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One City, for all
City of York’s Council Plan 2023-2027 






1)        Executive summary

2)        One city, for all

3)        Our vision

4)        The Four Core Commitments

5)        Our priorities

a)    Health and wellbeing: A health generating city for children and adults

b)    Education and skills: High quality skills and learning for all

c)    Economy: A fair, thriving, green economy for all

d)    Transport: Sustainable, accessible transport for all

e)    Housing: Increasing the supply of affordable housing

f)     Sustainability: Cutting carbon, enhancing the environment for our future

6)        How the Council operates

7)        Working with communities

8)        Monitoring performance





Executive summary

York is loved by many millions, within the city, the UK, and the world. 

Our beautiful built heritage, our history of pioneering social change ahead of its time and our vibrant economy sets us apart from many cities of an equivalent size - but our greatest strength will always be the people who live and work in this great city.

However, across the city, people have very different experiences of what it means to live in York, and we are committed to changing that, so everyone can enjoy the strengths and successes of the city with everyone able to live happier and healthier lives.

Our residents, businesses and communities work hard for this city, inspiring each other to be the most welcoming, the most friendly, the best.

The people of this city deserve the very best from those who serve them.  They deserve a council they can be proud of. A Council that works with partners.

In this plan we have set a bold vision and shared our priorities.  We have been honest about the financial challenges we face, which will mean difficult choices will have to be made. 

By putting people first, listening and learning from lived experience and involving people in decision-making, we will be able to improve everyone’s lives, levelling up opportunity, making the best of limited resources, improving how people experience our services.

We cannot deliver our priorities alone and will work with residents and partners to attract investment and share expertise, integrate services, and bring opportunity into our city and our communities.

By focusing on our core commitments at all stages of decision making, those outcomes that are most important to us - creating equal opportunity, finding innovative ways to make the city more affordable, tackling climate change, and improving health and wellbeing - we will improve the lives of residents now and for generations to come.


[photo and signature]                                 

Cllr Claire Douglas
Leader of the Council

[photo and signature]


Ian Floyd
Chief Operating Officer


One city, for all

Key statistics (infographics - sources inside back cover) - check 2021 census

York’s population
202,821[i] +13,000[ii].by 2032
48,779[iii] students

9,854[iv] people over 80 years old, + 12.7%[v] since 2011.

York’s diversity
7.3%[vi] Black, Asian and Racially Minoritised Communities 5.5%[vii] white non-British. 
5.5%[viii] LGBTQIA York, 3.0% region, 3.1% England & Wales. 
17.1%[ix] disabled / 7.7%[x] carer responsibilities. 

Widely recognised as a city of outstanding heritage, beauty and culture and frequently topping the polls as the best place to visit in the UK, York is a City of Sanctuary, a Human Rights City and a UNESCO City of Media Arts.  We are proud of our history of social justice and collective action.

York is large enough to be ambitious with plans to be a global science city fuelling the regional economy yet compact enough for residents to be within 30 minutes of outstanding childcare, schools and colleges and communities close enough to build strong and supportive relationships.

With 2,000 years of history welcoming visitors from around the world two universities delivering world-class research and innovation, a commitment to improve social wellbeing and so many communities freely giving their time and energy to volunteer, York occupies a special place in the heart of millions of people. 

Our city’s considerable strengths provide a platform on which to continue to build and improve.  

York is a city however whose outstanding education and academic results masks widening education inequalities, a city where some people can live healthy independent lives up to a decade longer than others who live only a few miles away. 

With so many strengths, it is unacceptable that York was ranked 259th out of 316[1] of the most income-deprived cities in the UK. Around 5% of York’s population live in areas ranked amongst the bottom fifth in England and Wales for deprivation. 

Sharing our resources, successes and strengths will mean everyone can access the same opportunities, which in turn will strengthen our neighbourhoods, communities and the city.

By establishing the conditions that bring York together as one city, all of us will enjoy better, happier, healthier lives in a healthier, fairer, more affordable, more sustainable and more accessible city.


Our Vision

One City, for all, the City of York Council’s Council Plan (2023-2027), sets a strong ambition to increase opportunities for everyone living in York to live healthy and fulfilling lives. 

It builds on our strengths, to help us prepare for the future, and improve the quality of life for residents today. 

It links to the city 10-Year Plan and 10-Year Strategies covering climate, health and wellbeing and the economy (York 2032) that was co-designed with city partners and set a vision and five key priority areas to focus on. 

[image of the York 2032 framework)

The Council Plan identifies what the Council will aim to deliver with partners over the next four years.

It is important that we are both ambitious and realistic.  We will focus the council’s limited resources where it will make the biggest difference, whilst exploring innovative ways to attract investment into the city.


Over the next four years, the council will establish the conditions that would make the city of York a healthier, fairer, more affordable, more sustainable and more accessible place, where everyone feels valued, creating more regional opportunities to help today’s residents and benefit future generations.  




Regional governance is changing


The way the city and region work together is changing.  Throughout 2023 and 2024, regional governance structures are being established to facilitate closer working between the City of York Council and North Yorkshire Council to help deliver our priorities over the years ahead. 


The City of York Council remains a unitary authority with no change in responsibilities or boundaries.  In the meantime, the newly established North Yorkshire Council brings together North Yorkshire districts authorities and the county council into one new unitary authority called North Yorkshire Council. 


City of York and North Yorkshire councils negotiated a devolution deal between central government and local authorities in York and North Yorkshire.   The York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority will be established in 23/24, with the election of the Mayor taking place in May 2024.  The Council will then work with the elected Mayor, and North Yorkshire Council, to champion the interests of the city, and the region, particularly in respect of strategic transport and economic interests to national government.


The York Place Health and Care Partnership has been established, formalising arrangements to join up health, social care and the voluntary sector work with communities.   A 10-year prospectus was co-designed with residents, partners and the community and clearly sets out how health, care and community partners will work together to improve the health and wellbeing of residents. The challenges within health and care will require significant integration of services.


