Your at-a-glance guide to what’s new in your council
Here is your quick guide to what is happening in your council and the news you might have missed.
Let’s Talk Money - have your say on our budget priorities
We are asking you to give us your views on our budget priorities in our Let’s Talk Money survey.
North Yorkshire Council, which now provides all local council services, from rubbish collection to public health and education, transport and leisure, is barely six months old, but already we are creating major plans to bring long-term benefits to the county.
We are preparing our budget for 2024/25 and are encouraging you to have a say on our priorities.
We have already developed a strong economic strategy to drive growth and improve opportunities. With City of York Council, we have secured a devolution deal, which, subject to final approval by Parliament, will drive regeneration and investment.
However, we do not underestimate the financial challenges created by the cost of living crisis, high inflation and huge demand for services.
Have your say on how our budget should be spent. Complete the Let’s Talk Money survey by 18 December.
Review of polling districts and polling places
We are consulting on our 888 polling districts and 569 polling places as part of a statutory process that is carried out at least once every five years.
We have made draft recommendations for across the county for use during voting in local and national elections.
We want your comments. To ensure that polling places are accessible to all, we are particularly keen to hear from anyone who finds it challenging to travel to or access their local polling place.
The feedback and recommendations from the consultation will be shared with councillors for approval in December before the revised electoral register is published on February 1, 2024.
The closing date for responses is 13 Monday November.
Apply for your child’s primary school place
Parents and carers with children due to start primary school in North Yorkshire in September next year can apply for their places now.
Primary applications for children born between 1 September, 2019, and 31 August, 2020, must be submitted by 15 January, 2024, and parents and carers are advised to list up to five schools in order of preference.
Allocated school places will be announced on National Offer Day, which is 16 April, 2024. Anyone requiring further information and advice about the process is asked to contact school admissions via email at email@example.com or by calling 01609 533679.
Libraries of Sanctuary
The network of libraries across North Yorkshire has received an award for providing a safe space for sanctuary seekers and refugees.
Made up of 42 branches and one mobile facility, North Yorkshire’s library service has been awarded the Libraries of Sanctuary status by the City of Sanctuary UK charity, which supports communities in making their schools, theatres and libraries safe places for people seeking refuge.
North Yorkshire has been praised for making library services easily accessible for sanctuary seekers, which involves outreach staff visiting temporary accommodation. They have organised library visits to showcase the stock, services and inclusive activities on offer.
The service has removed the need for users to show proof of identification, and made an exemption for fines, hire charges and reservation fees.
It offers free IT subscriptions, allowing sanctuary seekers to stay in touch with loved ones and access vital support. It also runs inclusive events and activities, such as conversation clubs, dual language story times and craft clubs.
The service has introduced resources, including books, e-newspapers and e-magazines in first languages, with dual language picture and story books for younger readers. The library app is also available in multiple languages.
Staff and volunteers have benefitted from training from the Refugee Council in meeting the requirements of sanctuary seekers, and further sessions are planned.
Self-Care Week at the library
Libraries’ role as a “gateway to good health and wellbeing” will come to the fore this month during Self-Care Week.
The annual national awareness week, which this year runs from November 13 to 19, is organised by the Self Care Forum and focuses on embedding support for self-care across communities and families.
Libraries will link up with public health colleagues and other partners to showcase the support they offer and to host activities and events.
Library members can take advantage of free resources, including Wellbeing Bags for adults and Self-Care Toolkits for teens. These are full of books and fun activities to promote wellbeing.
There are also Reading Well collections for adults, teens and children to support people in understanding and managing their health and wellbeing, using books recommended by health experts. Additionally, the library service’s Tough Topics collections are packs of books and activities chosen by librarians and professionals to help 3-8-year-olds process their emotions and open conversations about their feelings around life-changing events.
To find out more about what is happening during Self-Care Week, visit your local library or check its Facebook page. Sign up for a free library membership.