The Government has decided to cancel the County Council Elections, that were due this May, so all existing county councillors have had their terms extended by a year.

This is because there are proposals to change how the councils in York and North Yorkshire are organised. The plan is to reduce the number of councils, from nine to just two. Each of the new councils would be ‘unitary’ which means they will run all of the services in their area. Compared with the two-tier Districts and County structure, currently in place across North Yorkshire, this would increase efficiency and save a lot of council tax payer’s money.

The simplified arrangements will also prepare the way for further devolution, in the future. This will allow both the priorities and specifics, of a much greater part of public spending, to be decided locally.

There are two competing proposals on the geography of the new councils, which are illustrated in the above graphic. Some of the current District Councils would like to include York in an East West split. The City of York and North Yorkshire County councils would prefer to leave York as it is and create one new council for the rest of North Yorkshire.

The Government is currently consulting on the options. Mostly it wants the views of other public bodies (like neighbouring councils, the police and NHS trusts) but it would also welcome comments from individuals. You can take part in the consultation at: The consultation closes on 19th April 2021.

I will be supporting the ‘York and North Yorkshire’ option. This will save a greater amount of money and will also involve the least amount of disruption. Existing high performing services, like those currently meeting the needs of vulnerable adults and children across North Yorkshire, would not have to be broken up and the City of York would be unaffected.

Cllr Greg White