Our role, structure and objectives

Information about what we do, the constitution, our objectives and the history of North Yorkshire.

What is North Yorkshire County Council?

The council is responsible for providing a wide range of public services to the people of the county.  We are made up of an elected assembly of 72 councillors, with county council elections held every four years.

Our councillors are elected democratically by the people of North Yorkshire. They are active at the heart of their local communities, listening to your concerns and responding to the needs of the public, to deal with the issues that are important to you where you live.

We also act as a champion and spokesperson for North Yorkshire and its people. We represent and promote the interests of our county in the wider Yorkshire and North-East region, in the whole of the United Kingdom, and abroad. 

'We want North Yorkshire to be an even better place for everyone to live, work or visit.'

To achieve this vision we need to work with partner agencies and also play our part as an individual organisation. Our vision helps us decide what to focus on in our day to day work.

More information

Our values are at the heart of what we do and what we want to achieve.

Values

  • Customer focus – putting the customer at the heart of everything we do.
  • Care and respect – treating people as individuals and with courtesy, seeking to understand how others see things, and valuing their contribution.
  • Innovative and can-do attitude – seizing opportunities to do things better and taking responsibility to see things through.
  • Honesty – being clear about what we are able to deliver and that we must live within our means.
  • One team – one council working with partners and communities.
  • Valuing our staff – supporting and enabling them to perform at their best.
  • Valuing local democracy – strengthening community leadership and delivering what has been agreed.

Ambitions

We have four key ambitions for the North Yorkshire of 2021.

  1. Every child and young person has the best possible start in life;
  2. Every adult has a longer, healthier and independent life;
  3. North Yorkshire is a place with a strong economy and a commitment to sustainable growth that enables our citizens to fulfil their ambitions and aspirations; and
  4. We are a modern council which puts our customers at the heart of what we do.

We are fundamentally changing our way of working. We are making sure that we have honest and open discussions with local communities, so that there is a shared understanding of what the county council can and can not realistically provide directly, and what we can achieve by working in different ways.

We want to make sure that, through our media campaigns and communications, local people can clearly see how the work the council is doing every day in our communities is helping to achieve what we hope for the future of North Yorkshire. 

More detail can be found on our council plan page.

We are a 'top-tier' council. This means that we provide important local services across the whole county. The UK Parliament decides what our responsibilities are.

We as a county council are responsible for local services such as:

We work with 'second-tier' district and borough councils. District and borough councils cover smaller areas within the County. They run other services, such as: 

  • rubbish collection
  • recycling
  • council tax collections
  • housing
  • planning applications

Which is my district or borough council?

You can check  our district council boundaries on a map (pdf / 835 KB).

The City of York is a unitary authority which means that it is separate from North Yorkshire, and it is responsible for all its own local services. 

What is a parish or town council?

Parish and town councils are the lowest level of councils. You can see information about parish and town councils and their responsibilities, as well as find your local parish clerk, here.

The chief executive is Richard Flinton. The senior managers are:

  • Stuart Carlton, corporate director of children and young people's service
  • Richard Webb, corporate director of health and adult services
  • David Bowe, corporate director of business and environmental services
  • Gary Fielding, corporate director of strategic resources
  • Barry Khan, assistant chief executive - legal and democratic services
  • Justine Brooksbank, assistant chief executive - business support

An executive, or decision making group, made up of seven councillors meets every fortnight to make decisions about the council's policies and budgets. Five 'overview and scrutiny' committees examine the executive's decisions, while the full council of 72 councillors ratifies the executive's decisions.

 View the structure of the council here (pdf / 111 KB).

Major issues to be discussed are published in the executive's forward plan which describes the decisions to be made and when, as well as who is responsible for making them.

By law, the executive is not allowed to make some decisions. So, in addition to the executive we have regulatory committees to make decisions on issues such as planning and highways.

The decision-making structure is designed to make the council's processes more transparent. The council's constitution sets out how the council operates, how decisions are made, and the rules and procedures which are followed to make sure that these are efficient, transparent and accountable to local people.

We have a commitment to open government and freedom of information. Public discussions about our policies and the services we provide is an important part of effective local democracy. We therefore give as much information as we can to local people and the press.

You have a right to see decision making in action and the background information to council decisions. The great majority of meetings are open to the public throughout, but the committee may resolve to meet in private when discussing personal details about individuals or commercial information about contracts. You can listen to recordings of council meetings.

Verification number notice

The council's proper officer has published the number that is equal to five per cent of the number of local government electors shown in the electoral registers having effect for North Yorkshire on 15 February 2017, for the purposes of determining the validity of any petition for a referendum on whether the authority should change to a different form of governance presented after 31 March 2017 and before 1 April 2018.

Please see the  full verification number notice (pdf / 63 KB) for details.