Being clear on our priorities now will help us over the decade ahead as we continue to build a supportive and collaborative relationship with our local and regional partners.


Delivering the plan

The local authority sector is experiencing very significant pressures on its financial stability. 

The challenge of increased demand within social care is creating a situation where the majority of local authorities are having to prioritise resources very carefully, with some restricting spending to statutory services.

Within York we face these challenges and know we will need to take decisions to ensure financial stability.  

To deliver our plan, we must ensure financial resilience and stability over the next four years.  Exploring new ways to fund action whilst developing additional income streams to invest in services will be crucial.  We will need to reduce the size of the council to manage within our funding, whilst still being ambitious for our city, and our businesses, communities and the residents who live here.

We know it is only by being open and responsive, listening to people and learning from their experience, improving customer experience throughout our operations, and working hard for all the people of York, that we will be able to deliver our vision and this plan. 

Our local, regional and national partnerships have a significant role to help us.   Whether unlocking investment, sharing expertise or championing York’s interests, it is only by working together to deliver shared objectives that we can improve the quality of life for all our residents.

Our staff are key to achieving the actions set out within this plan.

We will continue to support and invest in our staff, seeking to retain staff and ensure the Council is a place people want to work for. We recognise the financial challenges will be a concern for our employees and will work closely with them.

This Council Plan is designed as a framework to set our priorities, guide our decision-making, and consider our resource allocation.  It shows the outcomes we aim to deliver and the actions we will take if funding allows, with more details in our directorate and service plans which will be reviewed annually.


PHOTO STORY To show how the council can make a positive difference, it is our role to set the conditions so that York is One City for all.  For example, we must ensure people with disabilities are heard and have the same rights and access to opportunities as everyone - with the council removing barriers to everyday living and with disabled children supported into adulthood.




The Four Core Commitments

Our Core Commitments are the four outcomes we believe will achieve our vision of a heathier, fairer, more affordable, more sustainable and more accessible city where everyone feels valued

These outcomes inform the decisions we make, and describe how we then work with partners, residents and communities to deliver our priorities. 

We will put them at the heart of council services and the key decisions we make as we deliver for our residents, communities and businesses. 

They are the tests we will use to ensure we move ever closer to achieving our vision. 

They are for each and every one of our residents to benefit from, ensuring all our residents benefit from the success of the city:


Equalities and Human Rights - Equality of opportunity

We will create opportunities for all, providing equal opportunity and balancing the human rights of everyone to ensure residents and visitors alike can benefit from the city and its strengths. We will stand up to hate and work hard to champion our communities,


Affordability - Tackling the cost-of-living crisis

We will find new ways so everyone who lives here benefits from the success of the city, targeting our support at those who need it most, supporting communities to build on their own strengths and those of the people around them. 


Climate - Environment and the climate emergency

We know the race to net zero is more urgent than ever and we will understand the impact our actions have on the environment.  We will prepare for the future, adapting our city to extreme climate events and enhancing our environment for future generations to enjoy. 


Health - Health and wellbeing

We will improve health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities, taking a Health in All Policies approach, with good education, jobs, travel, housing, better access to health and social care services and environmental sustainability.   We will achieve better outcomes by targeting areas of deprivation, aiming to level opportunity across the city.


Our priorities

The Council Plan has seven priorities, with the Four Core Commitment outcomes running through each (see pg xx). 


a)    Health and wellbeing: A health generating city, for children and adults

b)    Education and skills: High quality skills and learning for all

c)    Economy and good employment: A fair, thriving, green economy for all

d)    Transport: Sustainable accessible transport for all

e)    Housing: Increasing the supply of affordable housing

f)     Sustainability: Cutting carbon, enhancing the environment for our future

g)    How the Council operates


Five of the priorities are aligned to the priorities in the 10-year plan.

Housing is a new priority.  It is included because *[2]we know it is one of the three key building blocks of good health: good housing, jobs and education.

The final priority “How the council operates” describes how we will improve customer experience by working together to make a positive difference, building on our strong relationship with the city and our partners, stakeholders, communities and residents.  

These priorities provide structure and guide our actions. They align with the 10-Year Plan and the core strategies that underpin it, with one addition (Housing). 


As we work with partners, allocate resources and implement policies to focus on these seven priorities, we will seek to ensure the Four Core Commitments are demonstrated in the outcomes the Council and the city achieve.



{image showing how this framework sits with the 10-year framework)


Our priorities

To deliver our ambitious vision we have identified over 100 different actions.  We know we cannot deliver all of these without working together to harness the city’s whole income generating and investment potential, not relying on the council resources alone, and working hand in hand with partners, investors, businesses, communities, residents and the voluntary sector. We will start where we can make the biggest difference, prioritising and focusing on those actions we can deliver to meet our critical priorities that are most important to the city, and where funding supports delivery. 

The below table illustrates how the Core Commitments are delivered and considered in each of our priorities. We will take this approach when delivering the detailed ambitions in the rest of the Council Plan.

City of York Council will create the conditions for a healthier, fairer, more affordable, more sustainable and more accessible city where everyone feels valued


A health generating city, for children and adults

High quality skills and learning for all

A fair, thriving, green economy for all

Sustainable accessible transport for all

Increasing the supply of affordable good quality housing

Cutting carbon, enhancing the environment

How the council operates

 Equalities and Human Rights

Listen and learn from those who have direct experience of poverty and caring responsibilities


Celebrate being a Human Rights City with an Anti-Racism Action Plan

Promote the Good Business Charter and Living Wage Foundation for public good

Review Blue Badge accessibility by rolling back restrictions to those in place before November 2021

Introduce family-friendly foot streets that inspire young people to believe in their future

Describe how we will help people live in the right home for their circumstance

Ensure the financial burden of climate action is not carried by those who can least afford it

Be recognised by LGA as “excellent” in Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion including implementing the Social Model of Disability across the Council

Deliver good and outstanding children's services with the voice of the child heard throughout


Start the journey towards becoming an anti-poverty city within a decade, including supporting young people and families, reducing food insecurity and exploring the benefits of free school meals for all primary school children

Create pathways to learning and skills development leading to good quality jobs and improved life chances

Realise the economic opportunity provided by devolution, York Central and the bioeconomy.

