Corporate Services, Climate Change and Scrutiny Management Committee

11 December 2023


Report of the Director of Governance


York-North Yorkshire Devolution and the Mayoral Combined Authority


1.           This report provides a short update of the process that has so far been undertaken toward the establishment of a Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) for York and North Yorkshire.


2.           In February 2020, the Leaders of York and North Yorkshire councils wrote to the Government to open dialogue in order to negotiate a devolution deal for the region.

3.           Following confirmation from the Government that they would consider a series of “asks”, alongside ‘strong and robust governance in the region’, York and North Yorkshire councils developed a series of “devolution asks”, setting out the criteria by which they would be interested in a devolution deal.  These were approved by Executive in July 2020, and Full Council agreed in October 2020 to adopt these “asks” on behalf of the city.

4.           Also in October 2020, the Government invited councils in York and North Yorkshire to submit locally led proposals for unitary local government. This invitation started the legislative process for restructuring local government in the region.

5.           Following a Government consultation, it was announced in July 2021 that North Yorkshire County Council and the seven district and borough councils would be replaced by a new, single unitary council for North Yorkshire in April 2023, with City of York Council remaining as it is.

6.           On 1 August 2022, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced the Government was minded to enter into a Devolution Deal based on the asks approved by both councils, with York and North Yorkshire to benefit from £540 million of new Government investment to spend on local priorities for economic growth, together with a range of devolved powers for example covering transport, housing, skills and digital connectivity.

7.           On 6 October 2022, Full Council approved a Governance Review which concluded that statutory criteria (in accordance with Section 109 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009) for creating a Mayoral Combined Authority (“MCA”) for York and North Yorkshire had been met as its creation would improve the exercise of statutory functions in the area.

8.           The next stage was to publish and consult on a Scheme, also agreed by Full Council in October 2022, setting out proposals for the creation and governance arrangements of the Combined Authority. This was subject to significant public consultation in late 2022.

9.           At a Full Council meeting on 23 February 2023, it was agreed to submit the consultation response to Government to inform the Secretary of State of the outcome of the consultation, allowing him to consider the next stages of the statutory process facilitating the creation of the Combined Authority. It was also agreed that Council would delegate authority to the Chief Operating Officer, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to undertake any action necessary to provide consent to the Order facilitating the creation of the Combined Authority

10.        Representatives from the constituent councils including the Director of Governance at City of York Council and the Assistant Chief Executive Legal and Democratic Services at North Yorkshire Council, together with the Interim Director of Transition have met regularly with Government Officials to consider the Order that will create the legal and legislative basis for the Combined Authority.

11.        On 7 November 2023, the draft Order was published ahead of debate scheduled in Parliament. It is expected that debates in Parliament will be concluded in January, followed by Ministerial sign-off that will enable the legal establishment of the Combined Authority.

12.        The election for the mayor of York and North Yorkshire is due to take place on 2 May 2024 and once elected, the Combined Authority will then become a Mayoral Combined Authority with the new mayor also taking on the functions of the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire. The Local Enterprise Partnership Board will transition into the Business Committee of the Combined Authority with the LEP’s staff integrating into the Authority at its creation.

13.        Ahead of the establishment of the MCA, a Joint Committee comprising Executive leadership of City of York Council and North Yorkshire Council (formerly North Yorkshire County Council) was created to oversee the implementation of the Devolution Deal and establish the Combined Authority.

14.        This was established at an inaugural meeting on 30 November 2022 (following approval at Full Council on 6 October 2022), with the forward plan published in advance and reports availably publicly from the North Yorkshire Council website.

15.        This committee has met four times, with a fifth meeting scheduled for 15 December 2023. It is co-chaired by the Leaders of the constituent councils and is comprised of two representatives from each council and non-voting members in the form of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and the Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership.

16.        The Joint Committee will become the decision-making committee of Combined Authority once the Order has secured Ministerial sign-off.

17.        To support the work of establishing the MCA, there is a working group comprising Officer representatives of both Councils, the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and the Local Enterprise Partnership. This is led by the Interim Director of Transition who was appointed by the Joint Committee at the meeting of 24 July 2023. It considers the processes and procedures that need to be in place to ensure that the Combined Authority (“CA”) is ‘safe and legal’ on day one in addition to the development of reports on issues that are time or business sensitive which require approval by the Joint Committee.  This includes the development of a Constitution for the CA/MCA (which is the subject of a separate report to this committee), developed between the Monitoring Officers of CYC, NYC, and the officer acting as interim MO for the intended CA/MCA.

18.        Reports are developed in consultation between officers of each local authority and Executive/Cabinet portfolio leads, together with the Leaders and Chief Executives.

19.        An example of the development of proposals within the Joint Committee is considered as part of the agenda of the Committee (Combined Authority Net Zero Fund).

20.        Additionally, there is a paper that considers the future governance arrangements of the CA/MCA. This provides Members with a review of how each constituent authority may wish to influence the authority through representation of the various committees that will be established.

21.        The process that supported the creation of the CA/MCA has been subject to significant public consultation and Member engagement.
22.        Member engagement on the alignment between City of York Council and the CA/MCA will enable continued reflection on how the two authorities are working together to meet the needs of York.

23.        Members are invited to consider the content of this report and provide feedback on the continued engagement between the Council and CA/MCA.




24.        By providing feedback, the Committee will ensure that Members are engaged in the alignment between the Council and CA/MCA. In addition, this report provides opportunity to review and reflect on activity.


Council Plan


25.        The establishment of the CA/MCA presents opportunities to reflect City of York Council’s core commitments and priorities outlined in the Council Plan within a wider regional setting.


26.        Realising the economic opportunity provided by devolution is a priority action in the Council Plan and is recognised as supporting the city to become more affordable.




·                     Financial: There are no financial implications

·                     Human Resources (HR): There are no HR implications

·                     Equalities: There are no equalities implications

·                     Legal: There are no legal implications

·                     Crime and Disorder: There are no crime and disorder implications

·                     Information Technology (IT): There are no IT implications

·                     Property: There are no property implications

Risk Management


28.        There are no risks associated with the content of this report.



29.        Members are asked to consider the content of this report.

Reason:     To ensure Committee and Member feedback is considered as part of the ongoing engagement process with the CA/MCA.


Contact Details




Chief Officer Responsible for the report:


Samuel Blyth

Strategic Manager

Corporate Policy and City Partnerships


Claire Foale

Assistant Director of Policy and Strategy


Bryn Roberts

Director of Governance and Monitoring Officer



Report Approved








Wards Affected:   All








Background Papers:


Budget Council – 23 February 2023 – Recommendations of Executive on York and North Yorkshire Devolution – Outcome of Consultation:



Council - October 2020 - Agree the devolution asks and to progress to the next stage of negotiating the deal:


Council – 6 October 2022 - Agree the Devolution Deal and Commence Consultation:


Executive – 23 July 2020 - Consideration of a Devolution Deal for York and North Yorkshire:


Joint Devolution Committee – 24 July 2023 - Combined Authority Governance: Proposed Staffing Structure for the Combined Authority from November 2023 and the Mayoral Combined Authority from May 2024:


The York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority Order 2023:


York and North Yorkshire Devolution Deal: