North Yorkshire faces big change in April
Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby District Councils will disappear and the North Yorkshire County Council will be reformed as a "unitary authority" — one which will be massively bigger than any other such authority in the country.
North Yorkshire is the largest county in England, covering 3,109 square miles and including around 500 towns and villages and one small city.
To put it further into a context of scale, it is about 3½ times bigger than Yorkshire's present largest unitary authority, East Riding of Yorkshire.
The area is also considerably larger than the pre-1974 North Riding of Yorkshire as North Yorkshire incorporated large parts of the West Riding and some of the East Riding, although some northern fringes were lost to what are now Durham County, Stockton-on-Tees, Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland unitary authorities.
A single budget will now be spread across the whole of North Yorkshire.
There are also plans to standardise Council Tax rates. That means those living in districts which have traditionally had enhanced facilities and higher spending now having a lower Council Tax, while those living within some of the lower spending districts will pay more Council Tax. The increase may be offset by expected savings, but the initial indication is that a local office will be maintained in each district while there there will also be costs involved in amagalmating district functions into the county authority.
The civil parish councils include town councils in most towns. In
There are two very notable gaps in the parish or town council coverage in North Yorkshire —
There are now plans to establish new town councils in both Harrogate and Scarborough, but elections will not take place until 2024.
Elections for the new North Yorkshire council have already taken place. The councillors elected to the North Yorkshire Council in 2022 will continue as councillors of the new unitary authority with its expanded range of services from April.
There are plans however to introduce an extra election. Under the Government's "devolution deal" funding agenda it wants an elected mayor. The mayor would be the figurehead of a combined authority covering not just all of the new North Yorkshire unitary authority but also the City of York, which continues as a separate unitary authority. The role is also expected to incorporate the responsibility of Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner. Such an election could be held in 2024.
Here are the towns and villages of
Find out more at the
North Yorkshire County Council website.