Provide affordable transport for residents to access education, jobs, health and wellbeing support. delivering fare concessions identified in the Bus Services Improvement Plan

Increase the % of affordable homes (exploring opportunities through planning, travellers’ sites, community led projects, social housing, etc.) and seeking to exceed Planning policy on affordable homes

Reduce energy consumption and generate more local sources of renewable energy

Understand how the decisions we make can improve or reduce the affordability of the city.

Target a range of funding sources and service delivery to where they are most needed


Improve air quality beyond the UK’s national guidelines

Prioritise safe active travel in our Movement plan and in routes to school.

Showcase renewable energy and retrofit expertise, with a ‘Green Skills Village’ at its heart


Ensure the benefits of a low carbon society are shared widely, while also supporting those who stand to lose economically.

Develop a Movement plan as a statement of intent to make it easier to move through the city, reducing traffic around primary schools and making significant progress towards reducing carbon by 71% and traffic by 20% for discussion with the new Mayor

Take decisive action to reduce emissions improving the quality of existing council housing and launch a one-stop shop to support households retrofitting their properties

Increase biodiversity and plant an additional 4,000 trees across the city

Understand and consider the climate and biodiversity impacts when taking council decisions

Work with city partners to adapt the city to withstand extreme weather events


Reverse the current trend of widening health inequalities by supporting people manage their health conditions

Provide access to good health and social care opportunities, training and skills

Create higher paid jobs and encourage better working conditions,

Encourage healthy travel options to maintain healthy lifestyles

Support people with additional needs get the right support at the right time

Take bold action to reduce air pollution beyond national regulations and aim to meet World Health Organisation targets

Understand the health impacts of council decisions

Improve customer experience across council operations

A health generating city, for children and adults

We want York residents to live happy, healthy independent lives in communities that care, where the current trend of widening health inequalities is reversed, and people are supported to manage their health and wellbeing, with additional support available for those that need it.

We want every child to be safe, healthy, and happy in strong resilient families, living in diverse inclusive communities, with equal opportunities to ensure they achieve their full potential and the best possible outcomes.

Our starting point is that strong and supportive communities have better health outcomes, when we build on the strengths of our people, and give our citizens the best possible chance of staying healthy.  Our city is full of community and public assets that can deliver hubs for partnership support and creativity. Our thriving voluntary and community sector has over 250 organisational members of York Centre for Voluntary Services (CVS) and the average distance to green space in York is around a third of a kilometre, versus a national average distance of a whole kilometre.

But we need more in place to support our residents.  To ensure everyone feels valued, we need to make sure our adult and social care services are the very best they can be, focused on the areas that make the biggest difference and preparing children for adulthood.

Key statistics - presented as infographics

Life expectancy
Average 80 years men compared to 79 Nationally. Across York this ranges from 86 to 76 years with strong relationship to “deprivation” in communities.

Average 84 years women compared to 83 Nationally / Across York this ranges from 88 to 80 years with strong relationship to “deprivation” in communities.


Volunteering 62% of respondents to Talkabout give some form of unpaid help.

Health [xi]139 out of 307 local authorities where 1 is healthiest and 307 is least healthy

Physical activity
150+ minutes per week, moderate intensity excl. gardening)
70%[xii] York / 63% national average
likely to walk or cycle 3+ times a week
55% York / 45% national average .

Mental health
18.9% [xiii] 18-64 year olds predicted to have a mental health problem
7.5%[xiv] of 65 years old+ predicted to have dementia.


What we will do ...

1.    Working with York’s Health and Care Partnership, deliver the ambitions set out in the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2022-2032. [York Place Partnership priorities image]

2.    Set the conditions for people to live healthy independent lives:

2.1. Increase council-wide action to reduce health inequalities and report on this through the Director of Public Health's Annual Report.

2.2. Co-design a Housing with Support Strategy setting out the care choices people have so older and disabled people could stay in their own homes as long as possible.

2.3. Work with the York Health and Care Partnership to strengthen York’s integrated prevention and early intervention model, and further develop primary and secondary shared care models and emergency care, working closely with the voluntary and community sector.

2.4.Take a council-wide approach to tackle domestic abuse and support victims and survivors.

2.5. Deliver the Dementia Strategy Action Plan, updating and refreshing associated strategies to promote greater understanding about the impact on resident’s lives.

2.6. Develop and deliver an all age commissioning model for different specialist facilities.

2.7. Co-produce and publish our approach to supporting people with Learning difficulties, mental health, autism and delivery of adult social care.

3.    Build community pride:

3.1. Celebrate the city’s diversity, delivering an Anti-Racist Plan and embedding across policy and processes.

3.2. Develop family friendly foot streets to bring playful exploration across the city centre.

3.3. Introduce Neighbourhood Action Plans to target ward funding, community assets and other resources to where they are needed most.

3.4. Work with North Yorkshire Police to target support to areas at risk of organised crime.

4.    Start good health and wellbeing young:

4.1. Understand the benefits and scalability of a Free School Meals Pilot with the purpose of public good to transform children’s lives.

4.2. Introduce a Spaces and Places Programme for young people developed by them for them, including a Cultural Passport aimed at encouraging children to engage in culture. 

4.3. Continue our improvement journey to deliver good and outstanding children's services with the voice of the child heard throughout all council operations.

