How does local government work now?
Right now, the picture of local government in York and North Yorkshire is quite complex.
We have different types of councils that do different things. There is a county council covering the whole of North Yorkshire, which provides services such as roads, social care and libraries. There are seven district and borough councils that each cover a smaller area and are responsible for services such housing, waste and recycling collection, planning applications, leisure and recreation, collecting local taxes and providing housing and council tax benefits. These councils also provide many services that are not part of their statutory responsibilities, for example: helping vulnerable people, supporting communities, engaging with businesses, delivering strategies and projects to encourage economic growth.
There is also a small unitary council that provides all services for the city of York.
Why is local government changing?
The Government wants local government in York and North Yorkshire to be reorganised and simplified.
Instead of a two-tier system, the government wants to see a unitary (or one-tier) system of local government. In effect that would mean a smaller number of councils (two or maybe three across the York and North Yorkshire geography) that would each provide all services to the citizens in their boundaries.
Is change necessary?
Selby District Council believes now is not the right time for local government reorganisation, due to the pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic. However the Government asked all councils in North Yorkshire and York to submit their proposals for local government reorganisation. North Yorkshire County Council has submitted a proposal for a 'mega-council' covering the whole of the North yorkshire area. The leaders of the Selby, Craven, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale and Scarborough district and borough councils do not believe this is in the best interests of our citizens, communities or economy so have offered a better alternative.