On 1 April, the county council and seven district and borough councils in North Yorkshire will become one – North Yorkshire Council.

All eight councils have been working together to establish how best services can be provided, while ensuring business continues as usual. This means you will see minimal change as we bring services and staff together in the background. For example, your bins will be collected, you will be able to access your local library, take part in activities at your local leisure centre, and contact your local planning department for advice. 

Find out more about the new council below, where you can also find answers to frequently asked questions. Please check back regularly on this page for further updates. 

Serving our customers

Access to support and services will be easier, with one telephone number, one website and one customer service team, ending the confusion over which current council is responsible for which service. The new council will retain a main office in each former district area, supported by around 30 additional local customer access points in the places people go. Our staff take pride in delivering quality services for the communities they serve, with over 80 per cent of our staff living in North Yorkshire. 

There will be just one set of councillors who will be accountable for all services, so it will be clear to see who represents your local area and who to contact. 

Reaping the financial benefits

Replacing eight councils with one gives us the best possible chance of protecting our valued services at a time of exceptional financial pressures and high demand. 

North Yorkshire Council will be the geographically largest council in England. By joining up services and maximising our spending power, the new council will save between £30 million and £70 million in the first few years which will then become annual savings. This money can be used to protect some of our most important local services at a critical time when everyone and every organisation is feeling the pressure from increased costs. 

By making this change now, we are in a much stronger position to manage the rising costs and increased demand on our services. We will also be better placed to work with partners such as the health sector and emergency services, as well as community and voluntary sectors, to get the most from every North Yorkshire pound. 

Advocating for North Yorkshire

The new council will advocate for the best possible opportunities for residents and businesses, while protecting and enhancing our prized landscapes and heritage. 

Working with the county’s six MPs, the council will have a strong voice to ensure national Government understands and acts on the issues that affect our residents and businesses. Our clear economic strategy will build upon our strengths and support environmentally friendly business growth. 

As one council we can join forces to strengthen North Yorkshire’s cultural offer, lobby for a greater share of funding for arts and culture and support a year-round visitor economy. 

Via devolution, we will have a real opportunity to lobby national Government to ensure North Yorkshire enjoys the benefits seen in urban areas, which have mayoral-led combined authorities. Find out more about devolution for York and North Yorkshire.

Local at its heart

North Yorkshire Council is being built with local at its heart and aims to be the most local, large council in England.  

Staff will continue to live and work in the communities they serve, listening to the needs of individual places and supporting local priorities and action.  

We will work closely with town and parish councils, wider partners and communities to ensure that local priorities drive locally led decision-making and local action. Around 30 community networks will bring together local councillors, public sector agencies, communities and businesses to address local challenges and get things done in their local area. These may look different across the county but will share common principles. 

Find out more about community networks and our local commitment below.

Countywide but local

The new council is committed to keeping communities at the heart of our services, with locally based staff, more local access points, and a bigger say in how local services are delivered in your community.

Community networks

Local priorities will be decided by around 30 community networks, initially based around market town areas and the outlying areas. We will use feedback and data gathered from the ‘Let’s Talk Local’ conversation to help define the geographical areas they cover and the role they play. 

These networks will see communities work alongside businesses and other 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 change, driven by local priorities in the places they are formed. What they do and who is part of them will evolve and change over time to ensure they continue to meet local needs and priorities.   

Each network will be supported by a Local Area Coordinator to work with public service providers to develop their own local action plans, and to set their own priorities. These could include, for example, a cultural programme for the town, activities to bring residents together to reduce isolation, or improvements to the look and feel of the high streets. 

Each Community Network will be assigned a senior manager from within North Yorkshire Council, ensuring strong links back into the council. The new council will support and promote community-led schemes such as community transport and community housing. 

Area Committees will have a role in championing Community Network action plans and holding the council and its partners to account for the delivery of local priorities.

Area constituency committees

There will be greater transparency with powerful new area constituency committees. They will 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 council to account. 

Working with town and parish councils

Greater powers and funding will be passed to parish and town councils, for those that welcome them, and the new council will support them to take control of local services and facilities. 

Parish and town councils and parish meetings operate in different ways. The new council will work with them all, empowering them to do more if they want to for example, deliver or commission services - providing they are able to demonstrate value for money and the ability to deliver. If these conditions are met, North Yorkshire Council will be open to funding the arrangements. We would work with a first wave of forerunner town and parish councils to develop the concept, which could then be followed by other town and parish councils if successful.  

Representatives from parish and town councils have worked with us to identify the types of service that could potentially be devolved from the new council.

Frequently asked questions

Get answers to common questions about the new council for North Yorkshire. 

Two proposals were put forward – a unitary council for all of North Yorkshire, and two unitary councils split between East North Yorkshire (including Scarborough, Ryedale, Selby and York) and West North Yorkshire (Hambleton, Richmondshire, Harrogate and Craven).

The government carried out a consultation which asked several questions about each proposal in relation to 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

Read more about the government consultation and see the summary of responses.

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. 

County Council elections took place in May 2022 and the councillors elected will serve for five years, continuing as councillors for North Yorkshire Council when it begins on 1 April 2023. 

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 for local communities to take action in their areas, and powers will be devolved to town and parish councils to run assets and services where they want to. You can find out more on in the countywide but local section above.

North Yorkshire Council will deliver all services currently delivered by the county council and the seven district and borough councils. This will include the following services:

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  

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 has shown that it would save as much as £252 million over five years by bringing the eight existing councils together as one. This will be vital to support frontline services, with the majority of savings linked to better procurement, contracts and property. 

While the new council will decide where their base and headquarters will be situated, there will be a main office in each of the former districts, supported by around 30 new additional local access points across the county.

The York and North Yorkshire Local Industrial Strategy sets out the ambition to become carbon neutral by 2034 and to become England’s first carbon negative economy by 2040.

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. We will also have the scale to capitalise upon our unique industrial capabilities and nationally significant business base in low carbon energy. 

A new climate change strategy will be open to consultation which we will be inviting you to comment on. 

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