Let's Talk North Yorkshire logo

Get project news

Do you want to receive an email when news items are posted?

Latest news

Stay involved in the discussion. Keep up to date with the latest news and share it with your fellow community members.

Results - Let's Talk Transport

A big thank you to everyone who took part in the Let’s Talk Transport survey during summer last year - 4817 surveys were completed by residents of North Yorkshire. You can find out more about the results on our Commonplace Let's Talk Transport results page.

You told us about your transport habits and how you might like to travel in future, to help inform the next Local Transport Plan.

You can read a summary of the first stage of the engagement on the North Yorkshire Council website.

This report outlines what you told us as part of this initial conversation:

• There are low levels of satisfaction with the current transport system in North Yorkshire

• Availability and reliability of travel, affordability, road safety and impact of transport on climate

changes are of most concern

• Measures to encourage more use of public transport and more walking and cycling, and traffic

and highway infrastructure are seen as being most effective in tackling transport issues

• There are important differences in results and feedback across the county.

The information you provided will help shape the first draft of the strategic transport plan, which will then be shared as part of a formal consultation.


Take our latest survey

Posted on 9th February 2024

by Let's Talk Team

We’ve launched our latest Let’s Talk conversation – Let’s Talk Food.

We’ve launched our latest Let’s Talk conversation – Let’s Talk Food.

The survey is part of the wider conversation that has been taking place about food in North Yorkshire and focuses on two specific topics - your experiences around accessing healthy food and food waste.

Fill in the survey on our Let's Talk Food Commonplace page.

We are looking at the whole food system - from how we grow food, what we grow, to what we buy and eat and how much we throw away. It will help us set out priorities and actions that ensure our food system provides nutritious, accessible, affordable and sustainably produced food in North Yorkshire for North Yorkshire, for years to come.

There are several ways you can take part in Let’s Talk Food
  • You can fill it in online on the Let's Talk Food Commonplace page.
  • If you would prefer, you can pick up a paper copy from your local library, leisure centre or main local office and return it in the envelope provided.
  • You can also email letstalk@northyorks.gov.uk or call 0300 131 2 131 (please say ‘Let’s Talk’ when prompted) to request a survey.
  • You can write to:
  • Let’s Talk

    North Yorkshire Council

    County Hall

    Northallerton

    DL7 8AD

    Accessible formats of the survey are available on request. Please share your views with us and encourage your colleagues, friends and family to do the same. The survey closes on 1 April 2024.

    Posted on 6th February 2024

    by Let's Talk Team

    Make your statement on our budget

    Last week the Chancellor of the Exchequer made his Autumn Statement to provide an update on the country’s finances and the government’s tax and spending plans.

    North Yorkshire Council wants you to make your statement on our own priorities and how we spend the council’s budget to provide services to our communities. 

    Please fill in the survey on our Commonplace survey page.

    If you are one of the 1500 people who have filled in the survey so far – thank you!  If you haven’t filled it in yet, there’s still time.

    Tell us what’s important to you and we will include your feedback in our budget report that goes to the council’s members for a decision.

    Taking part in this year’s Let’s Talk Money survey will not only inform decisions on the 2024-25 budget, but your feedback will also help shape the Council Plan for 2024 to 2028.

    You can read the current Council Plan on our North Yorkshire Council website.

    The Let’s Talk Money survey can be completed on our Commonplace website. The survey will close on Monday, December 18. 

    Feedback and the results of the consultation will be included in the budget report that will go to the council’s executive on January 23, 2024, and to the full council on February 21, 2024, for a final decision.

    Posted on 22nd November 2023

    by Let’s Talk Team

    Let’s Talk Money – have your say on North Yorkshire Council’s budget for 2024-25

    If you live in North Yorkshire, have your say on North Yorkshire Council’s priorities for next year. Take our survey on our Commonplace website.

    We’re asking you what you think North Yorkshire Council should prioritise and what is important to you. We will include your feedback in our budget report that goes to the council’s members for a decision.

    Last year, more than 2650 people filled in our Let’s Talk Money survey. You told us:

  • you supported our proposed approach of harmonising council tax rates over a two-year period from 1 April 2023
  • We have done this and the base level for council tax for 2024/25 will be the same for the whole of North Yorkshire.

  • you agreed with our proposals to introduce a 100% council tax premium for second homeowners in North Yorkshire.
  • We had hoped to be able to introduce this from 1 April 2024 but are currently waiting for government legislation to be able to do this.

