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Local businesses and partners urged to back York

Published Thursday, 3 September 2020

The leader of City of York Council is urging local businesses and stakeholders to ‘back York’ as part of current devolution discussions across the region.

A devolution deal for York and North Yorkshire could unlock significant investment of up to £2.4bn over 30 years. This investment could be a real boost for our local economy, help to create jobs, transform public spaces and infrastructure, at a time when York’s economy is recovering from the Coronavirus pandemic

As part of any devolution deal, the Government has indicated that the deal requires the removal of the complex two-tier (County and District) structure in other parts of North Yorkshire. However, some options proposed by district councils in North Yorkshire propose merging York with neighbouring districts.

Cllr Keith Aspden, leader of City of York Council believes proposals that cause as little disruption as possible to allow councils to concentrate on serving their populations at this critical time are the right way forward. For this reason, the best way to support a strong recovery, secure devolution quickly, and support the Levelling-Up agenda in York and North Yorkshire, is with City of York continuing as a unitary authority alongside a new North Yorkshire unitary.

Some stakeholders in the city have already provided their feedback to Government and backed our case for York’s boundaries to remain unaltered. This includes Professor Stephen Eames, Independent Chair and lead of the Humber Coast & Vale Integrated Care System, who has written to the Government to raise concerns about the impact on successful healthcare partnerships in the region, commenting that any changes to City of York’s boundaries would “distract us from the continuing challenge of dealing with COVID and its aftermath and restoring services to normal levels”.

Local businesses have been invited to back York by writing to the Minister for Local Government, Simon Clarke MP. Reviewing submissions is an important part of the Government’s process and we would like to thank those who have already confirmed our size is our strength by confirming City of York’s boundaries should remain unchanged.

As part of Our Big Conversation, City of York Council is encouraging local residents, businesses and stakeholders to have their say on these issues via The Council will also be delivering an Our City to residents, providing people the opportunity to fill in and return the devolution survey.

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council said:

“At this critical time, the city needs stability, not disruption to local services and partnerships, particularly with our social care responsibilities.”

“We need to concentrate on what we do best and use our capabilities to work with you, York’s residents, businesses and partners, to deliver the very best for our communities and city.”

“As part of this, we are encouraging local residents, businesses and stakeholders to provide us their feedback on these issues via Our Big Conversation ( The Council will also be delivering an Our City to residents, in order to provide those without access to the internet the opportunity to have their say.”

In the meantime, the Council will continue to lobby regional and national partners to secure greater investment in the city, pushing forward with our Back York campaign (