Get answers to common questions about the move to a new council for North Yorkshire.
How did residents have a say on the decision?
Two proposals were put forward. We proposed to create a new, single council for North Yorkshire with City of York Council, which is already a unitary council, remaining as it is. City of York Council supported this proposal.
Six of the seven district councils in North Yorkshire proposed to create two new unitary councils – East North Yorkshire (including Scarborough, Ryedale, Selby and York) and West North Yorkshire (Hambleton, Richmondshire, Harrogate and Craven).
The three criteria which had to be met before a proposal was accepted were:
- is likely to improve local government and service delivery across its area
- commands a good deal of local support as assessed in the round overall across the whole area of the proposal
- any unitary councils to be established have a credible geography
The government carried out a consultation which asked a number of questions about each proposal around value for money, proposed geography of the council and impact of the proposal on local services.
There were 4,297 responses from residents, councils in neighbouring areas, health providers, the police, businesses, voluntary groups and educational bodies. The overall response from residents was:
- 52% said our proposal would improve services compared to 27% for the alternative proposal
- 53% supported our proposal compared to 27% for the alternative proposal
- 52% thought the geography of our proposal was credible compared to 32% for the alternative proposal
Will there be any changes to the City of York Council?
City of York Council, which is already a unitary council, will remain separate with no changes to services. The new council for North Yorkshire will work in close collaboration with the City of York Council.
What happens to my local councillor?
County Council elections will take place in May 2022 and the councillors elected will serve for five years, so they will continue on as councillors for the new authority when it begins in April 2023.
District and borough councillors will continue in their current capacity until April 2023.
Will this mean less representation for my local area?
No. While there would no longer be district councillors, many county councillors already represent both councils.
New community networks and area committees will also be set up where local councillors, clearly accountable to the public for all local authority services, will meet.
Powers will be also devolved to community groups and town and parish councils to run assets and services where they want to.
You can find out more on our countywide but local pages.
What services are currently delivered by which council and what would change?
Services are currently split between ourselves as the county council and the seven district and borough councils, with some services also provided by both. When the new council begins in April 2023 it will deliver all of the services.
The services currently delivered by county and district councils are listed below.
|County Council||District Council||County and District Council|
|Births, deaths and marriage registration||Building regulations||Arts and recreation|
|Children's services||Burials and cremations||Economic development|
|Concessionary travel||Coastal protection||Museums and galleries|
|Consumer protection||Community safety||Parking|
|Education - including special educational needs, adult education and pre-school||Council tax and business rates||Planning|
|Emergency planning||Elections and electoral registration||Tourism|
|Highways (excluding trunk roads), street lighting and traffic management||Environmental health|
|Libraries||Housing and housing benefits|
|Minerals and waste planning||Licensing|
|Passenger transport (buses) and transport planning||Markets and fairs|
|Public health||Sports centres, parks and playing fields|
|Social services - including care for the elderly and community care||Street cleaning|
|Trading standards||Waste and recycling collection|
|Waste disposal||Public toilets|
Would this just cost money to achieve the same services we already have?
No. There will be a £30 million saving just by reorganising into a single council which also unlocks other saving opportunities.
Independent expert financial analysis of the proposal has shown that it would save as much as £252 million over five years. This will be vital to support frontline services, with the majority of savings linked to better procurement, contracts and property.
Will the council be based in Northallerton and will all services be delivered from there?
While the new council will decide where their base and headquarters will be situated, local area offices will be created in each of the former districts based in key community buildings such as libraries or co-located with other public service partners. Each main office will also have a dedicated face-to-face customer access point delivered by the council, with the capability to meet complex customer demand from services like social care and housing.
Main offices will be connected to communities by a network of over 30 community access points, in key towns and villages, providing access to council and partner services.
Frontline staff and partners will be based in communities supported by key specialists. Technology will enable staff and partners to be connected to colleagues whilst being based locally.
What will the impact be on local government jobs in North Yorkshire?
As the new council’s boundaries fit the existing North Yorkshire County Council area, we hope we will be what’s called the ‘continuing authority’. This would mean existing county council staff will automatically move into the new organisation and staff from district and borough councils will TUPE transfer to the new council.
The government will put in place a Structural Changes Order that sets out a basis for how the transition to the new council will take place and designate if we are the continuing authority later this year. The change order then needs to agreed by parliament and that process will complete early 2022.
Most existing staff will continue to deliver services. The most savings are likely to be achieved where there is most duplication, such as senior management and back office systems. The new council will look to bring together the best from the seven districts and the current county council and to ensure minimal impact on the public and the services they need.
Office structures and arrangements will be decided by the new council with the most senior posts (including the chief executive) being filled following an open and competitive process and once the new council’s executive is in place following the May 2022 elections.
The proposal for the new council was backed by the North Yorkshire branch of Unison who reviewed it and concluded that this change will minimise disruption to services and staff, protect jobs and avoid compulsory redundancies and help to level-up terms, conditions and pay across local government employees in the county.
What benefits will the new council have for the environment?
The York and North Yorkshire Local Industrial Strategy sets out the ambition to become carbon neutral by 2034 and then to become England’s first carbon negative economy by 2040. North Yorkshire emitted 255 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2017 and has higher emissions per person than average for England (but a lower emission per square kilometre). This is partly due to the rurality of the county and our corresponding reliance on private vehicles.
We are facing more and more challenges caused by extreme weather events. The county has suffered from several flooding events in recent years, with our infrastructure being impacted significantly and often at key locations where there are very limited alternative routes.
Due to North Yorkshire’s geography and scale, the new council will be able to develop a strategic approach to maximising the value of natural capital assets and reduce net carbon emissions. This approach could include carbon sequestration, agriculture, land management, flood prevention and initiatives such as the Northern Forest.
The new council will have the scale to capitalise upon our unique industrial capabilities and nationally significant business base in low carbon energy, such as Drax power station. This means North Yorkshire has the potential to host future large-scale carbon capture, usage and storage plants and develop high capacity renewables. The new council will be supportive of the devolution ambition to:
- deliver low carbon housing retrofit programmes across North Yorkshire’s highly dispersed, off gas grid homes
- deliver local renewable energy generation initiatives
- develop commercial models to stimulate the market such as a low-cost finance programme with technology providers
- finance smaller, ‘low value’ projects to reach carbon-neutral targets within the region
- focus on Carbon Capture Utilisation and scaling up rapidly emerging technology and infrastructure to transport, store and use the captured carbon
- deliver low carbon sustainable travel initiatives such as Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle public transport and Electric Vehicle charging facilities