Work is beginning towards the creation of a new single council to provide all local services for everyone in North Yorkshire.
The Government has given the go-ahead for the existing eight councils – the county, district and borough councils – to be replaced from spring 2023 by one council, bringing together all services, from planning, roads and housing to health, leisure, culture and more, enriching lives and offering opportunities.
So what will this mean for you?
People will be able to find any information they need from a single website.
They will be able to call a single number with any issues.
And they will have a single councillor to whom they can take their concerns.
All of this will be available where they live, as the single council will put local decision-making and local delivery of services at the heart of the county with:
- a main office in each former district area, offering face-to-face expertise and advice on a broad range of public services as well as meeting space to support local decision-making and democracy.
- a supporting network of 30 additional customer access sites, which will offer people the opportunity to get advice and support in, or as close as possible to, where they live or work.
- 25 community networks based around market town areas with the voluntary sector, community members and partners like the police, fire and NHS coming together to drive local change, enterprise and solutions.
- greater powers and funding passing to parish and town councils, for those that would welcome it.
- six powerful area constituency committees providing greater transparency, holding the new North Yorkshire council to account, and using delegated powers to make decisions in areas including local planning, licensing, public rights of way, highways and potentially others.
County council leader Cllr Carl Les has shared his views on the wide-ranging ways in which everyone can benefit. He says:
“In North Yorkshire, we are famous for our straight talking so I want to be clear on what an opportunity we have before us.
“Government has given the green light for a new single council, which will deliver all local services to every household in the county from spring 2023. Not in itself perhaps the most exciting line on earth – but the benefits this approach will bring are real and must not be underestimated.
“Put simply, that’s eight councils, with a wealth of dedicated and skilled staff between them, coming together to form one focused workforce, joining up all those services that will make life easier for everyone.
“Aligning things like planning, broadband, highways and housing to build stronger communities. Joining up job opportunities with education and skills. Support for families with health, leisure and cultural offers.
“The chance to enrich and improve the lives of very many people here and offer residents everywhere a fairer future.
“It will also save tens of millions that can be ploughed back into strengthening public services and empowering communities to drive and deliver on what matter most to them.
“So we are rolling up our sleeves because alongside all the essential business as usual priorities, we will be continuing our good work with town and parish councils and community groups.
“We will be pursuing the benefits of devolution to ensure that our great county can play its full role as a rural powerhouse, punching its weight nationally and regionally and flying the flag for our county, a place we are all proud to call our home.
“So, whatever your view on the timing of, detail or context for big changes to how services are future-proofed here, please come together as one to help deliver the very best for every single person in the county. Team North Yorkshire is resilient, caring and focused. Let’s show the nation what we can do. Thank you.”