On 9 October, Councils in North Yorkshire have been formally invited to submit their proposals for restructuring local authorities into single tier unitary authorities in preparation for devolution.
As explained in our recent blog, North Yorkshire County Council and the seven district and borough councils have put together two proposals for how the current two-tier system can be simplified to create a combined authority.
The government have now formally invited them to submit their proposals, which is the first step in the legal process towards restructuring.
Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:
‘Councils in Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset are already working on developing their locally-led unitary proposals and I am now giving them the opportunity to submit them for consideration.
Where there is local support, changing the structure of local government can offer better value for money and improved services for residents. We have always been clear that any restructuring of local government must continue to be locally-led and will not involve top-down solutions from government.’
The government may receive more than one locally led proposal for each area reflecting the local debates. In the event of this, the Local Government Secretary will consider all proposals received and decide which, if any, subject to consultation and Parliamentary approval, to implement.
He will assess any locally-led proposal he receives against the longstanding criteria for unitarisation. These are that a proposal should improve the area’s local government, command a good deal of local support across the area and cover an area that provides a credible geography.
The size of any unitary council will be considered, but should always take into account local identity and local geography, as well as economies of scale.
The government will not impose top-down restructuring of local government and will continue to follow a locally-led approach for unitarisation where councils can develop proposals which have strong local support.
Find out more
Richard Flinton, Chief Executive of North Yorkshire County Council has written this blog setting out their vision.
Wallace Sampson, Chief Executive of Harrogate Borough Council has written this blog to explain the vision of the district and borough councils for North Yorkshire.
In our blog ‘Local government reorganisation: what might it all mean?’ we set out both proposals with the websites for each.