Call to register to vote for ‘milestone’ election for new mayor

Ballot Box

Residents are being urged to make sure that they are registered to vote so that they can take part in an election to decide who should become the first mayor for York and North Yorkshire. 

The electorate will go to the polls on Thursday, 2 May, to appoint the political figurehead for York and North Yorkshire to bring more decision-making powers and millions of pounds in funding to the region. 

The vote will be a hugely significant moment for a long-awaited devolution deal for the region, and the mayor will oversee the York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority, which launched on 1 February, to introduce benefits ranging from new and better-paid jobs and improved skills and training to more affordable housing. 

The deadline to register to vote for anyone who is not already on the electoral register is looming later this month at midnight on Tuesday, 16 April, and people are being asked to ensure that they will be able to take part in the election. 

Registering to vote also provides benefits as it can help in situations where a credit check is needed, such as securing a mortgage, buying a car or getting a mobile phone contract. That is because banks and other lenders that check credit scores look through the electoral roll. 

Ourselves and City of York Council will be running the election in the two local authority areas. The result will be announced in Harrogate once votes have been counted on Friday, May 3, the day after the actual election. 

Our Chief executive, Richard Flinton, will be the combined authority’s returning officer as well as the local returning officer for North Yorkshire for the election. 

He said: “This will be a milestone for all of us in our region to decide on who should take on this very significant role to bring a host of benefits to hundreds of thousands of residents and business across York and North Yorkshire. 

“I would urge people to make sure that they are registered to vote to take part in the election on May 2. People do still have time to register, though, to make sure that they are able to go to the polls.” 

Alongside the deadline to register to vote by midnight on Tuesday, 16 April, anyone wishing to vote by post needs to register by 5pm on Wednesday, 17 April. To vote in person, people will need to bring a photo identification. Anyone without a suitable photo ID can apply for a free voter authority certificate before 5pm on Wednesday, 24 April. 

Details of the candidates standing in the election will be outlined in a booklet that legally has to be sent in April to the homes of everyone who is registered to vote in York and North Yorkshire. 

The mayor, who will serve a four-year term, will develop close links with the Government to secure more funding and decision-making powers as the devolution deal evolves. The deal includes an investment fund totalling £540 million over a 30-year term, which provides flexibility to target money to specific schemes on a more local level. 

The mayor will continue work that is already under way on projects including £12.7 million to deliver 700 new homes on brownfield sites and a further £10 million to support the transition to net zero, unlocking economic opportunity, empowering business growth and creating new and better paid jobs. 

The mayor will also take on the responsibilities of the police, fire and crime commissioner for York and North Yorkshire. The commissioner is responsible for holding the chief constable as well as the chief fire officer to account and ensuring their services are efficient and effective. 

The commissioner sets policing and crime priorities and oversees the police budget. The commissioner also supports community safety activities and provides victims of crime with a range of services, as well as setting priorities in the fire and rescue plan and overseeing the brigade’s budget.

See more information about the election.