What is devolution?
Richmondshire District Council is working together with City of York Council, North Yorkshire County Council, and the District Councils of Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Scarborough, Selby and Ryedale to agree a North Yorkshire and York devolution proposal.
Devolution is the transfer of power and funding associated with specific policy areas from the UK Government to sub-regional and local governments in England. The powers, funding and decisions usually taken by central government will be transferred to a more local or regional level.
English devolution deals focus on boosting local economic growth, with devolution deals generally including an investment fund worth hundreds of millions of pounds. This money can be used to finance transport, housing, and development projects.
Devolution in Yorkshire
Yorkshire has been discussing devolution for many years. In 2018, leaders across Yorkshire committed to developing a joined-up deal for 'One Yorkshire.' The UK Government responded to this, making it clear that they would first prefer smaller devolved deals.
Since then, devolution deals have been agreed for South Yorkshire, and in March this year, a deal was agreed for West Yorkshire. A York and North Yorkshire deal is the only option currently on the table for our sub-region.
What's happening now in Richmondshire?
Richmondshire District Council is working together with North Yorkshire County Council, City of York Council and the District Councils of Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Scarborough, Selby and Ryedale to negotiate with the Government a devolution deal for North Yorkshire and York.
Discussions are now taking place between all these councils to agree and set out a range of proposals to the Government. This is the first of many steps to be taken to negotiate a deal.
The submitted proposals will then be considered by Government over the following months. If agreed, further steps would be taken over the next 12 to 18 months including a local consultation. This will provide an opportunity for residents, communities and businesses to share their views before decisions are made.
How will this affect local residents and businesses?
Currently, the Government in London makes the majority of decisions about what happens in North Yorkshire and what happens to you at a local level. With devolution, many decisions such as public transport, education and support for local businesses could be made by elected representatives from your region.
Devolution would also enable greater local investment in transport, housing, town centre regeneration and development, digital connectivity, skills and employability.
Local investment is hugely important given the current coronavirus pandemic and the impact it has had on our region. Devolution would mean the region has greater control of investment into the region to help stimulate business growth and accelerate recovery from COVID-19.