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Press Release

Press Release


  • Distributed on 7 September



Public urged to help shape future of North Yorkshire’s new council


The biggest ever conversation with the public in North Yorkshire will help shape a watershed moment in local democracy and pinpoint the future priorities for vital services for hundreds of thousands of people in the county.


The largest programme of consultation events ever undertaken by councils in North Yorkshire will be launched this month (September).


The aim of North Yorkshire’s biggest ever engagement programme is to collate thousands of views from the county’s residents and businesses to help provide the bedrock for decision-making and policies for when a new council is launched in the spring of next year.


The county council will merge with North Yorkshire’s seven district and borough authorities as part of the biggest restructuring of local government in the county for nearly 50 years.


North Yorkshire County Council’s leader, Cllr Carl Les, claimed the Let’s Talk campaign is key to helping draw up a detailed vision for the new authority, as well as identifying people’s priorities for spending on services on a local level ranging from social care and education to waste collection, recycling and highways maintenance.


Cllr Les, who will assume the leadership of the new North Yorkshire Council when it launches on April 1 next year, said: “The new council will be the largest geographically in the country as it will cover England’s largest county, but it is being built with local at the heart of everything it will do.


“There will be local staff providing local services, based on local priorities and decision-making taking into account the views of the public.


“Having one new council will save millions of pounds by streamlining services and preventing duplication, creating the most efficient and cost-effective way of delivering them that we can.


“This money will help support services to ensure they are stronger and fit for the future and will fund decision-making on the most local level possible.


“It is vital we engage with the public to help shape exactly how the new council will operate, and this biggest ever conversation in North Yorkshire will be the way in which we can glean people’s views.


“I would urge everyone who lives and works in North Yorkshire to take time to put forward their opinions, and we will listen carefully to those views.”


The first topic will be focused on the new council’s commitment to serving communities on a local level. Teams of staff and volunteers from all eight councils which will merge will travel across North Yorkshire to gather the public’s views on how the new authority can best serve people on a grassroots level.


Questions will focus on people’s opinions on their own communities, asking what are their priorities for issues including job opportunities, education provision and facilities for young people as well as access to nature, parks and open spaces.


Other issues set to be part of the conversation include public transport, road and pavement repairs and traffic congestion along with access to libraries, museums and theatres and shopping facilities.


The conversation will also aim to get the public’s views on the new council’s priorities over an initial three-year period to tackle wide-ranging issues from social inequality and the cost of living crisis to regenerating town centres, improving rural transport and tackling climate change.


Other issues which the public will be asked to consider for the new council’s initial priorities include tackling climate change, creating more housing to counter the affordable homes crisis and improving connectivity for mobile phone and internet coverage.


Additional subjects that will be covered in the ongoing Let’s Talk conversation include money and how the new council’s budget will be spent, as well as a specific engagement with the public from the start of next year on the actual authority itself.


A potential conversation about a proposed devolution deal for York and North Yorkshire, details of which were unveiled on August 1, could be launched in the autumn, although this is dependent on the approval of councillors on the county council’s executive.


The Let’s Talk conversation will be aimed at engaging with residents, businesses and community groups as well as town and parish councils and council staff.


The Let’s Talk conversation will be available online at and the site will be regularly updated to provide details of public events taking place across North Yorkshire.