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Your council

One city for all, 2023 to 2027

Executive summary

York is loved by many millions, within the city, the UK, and the world.

Our beautiful built heritage, our history of pioneering social change ahead of its time and our vibrant economy sets us apart from many cities of an equivalent size - but our greatest strength will always be the people who live and work in this great city.

However, across the city, people have very different experiences of what it means to live in York, and we are committed to changing that, so everyone can enjoy the strengths and successes of the city with everyone able to live happier and healthier lives.

Our residents, businesses and communities work hard for this city, inspiring each other to be the most welcoming, the most friendly, the best.

The people of this city deserve the very best from those who serve them. They deserve a council they can be proud of. A council that works with partners.

In this plan we have set a bold vision and shared our priorities. We have been honest about the financial challenges we face, which will mean difficult choices will have to be made.

By putting people first, listening and learning from lived experience and involving people in decision-making, we will be able to improve everyone’s lives, levelling up opportunity, making the best of limited resources, improving how people experience our services.

We cannot deliver our priorities alone and will work with residents and partners to attract investment and share expertise, integrate services, and bring opportunity into our city and our communities.

By focusing on our core commitments at all stages of decision making, those outcomes that are most important to us - creating equal opportunity, finding innovative ways to make the city more affordable, tackling climate change, and improving health and wellbeing - we will improve the lives of residents now and for generations to come.

 Councillor Claire Douglas, Leader of the council
Councillor Claire Douglas, Leader of the Council

Ian Floyd, Chief Operating Officer
Ian Floyd, Chief Operating Officer

One City, for all

York's population and diversity:

  • York's population 2023: 202,821 (data source: ONS - 2021 Census TS007).
  • York's population by 2032: 215, 821 (data source: ONS - Population projections for local authorities).
  • York's student population: 48,779 (data source: ONS - 2011 Census TS068).
  • York's over 80 years old population: 9,854 (increased by 12.7% since 2011) (data source: ONS - 2021 Census TS007).
  • 7.3% of York's population are Black, Asian and racially minoritised communities, 5.5% are white non-British (data source: ONS - 2011 Census QS103EW).
  • 17.1% of York's population are disabled residents.
  • 7.7% of York's population are residents with carer responsibilities.
  • 5.5% of LGBTQIA+ live in York, that's 3.0% in our region and 3.1% in England and Wales.

Widely recognised as a city of outstanding heritage, beauty and culture and frequently topping the polls as the best place to visit in the UK, York is a City of Sanctuary, a Human Rights City and a UNESCO City of Media Arts. We are proud of our history of social justice and collective action.

York is large enough to be ambitious with plans to be a global science city fuelling the regional economy, yet compact enough for residents to be within 30 minutes of outstanding childcare, schools and colleges and communities close enough to build strong and supportive relationships.

With 2,000 years of history welcoming visitors from around the world, two universities delivering world-class research and innovation, a commitment to improve social wellbeing and so many communities freely giving their time and energy to volunteer, York occupies a special place in the heart of millions of people.

Our city’s considerable strengths provide a platform on which to continue to build and improve.

York is a city however whose outstanding education and academic results masks widening education inequalities, a city where some people can live healthy independent lives up to a decade longer than others who live only a few miles away.

With so many strengths, it is unacceptable that York was ranked 259 out of 316 (data source: Office for National Statistics, Census 2021 (ONS2021)) of the most income-deprived cities in the UK. Around 5% of York’s population live in areas ranked amongst the bottom fifth in England and Wales for deprivation.

Sharing our resources, successes and strengths will mean everyone can access the same opportunities, which in turn will strengthen our neighbourhoods, communities and the city. By establishing the conditions that bring York together as one city, all of us will enjoy better, happier, healthier lives in a healthier, fairer, more affordable, more sustainable and more accessible city.

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