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Devolution moves to final stages following full Council approval

Published Friday, 24 February 2023

A full council meeting of City of York Council (23 February 2023) has agreed to move forward the York and North Yorkshire devolution deal first formally offered by the Government on August 1 2022.

The council meeting considered the findings of a significant public engagement and consultation exercise undertaken late last year.

On Tuesday 14 February, the Council's Executive considered the results of that recent public consultation and referred the proposal to a full meeting of the City of York Council to allow a decision based on the views of all Councillors.

The public consultation on devolution for York and North Yorkshire ran from late October to mid December 2022. Almost 2,000 people completed the survey, expressing views on a range of topics including:

  • housing
  • transport
  • skills and employment
  • climate change

The consultation campaign also produced 1.6 million impressions across social media channels.

The overall response to the consultation on the proposed areas of change was positive, with the majority of respondents (54%) supporting or strongly supporting the proposed governance arrangements in the scheme, including an elected Mayor and a Mayoral Combined Authority, to unlock the benefits of the devolution deal. Around a third (32%) of respondents opposed or strongly opposed the proposals.

Under the proposed devolution deal, York and North Yorkshire will gain new powers from central government and control of funding, including £540 million for local priorities such as economic growth, transport and the fight against climate change.

City of York Council Leader, Councillor Keith Aspden, commented:

The approval of the plans by Full Council marks a critical step in the progress towards unlocking devolution, with clear cross-party support for moving forwards in the process.

"As an administration we felt it was important for all councillors to get an opportunity to give their views, and I'm pleased that full council has played its part in moving devolution forward.

"The results of the consultation will now be submitted to Government, and we hope that in the coming months the Secretary of State will approve the drafting of legislation to allow the creation of York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority. If that passes through parliamentary process as expected, we would hope to see the new Combined Authority formed, and initial funding received, in the Autumn.

“Devolution presents a real opportunity for York and that by working in partnership with North Yorkshire we can make use of the promised new powers and investment. This creates significant potential to boost our economy and support our communities now and into the future.”

Further details of the meeting of the City of York full Council meeting can be viewed online.