4.4.Embed corporate parenting so children in care and care leavers can thrive.

5.    Target the right support at the right time:

5.1. Listen to lived experience to deliver a Cost-of-Living Plan; and together with partners, develop and deliver a 10-year Anti-Poverty Strategy and Plan, including supporting young people and households reduce the cost of heating and energy bills.

5.2. Review the fostering service, including the support to foster carers and kinship carers.

5.3. Deliver local area coordination, health trainers and social prescribing that supports people be independent and in communities, working alongside partners for their own health and wellbeing.

5.4.Develop a locality model of delivery, exploring the benefits of establishing “hubs” across communities.

5.5. Deliver the City Community Mental Health Transformation Programme.

5.6. Support more people on their journey of recovery from addiction, including through smoking cessation services and our recovery-based drug and alcohol model.


Key performance indicators ...

Council Delivery

Number of Children in Care

Number of Child Protection cases

Numbers of SEND Cases or EHCPs

% of people who use services who have control over their daily life - Disabled People

% of people who use services who have control over their daily life - Older People

Overall satisfaction of people who use services with their care and support

City Outcomes

Children and Families in Poverty - Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI)

%pt gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers achieving 9-4 in English and Maths at Key Stage 4

Number of children in temporary accommodation (temporary accommodation to be further defined)

Health Inequality in wards (difference to York average)

% of reception year children recorded as being overweight (including obese)

Slope index of inequality in life expectancy at birth - Female / Male - (Three year period)

% of adults (aged 16+) that are physically active (150+ moderate intensity equivalent minutes per week,)



High quality skills and learning for all

We want children to recognise a positive future for themselves no matter their present circumstances. We want all ages to have access to learning throughout their lives and to equip them with the skills to succeed commercially and socially, both locally and nationally. 

We’ll support our schools to support our young people and work collaboratively with employers to define skills and work with social care staff to promote training for carers.

Over 6,000 children in York are living in poverty, with the gap between education attainment varying across the city, and a lack of adult social care and construction skills causing recruitment and delivery issues. 

Key statistics - presented as an infographic

Education attainment equivalent to GCSE level C+
75.3%[xv] York average / 56.1% national average
57.7% [lowest ward] / 91.8% [highest ward]

17[xvi] of York’s LSOAs are within the most deprived 10% of LSOAs in England in terms of children and young people’s education and skills. An LSOA is a Lower Layer Super Output Areas - a geographic hierarchy designed to improve the reporting of small area statistics in England and Wales.

Adults Skills equivalent of a Level 4 (degree or higher)
59.3%[xvii] York average / [xviii]43.5% North average / 38% nationally
22.5% [lowest ward] / 58% [highest ward]   


What we will do ...

1.    Working with the Skills Board, deliver the ambitions set out in the Skills Strategy 2020-2030.

2.    Provide outstanding and inclusive education:

2.1.Implement the York Inclusive Schools Charter, exploring options with York Schools and Academies Board and the Maintained Schools Network to enhance or replace existing kitemark schemes to better celebrate all aspects of the life of the school.

2.2.Develop the relationship between schools, family hubs and learning centres, such as Sanderson House, in collaboration with other services and universities.

2.3. Work across the region to highlight the funding challenges across early years settings, schools and colleges, working with local and regional partners to explore different opportunities.

2.4.Continue to work in close partnership with the universities and college to deliver for the city, welcoming students to communities and identifying opportunities to unlock the power of education for public good. 

3.    Build and retain an outstanding social care workforce:

3.1.Work with local education providers to promote better training for the social care workforce and the Social Care Forum.

3.2.Provide additional training for social carers from the council and partners.

3.3.Work with secondary schools to raise awareness of the skills needed to have a career in social care.

3.4.Continue to promote apprenticeships as a route into social care.

4.    Promote pathways to employment:

4.1.Work with the Skills Board to deliver the 10-year Skills Strategy, providing opportunities for apprenticeships and promoting the range of career options and pathways across the city, focused on sector specific skills based on local market information.

4.2.Develop and implement the Adult Learning Strategy, working closely with the Combined Authority.

4.3.Invite the Skills Board to review the curriculum to develop skills needed by York’s economy.

4.4.Develop green skills, progressing to quality qualifications and employment, including the green skills of our own workforce focused on retrofitting council homes (pg xx).

4.5.Continue to work with careers leaders to embed the Gatsby Standards ( .

4.6.Develop the Supported Internship Hub to support young people with SEND to access employment.


Key performance indicators ...

Council Delivery

Free School Meals - Primary and Secondary

City Outcomes

% of children who have achieved a Good Level of Development (GLD) at Foundation Stage

% of pupils achieving 9-4 or above in English & Maths at Key Stage 4 (C or above before 2016/17)

% of working age population qualified - to at least L2 and above*

% of working age population qualified - to at least L4 and above*



A fair, thriving, green economy for all

York has a strong economy.  With high employment, above-average wages, productivity amongst the highest in the North, supported by outstanding universities and colleges, York is a global science city and has world renown sectors in rail tech, bio tech, creative tech and tourism/hospitality, together with being home to a range of major public sector organisations.

However, our economy needs to work for everyone. We know that the poorest people in York live an average 10 years less than the most affluent, with rising numbers of residents claiming Universal Credit whilst in work. We also know economic factors are the single largest factor of a healthy life.

York’s Economic Strategy 2022-2032 was approved by Full Council in December 2022.  It is one of the core strategies underpinning the 10-Year Plan which sets an ambition that York’s economy will be vibrant and inclusive, with businesses supported to grow and prosper and talent nurtured and retained. 

Our economy will be developed to be well balanced with a mix of different sectors providing opportunities for young and old.

