4 is already delivered by us.

A single North Yorkshire council would not only continue to work in this way but go even further. With more locally based staff, more local access points for residents to get council services and a bigger say in how they are delivered in their community.

Simpler and easier services

A single new council for North Yorkshire will be simpler and easier for you to access. There will be one council with one point of contact, one website, one phone number for all the support and services you need.

A main office in each district would provide access to locally based staff with the expertise to help with you to resolve any issues or questions you may have.

These would be supplemented by 30 new local access points around the county so everyone has the choice to have direct, face to face contact about services.

Empowering communities

A new North Yorkshire council would create a revolution in localism. There would be new powers and money for local people across communities, market towns and parishes to drive local change, local enterprise and local solutions.

Local priorities would be decided by 25 community networks based around market town areas where communities would work with business and public sector agencies to have a louder voice and get things done in their local area.

Made up of community and business groups, town and parish councils and representatives from other local groups and public services, including local councillors, community networks will act as local agents for economic and social change.

The areas they cover will be decided in consultation with local communities and what they do and who is part of them will evolve and change over time to help make sure they continue to meet local needs and priorities.

Greater powers and funding would also be passed to parish and town councils, for those that would welcome it, and we would support them to take control of local services and facilities.

There would also be greater transparency with powerful new area constituency committees. They would oversee their local areas, championing their cause, strengthening relationships with their MPs and making important decisions locally on vital matters such as planning and licensing, holding the new North Yorkshire council to account.

And there would be just one set of councillors who will be accountable for all services, so everyone would know who represented them and who they could contact.

This approach to empowering local communities to deliver on local priorities has worked extremely successfully for single, new unitary councils in other places such as Durham and Cornwall.