A single super council looks set to replace Harrogate Borough Council in the biggest shake-up in local government in North Yorkshire since the 1970s.
Government ministers have opted for one unitary council for North Yorkshire, which will see the remaining districts and county council scrapped.
The decision will come as bitter disappointment for those who backed an east//west model for the county, which was proposed by the district councils. Local MP Andrew Jones and Unison Harrogate branch were among those who supported the model.
It follows two models being submitted to government for consideration.
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Both North Yorkshire County Council and the districts submitted opposing plans. The district authorities’ plan would have seen the county split in half with one council in the east and another in the west.
However, the government announced today that its preferred option is a sole council for the entire county with City of York remaining in place.
Ministers said the move followed consultation with residents, businesses and local authorities.
Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Local Government, said he had asked local councils to now work “collaboratively and constructively” to establish the new unitary council.
Mr Jenrick said:
“Residents, businesses and service providers in North Yorkshire have had their say on what will work best for their area and now councils can start planning for the next step.
“I have always been clear that any restructuring of local government must be locally-led and will not involve top-down solutions from government.
“These plans will help strengthen local leaderships and ensure residents of North Yorkshire are receiving the consistent high-quality services they deserve.”
In order to establish the council, a draft structural order will be laid before parliament at the turn of the year.
The government said this will include transitional arrangements, including for elections in May 2022 to the new authority.
Currently, North Yorkshire County Council is responsible for services including social care, education and highways, while district and borough councils look after the likes of planning, licensing and bin collections.
Under the unitary authority, those services will be transferred over to the new council.