  • you supported increases to council tax and the adult social care precept to help the council meet the challenging financial environment.
  • We are very aware of the pressures on household budgets but despite using our reserves and finding even more areas where we can make savings, without compromising frontline services, we needed to increase council tax to meet these pressures. In February 2023, councillors voted to increase general council tax by 2.99% along with an increase of 2% in the adult social care precept.

    You can read more detail on what you told us last year on our Let's Talk North Yorkshire Commonplace information tile.

    Have your say on our priorities for 2024-25 by taking part in this year’s Let’s Talk Money survey. Feedback received will inform decisions on the 2024-25 budget and the Council Plan covering 2024 to 2028.

    The council’s priorities are set out in its Council Plan which you can find on our North Yorkshire Council website.

    The Let’s Talk Money survey can be completed on our Commonplace website. The survey will close on Monday, December 18.

    Feedback and the results of the consultation will be included in the budget report that will go to the council’s executive on January 23, 2024, and to the full council on February 21, 2024, for a final decision.

    Read the full press release on our website 'Residents urged to give feedback on council budget priorities'

    Posted on 13th November 2023

    by Let’s Talk Team

    Let’s Talk Climate – results now available

    During the initial Let’s Talk North Yorkshire activity you told us that tackling climate change was a top five priority. Find out more about it on our Commonplace results page.

    We wanted to understand your thoughts on this topic further, to feed your views and opinions into our climate change strategy. As such, Let’s Talk Climate was launched in February and ran until mid-April, as we launched the new North Yorkshire Council.

    You can find out more about the key findings on our Commonplace results page.

    Let’s Talk Money launched on Monday 23 October and continues until 18 December – this is our next conversation with you in the ongoing Let’s Talk series.

    Fill in the survey and have your say today on our Commonplace survey page.

    We want to know what matters to you as part of our consultation to help inform the council’s budget for next year and council plan for 2024-2028.

    Posted on 30th October 2023

    by Let’s Talk Team

    Let’s Talk Money – tell us what you think our budget priorities should be

    Have your say on plans to save millions of pounds and ensure services are delivered as effectively as possible in North Yorkshire. If you live in North Yorkshire, please take our survey on our Commonplace website.

    Our annual budget consultation, Let’s Talk Money, launched on Monday 23 October, to ask for your views and pinpoint the key priorities for North Yorkshire Council’s budget for the next financial year.

    The council is facing major financial challenges which are mirrored across the public sector nationally but work that is already under way has brought about significant benefits for the county’s 615,000 residents and 32,000 businesses.

    Millions of pounds in taxpayers’ money is expected to be saved in the first year of North Yorkshire Council as services are brought together to realise the benefits of the biggest overhaul of local democracy in nearly 50 years.

    However, the benefits which have been brought about by merging eight councils into one authority are being tempered by the major financial challenges ahead and the ongoing global economic uncertainty.

    We are now asking you to have your say on our priorities by taking part in the Let’s Talk Money survey. Feedback received will inform decisions on the 2024/25 budget and the Council Plan covering 2024 to 2028.

    The council’s priorities are set out in its Council Plan which you can find on our website.

    The Let’s Talk Money survey can be completed on our Commonplace website. The survey will close on Monday, December 18.

    Feedback and the results of the consultation will be included in the budget report that will go to the council’s executive on January 23, 2024, and to the full council on February 21, 2024, for a final decision. 

    Read the full press release on our website 'Residents urged to give feedback on council budget priorities'

    Posted on 24th October 2023

    by Let’s Talk Team

    Our survey says... communities matter to you. Find out more

    In autumn 2022, we launched Let’s Talk North Yorkshire, our biggest ever countywide conversation to understand how residents feel about their local area and their priorities, as well as the impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on lives.

    You can read more on our 'What you told us' tile.

    We received nearly 3,900 responses to Let’s Talk Local and nearly 2,700 responses to Let’s Talk Money from people (of all ages) who live and work across all areas of North Yorkshire.

    Thanks to everyone who took the time to give us your views by attending one of the 214 engagement events held across the county or by completing one of our online, or paper surveys.

    We wanted to use this information to build on the work previously done by the eight separate councils and to inform our new council’s decisions, policies and services going forward.

    We are the geographically largest council in England, with a mix of rural, urban and coastal communities, all of which have common challenges but also competing and differing needs. Therefore, a strong community voice is essential. Let’s Talk North Yorkshire is one way of empowering that voice and is a clear commitment to listening to you and our communities.