Key statistics - presented as infographics

£6.1[xix] bn 2020 contribution to national economy
7,515[xx] businesses + 25.2% since 2011/ national average 33.0%

83.6%[xxi] in employment / 75.5% nationally
1.7%[xxii] claim Jobseeker's Allowance plus those who claim Universal Credit who are out of work - range from 0.6% - 3.5% depending on where they live in city

Working at home 2021[xxiii]
35.5% of 96,196 working residents worked mainly at or from home

7.2%[xxiv] of population are income-deprived in 2019.

Housing affordability (median house prices to earnings ratio)

8.9 in 2021/22

Earnings gap between the 25 percentile and the median (£)

£165 in 2021/22


What we will do ...

1.    Working with York’s Economic Partnership and the newly established Combined Authority, deliver the ambitions set out in the Economic Strategy 2022-2032.

2.    Support an economy driven by innovation and good business:

2.1.Realise the economic opportunity set by devolution, York Central and the bioeconomy.

2.2.Deliver an action plan to increase well-paid jobs and good working condition and redirect wealth back into the local economy.

2.3.Develop an inward investment strategy to unlock growth and attract new businesses.

2.4.Promote the Good Business Charter and Living Wage Foundation, creating strong opportunities for all.

3.    Encourage a greener economy:

3.1. Prepare options for a green construction skills plan to build retrofit and renewable energy expertise, with a ‘Green Skills Village’ at its heart.

4.    Help businesses to thrive:

4.1.Explore how council powers and options could repurpose empty city centre premises, prioritising council space to meet our priorities and working with landlords to encourage meanwhile use.

4.2.Provide access to advice and support that helps businesses grow better paid employment.

5.    Make the city centre work for everyone:

5.1.Work with the tourism and hospitality sector to explore new revenue streams and a green’ tourist levy to benefit residents and the hospitality sector.

5.2.Work with partners to develop the City Centre, responding to the Movement Plan (pgxx).

5.3.Work with Make It York to develop a city-wide “outdoor” markets strategy that attracts residents and moves visitors through the city and neighbourhoods, mindful of the council’s market charter.



Key performance indicators ...

City Outcomes

Survival Of Newly Born Businesses post one year

Business Startups - (YTD)

Universal Credit: Claimants

Housing affordability (median house prices to earnings ratio)

Earnings gap between the 25 percentile and the median (£) (York)

% of vacant shops - City Centre

GVA per head (balanced calculations) (£)

% of working age population in employment (16-64)

% of businesses paying real Living Wage

% of businesses signed up to the Good Work Charter


Sustainable accessible transport for all

Our race to net zero continues and we are committed to taking bold action now rather than delay.

We will work with the city, partners, residents and businesses to change the way we move through and around the city, prioritising sustainable transport and discouraging non-essential vehicle journeys.

Key statistics - presented as infographics

Commuting in 2011
83,396 (74.6%) York residents aged 16+ in employment commuted within York
25,734 commuters from authorities outside York.

3.2m P&R journeys in the last year

10m Bus Journeys in last year

40% of Buses operating in York are ultra- low emission (Electric and Hybrid)

79% of customers arriving at York Station by sustainable modes of transport in 2021

110 City of York Council electric vehicle charging points [3]


What we will do ...

1.    Deliver bold and ambitious proposals:

1.1.Develop a city-wide Movement Plan as a statement of intent for discussion with the new Mayor, to mitigate the carbon impact of upgrading and dualling the A1237, reducing congestion and enabling active travel.

1.2.Develop Local Transport Plan 4 and the Local Cycling, Walking and Infrastructure Plan (in line with government guidance and aligned to the Air Quality Action Plan) to help people travel easily in a sustainable, safe, and healthy way.

1.3.Launch an inclusive and accessible draft Local Transport Strategy consultation programme.

1.4.Deliver the Bus Service Improvement Plan, including a new provider of bus shelters with real-time information and lobbying for improvements in York’s bus services. 

1.5. Launch and deliver Air Quality Improvement Plan 4, taking bold action to reduce air pollution beyond national regulations and aim to meet World Health Organisation targets.

2.    Reduce carbon, enable residents to choose alternatives to petrol or diesel cars:

2.1.Seek to extend the Clean Air Zone to include freight and taxis, covering York Central and responding to the need for freight deliveries, considering additional action such as taxi licensing.

2.2.Promote subsidised upcycled bike schemes and seek to expand e-bikes to connect villages to the city centre.

2.3.Become a fully electrified bus city, refresh the EV strategy including e-bikes & e-scooters.

2.4.Introduce traffic calming and anti-idling patrols around schools to reduce traffic and remove harmful pollutants.

2.5.Improve York’s access to rail, completing the Station Frontage scheme and continue to support a station at Haxby.

3.    Make the city accessible for all:

3.1.Listen to the disabled community and review Blue Badge access to the city, refreshing the access plan.

3.2.Co-design a plan for Our City Centre to make foot street more welcoming and accessible, including management of freight deliveries as part of the Movement Plan (pg xx).

3.3.Provide concessionary bus fares for age up to 25 years old.

3.4.Promote sustainable transport routes to York Community Woodland.

4.    Improve the condition of highways and infrastructure:

4.1.Improve streets, cycleways and footpaths for walkers and wheelers, as part of the Highways Improvement Asset Management Plan.

4.2.Review the business model for transport enforcement including local regulations, such as yellow-hatched boxes and illegal parking and anti-idling enforcement to improve air quality.



Key performance indicators ...

Council Delivery

The number of City of York Council electric vehicle recharging points in York

% of the road and pathway network that are grade 4 and below (poor and below) – Roadways

City Outcomes

Park and Ride Passenger Journeys

Local bus passenger journeys originating in the authority area (excluding Park and Ride)

Area Wide Traffic Levels (07:00 -19:00) (Excluding A64) from 2009/10 baseline

Index of cycling activity (%) (12 hour) from 2009 Baseline

Index of pedestrians walking to and from the City Centre (%) from 2009/10 Baseline

% of customers arriving at York Station by sustainable modes of transport

Increase the supply of good quality affordable housing

In York the average cost of houses are at least 10 times average earnings and rents rising 10% over the last year (2021-22). 

