Devolution represents a huge opportunity to make a difference to people who live and work in North Yorkshire, and could bring real benefits for the big issues that matter to you.
Whether that is new and better paid jobs, more affordable housing or placing ourselves at the forefront of a revolution in environmentally-friendly business, the chance of more decision-making powers and millions of pounds in funding will help this to be achieved.
You can read more about devolution for York and North Yorkshire on the York and North Yorkshire devolution website.
The proposed devolution deal would deliver more local powers and decision-making and additional funding. The planned 30-year agreement includes an investment fund of more than £540 million for York and North Yorkshire. Coupled with other funding secured from the government, the proposed deal represents a total of £750 million.
The deal for York and North Yorkshire would see the introduction of an influential mayor who would become a figurehead for the region and forge close links with the government. The new mayor, who would be elected in May 2024 if the proposed deal comes to fruition, would lead a new powerful combined authority that would oversee strategic projects ranging from major transport improvements and boosting skills and education to providing more affordable housing.
What does this mean for you?
More higher paid jobs, access to training that gives you the chance to build a career locally and better transport and digital connections to get you there.
If you live in York and North Yorkshire, you would have the chance to choose to elect a mayor. A mayor for York and North Yorkshire would:
- take on new local powers for issues such as transport, housing and skills
- lead on delivering projects such as more affordable housing, environmentally-friendly business and support for issues like arts and culture
- champion our region nationally, making sure we get a fairer share of money and a bigger voice to attract even more investment
This is an historic moment and the first powerful step towards long-term change. Devolution would unlock a better future for everyone in York and North Yorkshire.
The proposed devolution deal includes:
- £13 million for the building of new homes on brownfield land across 2023/24 and 2024/25
- up to £2.65 million to deliver affordable, low carbon homes across the area
- up to £50m investment for the York Central brownfield regeneration scheme, which would bring benefits across North Yorkshire too
- a total of £7 million to drive green economic growth towards becoming a carbon negative region
- closer relationships with key government departments to drive investment in digital broadband and mobile infrastructure
- boost regional innovation through better collaboration on projects such as the Scarborough Cyber-Cluster and the BioYorkshire programme
What is the difference between Devolution and Local Government Reorganisation?
In North Yorkshire eight councils used to provide local public services. There is now just one - North Yorkshire Council. Having just one council will save money and join up services so that they make sense to local people and businesses. This alone will deliver savings of between £30 and £70 million each year. Money which will be used to protect the most important local services at a critical time when everyone and every organisation is feeling the pressures from increased costs.
Making this change to local government was also necessary to make sure the county could qualify for the strongest possible devolution deal. Devolution is the transfer of certain powers and money from national government to a region. It means local people and businesses have a bigger say on their local priorities and how that money is spent.
By replacing eight councils with just one, North Yorkshire was able to bid for a devolution deal which included a mayor. A mayor would lead a regional combined authority for both North Yorkshire and York. Together that’s more than 800,000 people.
Mayoral led combined authorities have big decision-making and financial benefits. For North Yorkshire and York that would mean an additional £18 million a year of brand new money via a mayor’s investment fund.
When you add together the new money from the mayoral investment fund for the region and the savings from having just one council in North Yorkshire it is a significant increase.
What happens next?
The consultation on York and North Yorkshire Devolution was open from 21 October to 16 December 2022.
On Friday, 24 February 2023, members backed proposals at a full council meeting to send the results of the public consultation to Ministers to progress plans to create a mayoral combined authority.
Following support from the public for the proposed deal, it is hoped that a combined authority, which would be responsible for overseeing devolved decision-making powers and millions of pounds of funding for both York and North Yorkshire, will be established later this year. Mayoral elections would follow in 2024.