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Latest York and North Yorkshire devolution milestone reached

York and North Yorkshire’s devolution order has been laid in Parliament – marking another step towards the devolution deal becoming law in early 2024.

The deal, which was announced in August 2022, will bring investment of more than £540 million over the next 30 years to the region. York and North Yorkshire councils and a new combined authority led by an elected mayor will have more decision-making powers over key local issues, such as adult education, transport, infrastructure, skills, jobs and housing.

Work is already underway to maximise the impact of the deal. Last month, £7 million was allocated to 23 net zero schemes across York and North Yorkshire, funding that will be received should the combined authority be approved by Parliament. Alongside carbon reduction, funding will create a pipeline of net zero projects that will drive economic growth, create jobs, reduce energy costs for businesses and leverage further investment.

The devolution order was laid in Parliament on Tuesday (7th).

North Yorkshire Council’s leader, Cllr Carl Les, said: “The prospect of bringing more decision-making powers and millions of pounds in additional funding from the Government will bring real and tangible benefits for hundreds of thousands of people in York and North Yorkshire.

“Devolution is about ensuring levelling up becomes a reality, tackling regional inequalities and bringing the prospect for more equal opportunities with better job opportunities and improved skills and training, more affordable housing and tackling the threat of climate change.

“The announcement that the Government has laid the order before parliament, for the creation of a combined authority is very welcome, and the next significant step towards achieving the long-held ambition for devolution for both York and North Yorkshire.

“The new combined authority will be a driving force behind the devolution process, overseeing major strategic projects and how funding will be allocated, and working closely with both North Yorkshire Council and City of York Council.” Cllr Claire Douglas, Leader of City of York Council, said: “Devolution and the creation of the York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority presents a huge opportunity for our region. City of York Council committed, in our four-year council plan, to working in partnership to maximise the opportunities arising from devolution and we can’t wait to get started. The laying of the draft order is another key milestone as we work towards establishing the new combined authority.

“This is a true partnership effort between York and North Yorkshire, and I want to thank everyone involved who has worked tirelessly to get us to this point. Devolution will allow us to bring significant new investment into York and the surrounding region. It brings vitally important new opportunities to deliver sustainable, affordable housing and transport, to tackle the climate emergency and to grow our economy for the benefit of all our residents. These are all priorities that align with our vision and ambition for the city to be more equal, affordable, climate focussed and healthy.”

The York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority Order 2023 is a legal document which sets out the powers available to the incoming mayor and combined authority to deliver the content of the devolution deal. Public consultation on the deal ran for eight weeks at the end of 2022. Results from that consultation were published in February this year and showed widespread support. MPs are now expected to consider the draft order before Christmas.

James Farrar, Interim Director of Transition for the York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority, added: “Subject to progress, a new combined authority could be operational in January and formally launched in February. A mayoral election would take place on 2nd May 2024.”

Further information about the York and North Yorkshire devolution deal

Key features include:

  • Control of a £540 million investment fund in total over 30 years to drive growth and take forward local priorities over the longer term, giving the mayor and local constituent councils more flexibility to decide how best to spend money on key local priorities.

  • New powers to improve and better integrate local transport, including the ability to introduce bus franchising, and an integrated transport settlement starting in 2024/25.

  • Powers to better improve local skills to ensure these meet the needs of the local economy. This will include devolution of adult education functions and the core Adult Education Budget and contribute to the Local Skills Improvement Plan.

  • Over £13 million for the building of new homes on brownfield land across 2023/24 and 2024/25, subject to sufficient eligible projects for funding being identified.

  • £7 million investment to enable York and North Yorkshire to drive green economic growth towards their ambitions to be a carbon negative region. Allocations of which have been agreed at last month’s York and North Yorkshire Joint Devolution Committee meeting.

  • Powers to drive the regeneration of the area and to build more affordable, more beautiful homes, including compulsory purchase powers and the ability to establish Mayoral Development Corporations.

  • The mayor will take on role and functions of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.

  • Integration of the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership into York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority. This will ensure there continues to be a strong and independent local business voice which informs local decision-making.



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