For many people in York, housing is either unaffordable, or demand for good quality homes outstrips what’s available.  Therefore, seeking to accelerate the delivery of all homes and tenure types with partners is an overarching priority.

Affordable homes means less than market value to buy or rent (for example, social housing or shared ownership) or cheaper than average to run.  Recognising the challenges vital key workers face, we will continue to work with partners to consider options.

Key statistics - shown as infographics

85,458[xxv] households in York / + 8,670[xxvi] by 2032

Average house prices are 10.9[xxvii] times the average salary
York is one of the 15 [xxviii]least affordable cities in the UK.

4.5 per 100,000 people sleeping rough for the same period (5.4 Nationally and 3.1 Regionally)

24 people sleeping rough on the last Thursday in July 2023

7,404[xxix] social houses
1,209[xxx] households on the housing waiting list.
20.0%[xxxi] private rentals / 20.3% nationally. 


What we will do ...

1.    Use our powers to set the standards for future homes and business premises:

1.1. Adopt the Local Plan, sharing how the Local Plan sets out a vision for York’s spatial areas, to take a robust approach to supporting the city’s health infrastructure leading to a good range of local services, workspaces, facilities, low traffic walking and cycling routes, new communities, additional schools, roads and supporting infrastructure to support the anticipated increased number of residents.

1.2.Adopt a range of Supporting Planning Documents including climate change and housing, to reduce carbon emissions associated with new developments.

1.3.Implement new legislation (once granted by government) to influence the short term let market.

2.    Create more affordable, sustainable, appropriate housing options:

2.1.Refresh the Housing Strategy with a focus on affordability and prioritising housing needs and reviewing options for the traveller community.

2.2.Explore funding options to consider how best achieve 100% affordable Passivhaus standard housing, including working with the new Mayoral Combined Authority to unlock funding, whilst delivering the schemes set out in the Housing Delivery Programme (Shape Homes York).

2.3.Deliver a Housing Summit to co-design an action plan with partners, Office of the Public Estate, and Housing Associations to go above policy for affordable rented homes and the housing mix and tenure types the city needs.

2.4.Seek further opportunities to expand the council’s Home Share Scheme, aiming to encourage more long-term homeowners to share their premises with those starting out.

2.5.Review the issues of affordability and how it affects the city in terms of service/employment, considering potential actions to address future homes standards identified in the Local Plan.

3.    Improve the sustainability and condition of current housing and commercial premises:

3.1.Review the council’s Housing Asset Management Programme to improve the quality of current social housing and to accelerate progress towards our net zero commitment.

3.2.Move towards decarbonising all of our council housing, favouring the installation of heat pumps and solar panels and the phasing out gas boilers (see pg xxx).

3.3.Develop a one-stop-shop Retrofit Plan that supports householders overcome barriers to installation, working with suppliers and the council to build skills through a green skills plan (Pg xxx).



Key performance indicators ...

Council Delivery

Proportion of respondents who report that they are satisfied that their home is well maintained

% of dwellings failing to meet the decent homes standard (Council Stock)

% of properties with good to poor efficiency on roof, walls, windows and flooring

Number of City of York Council Voids

% of Repairs completed on first visit (First Time Fixes)

City Outcomes

Energy Efficiency % or properties EPC Grade C and above

Housing of Multiple Occupation as % of properties in York

Net Housing Consents

Net additional homes provided

Number of new affordable homes delivered in York

Number of people sleeping rough - local data

Number of homeless households with dependent children in temporary accommodation



Cutting Carbon, Enhancing the environment for future generations

Climate change is the greatest threat facing our planet.

In York, we are committed to tackling this threat and in 2019, Full Council declared a climate emergency, set an ambition for York to be net zero carbon by 2030 and establishing an independent Climate Commission for the city.

Reducing our carbon emissions, adapting to a changing climate and enhancing our environment are crucial for our future generations to enjoy the same quality of life we do today.    There are challenges in getting to where we need to be by 2030; but they are achievable, and have the potential to deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits beyond our climate emergency commitment. 

Throughout our actions we will ensure the financial burden of climate action is not carried by those who can least afford it. 

Key statistics - shown as infographics

Cutting carbon
overall carbon emissions
51.3%[xxxii] down between 2005 – 2020 (mostly due to decarbonisation of the national grid).
council emissions 4% of the city’s total carbon emissions.

Green Space
11% current tree canopy cover in York
13% target tree canopy cover


Air quality: It is not acceptable for York to breach national regulations.

[xxxiii]4.4% of all deaths in York are attributable to poor air quality

average concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
19%1 down between 2018 - 2022
47µg/m3 on Gillygate2 / 40µg/m3) health-based standard

average concentration of fine particulate (PM2.5)
18%3 down between 2018 - 2022. 
within the government’s annual mean target level of 10µg/m3
above the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) annual mean guideline of 5µg/m3


[4]Modelling done by the Public Health team at Merton Council, a similar sized local authority to York, has shown the health co-benefits of their sustainability aspirations – measured by an increase in active travel, healthier and more sustainable diets, housing retrofits and air quality improvement – could prevent nearly 300 excess deaths per year.

What we will do ...

1.    Working with York’s Climate Commission and partners deliver the Climate Change Strategy 2022-2032:

1.1. Work closely with the newly established Combined Authority to attract additional funding and contribute to the regional ambition of being the first carbon negative region in the UK.

1.2.Use smart incentives to support residents take climate action, including reducing energy consumption (pg xxx) retrofitting their homes (pg xxx) or changing how they travel (pg xxx)

1.3.Expand the Climate Commission membership to enable businesses to support each other and work together to meet York’s net zero commitment.

