‘Critical’ step forward for proposed £540m devolution deal
A full council meeting of City of York Council has agreed to move forward the York and North Yorkshire devolution deal first formally offered by the Government on August 1st 2022.
The council meeting considered the findings of a public engagement and consultation exercise undertaken late last year.
The public consultation 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 and climate change.
Overall response to the devolution consultation on the proposed areas of change was positive, with the majority of respondents (54%) supporting or strongly supporting proposed governance arrangements, 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 £540m for local priorities such as economic growth, transport and the fight against climate change.
City of York council leader, Councillor Keith Aspden, said: “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.
“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 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.”