Many of you voted in last week’s county council elections.
The 90 people you elected across North Yorkshire will serve you on North Yorkshire County Council until April 2023.
At that time, the county council will cease to exist, as will the seven district and borough councils that serve North Yorkshire. They will be replaced by a single North Yorkshire Council providing all the services currently provided by your county and district council. This is the biggest shake-up in local government since 1974.
The councillors elected last week will serve on the new council for the first four years of its life. Those councillors will prepare for the creation of the North Yorkshire Council.
They will press ahead with work that has already begun to ensure the continued quality of services you value, such as waste collection and recycling, highways and planning.
A meeting of the county council on Wednesday, May 18, will confirm the new members of the executive of the authority, who will be instrumental in driving forward the reorganisation of local government ahead of the launch of the new North Yorkshire Council next year.
Having one council means your services can be joined up and strengthened to improve the quality of life and opportunities for people across the county.
It will save money by reducing duplication, and this money can go back into frontline services and support local priorities and decision-making.
Local and simple for you
The new council will keep things local.
On day one of the new North Yorkshire Council – April 1, 2023 – all the services you use will continue. You should notice no difference.
The people who have emptied your bins, delivered your social care, maintained your roads and many other things will transfer to the new council, so staff will continue to work in the places they know and serve.
There will be a main office in each district where you can go for advice and information, plus more customer access points throughout the county.
There will be one website to visit and one phone number to call for information and to report issues.
Communities will be supported by new partnerships that bring together residents, councillors at all levels, MPs, businesses, community groups, the NHS and emergency services.
There will also be constituency committees made up of councillors local to the area. They will make some local decisions and hold the new council to account.
The services you rely on will continue, local people will have a voice in their shape, and if you do need to contact the council there will be simple ways to do so.
The next step
These elections not only lay the foundations for the decision-makers for the new North Yorkshire Council, they also pave the way for a devolution deal for North Yorkshire and York.
The Government stipulated that a requirement for any devolution deal for North Yorkshire was for the two-tier system of local government, with the county council and seven district councils, to be replaced by a single unitary authority. City of York Council will continue as a unitary authority to run in tandem with the new North Yorkshire Council.
The deal to hand over decision-making powers and tens of millions of pounds in funding to political leaders in York and North Yorkshire is currently being negotiated with the Government. An announcement on an offer for devolution is expected this summer before public consultations later in the year.
District and borough councils will remain until April 1, 2023. Councillors serving on those authorities will continue in their roles until that date.