1.4.Reduce energy consumption associated with our buildings and transport systems.

2.    Improve the physical environment:

2.1.Develop a “Caretaker” proposal to reflect pride-in-place priorities in neighbourhood plans.

2.2.Make the most of our green and blue infrastructure, to increase biodiversity, improve health and wellbeing and support nature recovery, understanding the impact and the difference we make.

2.3.Increase investment in our natural assets and climate change projects.

2.4.Develop an Adaptations Strategy to prepare the city for the impact of climate change.

3.    Reduce pollutants and waste:

3.1.Lobby appropriate bodies to remove unregulated foul sewage discharge from York rivers.

3.2.Reduce air pollution, in traffic and domestic heating, set out in the Air Quality Action Plan.

3.3.Subject to government funding, be ready for kerbside domestic food waste collection service,

3.4.Reduce consumption through reduce, reuse, rethink and recover actions and promote circular economy activity across the economy.

4.    Embed carbon reduction across key policies and plans:

4.1.Work with the Tourist Advisory Board to promote York as a sustainable destination, updating the 10-year Tourist Strategy to include green tourism and sustainable travel.

4.2.Continuously explore and accelerate our activities towards becoming a zero-carbon council, refreshing procurement policies, changing to e-fleet, retrofitting council-owned buildings and considering the impact of climate change when taking council decisions.

5.    Increase sources of renewable energy:

5.1.Develop the business case for renewable energy to support the council’s net zero commitment.

5.2.Explore models to accelerate delivery of the Local Area Energy Plan, continuing to support community energy schemes, such as Solar for Schools

5.3.Increase the amount of energy produced from local, renewable sources.

5.4.Support community driven action and ownership of renewable energy generation.

5.5.Transition to a low-carbon energy system by delivering the Local Area Energy Plan.



Key performance indicators ...

Council Delivery

Number of trees planted by City of York Council

Level of CO2 emissions from council buildings and operations (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent)

City Outcomes

% of Talkabout panel who think that the council are doing well at improving green spaces

% of Talkabout panel satisfied with their local area as a place to live

% of Talkabout panel who give unpaid help to any group, club or organisation

Household waste sent for reuse, recycling or composting (%)

Carbon emissions across the city (kilotonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) - (Calendar Year)

Average of maximum annual mean nitrogen dioxide concentrations recorded across three areas of technical breach (at points of relevant public exposure).


How the council operates

Improving customer experience will drive everything we do. 

Our focus is the quality of life of York’s residents and businesses. How residents connect and engage with us and how they access the services we provide influences their experience of us. We will be open and responsive to feedback, and will listen to, and learn from, communities, building stronger partnerships.

Delivering the plan required financial stability. We have recognised these challenges and will take the decisions necessary to achieve this. It also requires additional investment and close working with strategic partners. Our workforce are critical to delivery, and we will continue to support and develop our employees, during what we know will be a challenging period, but one that will also provide opportunity for staff to achieve great things.    

Key statistics - as infographics

The Council
47 elected members

Council net revenue budget
£141.6m 2023/24 / £65m on Social Care
£533.3m capital spend forecast to 2027/28
2,602 contracts with local (YO postcode) suppliers
3,7m visits to council website pa

[xxxiv]Council workforce
2,149 Council workforce FTE (CYC staff only, exc. Schools)
16% staff turnover (CYC staff only, exc. Schools)
7% ethnic minority group (where recorded) / 7% residents
7% disabled / 17% residents
62% female
30% aged 55 years and above
0.6% mean gender pay gap across council staff (March 2022)




What we will do ...

1)    Financial Management: Ensure financial stability through a long-term financial strategy, that recognises the major unprecedented financial challenges, takes the difficult decisions needed, and ensures investment is focused upon priority areas. 

2)    Core Commitments: Embed the four Core Commitments into our decision making, policies and programmes of work.

3)    Explore options for key strategic partnerships:

a)    Review options for the city’s historic infrastructure and capital maintenance liabilities such as the Museums, Art Gallery, Mansion House and other historic assets.

b)    Review arrangements with Make It York to promote the city’s destination management role (visitor offer) and city’s cultural offer, event and market management, including considering regional opportunities.

4)    Attract additional investment:

a)    Use the Community Infrastructure Levy and S106 contributions, Combined Authority and government funding, to deliver the infrastructure and regeneration set out in the Local Plan, including maximising grant funding,

b)    Establish a York Community Fund, to encourage benefactors to invest in local projects.

5)    Improve customer experience:

a)    Co-produce a Customer Strategy improving customer experience across operations.

b)    Develop different ways to engage people at a local and neighbourhood level.

c)    Focus partnership working in a locality model that responds to identified need.

6)    Strengthen Regional Partnerships:

a)    Work closely with partners across the Health and Care Partnership, identifying opportunities for greater integration and improved efficiency.

b)    Work closely with the Combined Authority, and North Yorkshire Council to seek to maximise opportunities arising from devolution.

7)    Strengthen local community partnerships

a)    Listen and learn from community expertise and lived experience (including the York Poverty Truth Commission), listening to representative groups and forums when developing processes and policies and related Human Rights and Equality Analysis.

b)    Establish the York Access Standard, deliver the Access Action Plan to support and inform Planning and major project development.

c)    Implement the Social Model of Disability across the Council.

d)    Share how the council works in partnership with city leaders, business and partners.

e)    Refresh the 10-Year Plan to reflect the Four Core Commitments.

f)     Refresh our approach to human rights and equalities impact analysis.

g)    Explore the benefits of the Council as a Dementia Friendly Employer.

h)    Establish a Social Care Forum, giving voice to those who provide unpaid care and are experts through experience, ensuring they or their loved ones are supported.

8)    Value the contribution of our workforce: Refresh the Organisational Development Action Plan to continue the commitment to support our staff’s health and wellbeing, continued training and development, updating the workforce strategies and setting out our recruitment and retention approach. 


