County council bids for £2bn spending in devolution deal


Jul 28, 2020
County council offices in Northallerton.

New transport powers, a carbon negative economy and £2 billion worth of spending are among the proposals agreed by North Yorkshire County Council to put to the government as part of a county-wide devolution bid.

The authority’s executive voted through the list of requests, known as “asks”, which outline what the county wants from devolved powers. 

It comes as council leaders across the county are pressing ahead with plans for a York and North Yorkshire devolution deal with a directly elected mayor.

More powers over transport, skills, regeneration and energy are included in the submission, as well as a mayoral funding pot worth £750 million over 25 years.

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Further funding proposals include a five-year transport settlement worth £250 million, £520 million of devolved funding for fibre connectivity and a £230 million fund for the new mayor to share between the county’s towns.

Each authority across the region has to agree to the proposals before they can be submitted. North Yorkshire’s seven district councils, including Harrogate Borough Council, are each expected to meet in the coming weeks to discuss the plan put forward by NYCC.

Once all councils have agreed, the requests are tabled to government and ministers will produce a formal devolution deal for authorities to vote on.

North Yorkshire County Council leader, Carl Les.

North Yorkshire County Council leader, Carl Les.

Cllr Carl Les, leader of the county council, said he was pleased to get the submission on the table.

He said:

“This seems to have been on the go for a long time and has had many false starts.

“We have finally got to where we are today with a set of requests that we want to agree so that we can put them on the table with government.”

Ministers and council leaders have set a target of May 2022 for any devolution plan to coincide with the mayoral elections.

Local government shake-up

Following a meeting between Simon Clark, local government minister, and the county’s council leaders, any devolution bid is expected to come with a reorganisation of councils in the county.

This could mean that the county’s seven district councils are scrapped and replaced with a unitary authority for the county.

Councils have until September to submit proposals to the government for a reorganisation of local authorities.

A further report on a proposal for a new authority as part of the reorganisation is expected to come to the county council executive at a later date.

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Christopher Groom, who was a serving officer at the time, admits making the photographs over a seven-year period.

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