Key performance indicators

Council Delivery

Average Sickness Days per FTE - CYC (Excluding Schools) - (Rolling 12 Month)

Customer Centre Average Speed of answer – Operators

% of 4Cs Complaints responded to 'In Time'

FOI & EIR - % Requests responded to In time

£££ additional external funding achieved (by category, year on year)

% of York residents reporting ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ experience with Council

% of York residents reporting ‘poor’ or ‘satisfactory with Council



Working with Communities

This Council Plan sets out the framework for the decisions we will make until March 2027 as we drive forward on delivering our priorities.   However, we know this council is your council and we are determined to find new ways to work in partnership, listening to and learning from our residents, businesses, communities, partners and employees.

It is only by working together that we can achieve our vision and bring the city together as one city, so everyone can share in the strengths and success of the city. There are several ways we will work with you over the next four years:

Working in partnership

The regional landscape has changed, and with it, there are different local and regional partnerships to strengthen.  Different partnerships help steer delivery of the Council Plan. We are grateful that partners willingly provide expertise about what it’s like to run businesses or deliver services in the city.  

These partnerships might be strategic and take a system-wide look at what’s important, or statutory and are required to support the council.  They might also be operational dealing with a specific aspect of how the council functions.

Learning from community groups, listening to residents

We know that the experience of living in the city is not shared - it can feel very different depending on where residents live or their own circumstances.  We are keen to continue to listen and learn from different community groups so we can make a positive difference to everyone who lives in the city.  

We will work with partners to hear from the communities they represent, for example, the anti-racist strategy shared the lived experience of the Black, Asian and Racially Minoritised Communities in York, the Poverty Truth Commission is sharing the lived experience of what it feels like to be financially excluded in the city.

The council, the community and voluntary sector, and multi-faith groups, together with residents themselves, form different groups that represent different perspectives, sharing the experience of different aspects of life in the city to influence change and social action.  Interacting with and listening to these groups gives residents and communities the opportunity to influence policy direction and get involved in developing processes when their lives are affected or impacted positively or negatively by a proposal.

 (present the below options to get involved as ‘adverts’)

Our Big Conversation

When we start to develop strategies or action plans that address challenges across the city, we will involve community groups and residents to co-design proposals and provide feedback through surveys, polls or engagement events or focus groups.   


Talkabout is York’s citizens’ panel.  Panellists are asked to take part in online resident satisfaction surveys and gives long-term insights into how views are changing. The main survey currently runs twice a year asking for views on topics including life in York, your local area, problems you face as well as your opinions on different services delivered by the council. Talkabout panellists are also invited by other council departments to take part in consultations on other aspects of council services and policy.

We are really keen to ensure the Talkabout Panel represents the communities we serve and would love to hear from you by inviting you to join the


Take an active role in local democracy

It’s really important that residents, businesses, and stakeholders have the opportunity to participate in decision-making and take an active role in local democracy. 

Anybody can attend and view the council's public meetings which are webcast on the council’s YouTube channel.   Subject to availability, you can arrange to speak at a council meeting by submitting a request two days in advance of the meeting you’d like to speak at.  

Have your say: attend meetings – City of York Council

To find which meetings are happening when, visit: Browse Meetings, 2023 (

You can speak with your local councillor if you wish to raise concerns or issues on items for consideration at meetings - visit Your Councillors ( to find the contact details of your local councillor. 


Find out more

We’re launching a weekly e-newsletter so you can easily keep up to date with all the latest news, including finding out how to get involved in improving customer experience or developing ideas to solve difficult issues.

Monitoring performance

We have set key performance indicators to measure the achievement of our priorities set out in this plan and are committed to transparently reporting our progress against these indicators in our quarterly published finance and performance monitors to Executive and Scrutiny Committees. 

Monitoring progress is an important tool to help us do better and essential to strengthen the relationship we have with of our staff, residents and partners.

We will also report progress against our 10-year plan, including the 10-year strategies, annually. 

The refreshed Performance Management Framework describes this in detail.  

To support delivery of the council plan, Directors and Assistant Directors produce annual service plans, in consultation with portfolio holders, describing the actions they will take over the year. 



[inside back cover]

Data Sources
List sources of all data (and pg #)

York data is regularly updated in the York Profile, which is publicly available:

York Profile -

York at a glance -

To see your local community :




[2] *The Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2022-2032


[3] York Opendata



[i] ONS - 2021 Census (TS007)

[ii] ONS - Population projections for local authorities

[iii] ONS - 2011 Census (TS068)

[iv] ONS - 2021 Census (TS007)

[v] ONS - 2011 Census (QS103EW)

[vi] ONS - 2021 Census (TS021)

[vii] ONS - 2021 Census (TS021)

[viii] ONS - 2021 Census (TS079)

[ix] ONS - 2021 Census (TS038)

[x] ONS - 2021 Census (TS039)


[xii] Sport England – Active Lives

[xiii] Projecting Adult Needs and Service Information System

[xiv] Projecting Older People Population Information System

[xv] Department for Education - Key stage 4 performance

[xvi] Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government - Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019

[xvii] ONS - 2021 Census (TS067)

[xviii] (Source Annual Population Survey 21/22 -

[xix] Centre for Cities – City by city

[xx] ONS - UK Business Counts - enterprises by industry and employment size band

[xxi] ONS – Annual Population Survey

[xxii] ONS - Claimant count by sex and age


[xxiv] ONS - Exploring local income deprivation

[xxv] ONS - 2021 Census (TS054)

[xxvi] York Local Plan

[xxvii] Centre for Cities – City by city

[xxviii] Centre for Cities – City by city

[xxix] York Open Data

[xxx] York Open Data

[xxxi] ONS - 2021 Census (TS054)

[xxxii] DBEIS - UK local authority and regional greenhouse gas emissions national statistics