    Let’s Talk North Yorkshire is the start of our conversation with you and some of the information you have shared with us highlights the importance of further engagement. We have a vision to build on North Yorkshire’s natural assets, strong local economy and resilient communities, to improve the way local services are delivered and support a good quality of life for all. In order to deliver that vision, we need to engage with you. We are committed to listening and to doing everything we can to advocate for North Yorkshire and deliver the best possible opportunities for people and communities here.

    Read the summary of the report on our 'What you told us' tile.

    ***LET’S TALK TRANSPORT SURVEY CLOSING SOON*** 17 July

    There are just a few days left to fill in our latest survey and help shape the future of all forms of transport and travel in North Yorkshire. Have your say today.

    Please fill in our survey at Have your say today - Let's Talk North Yorkshire - Commonplace

    Posted on 12th July 2023

    by Let’s Talk Team

    Hurry! Complete the Let’s Talk Transport survey and help shape the future of transport in North Yorkshire

    There are now less than 3 weeks left to fill in the Let’s Talk Transport survey!

    Have Your Say Today - Let's Talk North Yorkshire - Commonplace

    The survey is about all forms of transport, and the feedback you give us will help inform the new Local Transport plan for the region.

    This is the first stage of the conversation about transport – we want to know your travel habits and thoughts on transport.

    A formal consultation on the draft Local Transport Plan will follow where you will have another chance to give your input.

    Please share this email widely with family, colleagues and friends and encourage them to sign up and take part.

    Thank you for your input and support with our surveys – they give us vitally important feedback and help us to understand what you think about a range of topics affecting North Yorkshire.

    The first stage of Let’s Talk Transport closes on the 17th July 2023. Have your say today on the Let's Talk North Yorkshire Commonplace.

    Like to ask a question to the project team? Email LetsTalk@northyorks.gov.uk

    Posted on 27th June 2023

    by Let’s Talk Team

    Let’s Talk Transport! Tell us how you travel in North Yorkshire

    We’re asking people living, working, and travelling in North Yorkshire to share information about how they travel and the issues that they face. Transport affects everyone, so it’s vital as many people as possible tell us about their transport habits. Take the survey on the Let's Talk North Yorkshire Commonplace.

    The Local Transport Plan sets out the strategic transport aims for the region over the next few years. It will allow the council to continue to bid for funding to deliver the infrastructure we need to better connect residents, unlock economic growth, and promote sustainability.

    By taking part in Let’s Talk Transport you will help the council understand the issues in your area - there also will be a formal consultation later, where you can comment on the draft plan.

    There are several ways you can take part in Let’s Talk Transport:

    Please fill in the online survey on the Let's Talk North Yorkshire Commonplace.

    If you would prefer, you can pick up a paper copy from your local library and return it in the envelope provided.

    You can also email letstalk@northyorks.gov.uk to request a paper survey.

    You can also write to:

    Let’s Talk

    North Yorkshire Council

    County Hall

    Northallerton

    DL7 8AD

    Accessible formats of the survey are available on request.

    We would love to hear your experiences to help shape the future of travel in North Yorkshire. Please tell your colleagues, friends, and family to fill in the survey too!

    Events will be organised, giving you the opportunity to talk to members of the Transport team. Further information will be available in the coming weeks.

    Thank you for your input, if you have any questions please contact: letstalk@northyorks.gov.uk

    The survey closes on 17 July 2023.

    Posted on 22nd May 2023

    by Let’s Talk Team

    We need to hear the opinions of the young people of North Yorkshire

    Great news!

    Today we launch the first Climate survey for young people between the age of 16-25

    We learned a lot and have listened to our first set of Let’s Talk surveys – young people under 25 let us know that they wanted their own survey.

    During Let’s Talk Climate, we wanted to make this change for them and created a survey, this has been done with the help of members of our community who are under 25, to allow young people’s voices to be heard.

    Parents, if you have children between the ages of 16- 25, please encourage them to complete this survey to get their thoughts and views heard.

    The survey contains a few questions focusing on our changing climate across North Yorkshire. It should only take around 3 minutes maximum to complete. The more feedback we have, the more informed the final plans are for Climate in the new council – North Yorkshire Council.

    Thank you.

    Posted on 13th March 2023

    by Let’s Talk Team

    Invitation to online Climate Survey event- This Thursday🌍

    Join us to find out more about the plans to reach Net Zero by 2030 and be the first region to be the first carbon negative region by 2040.

    DATE: Thursday 9th March

    TIME: 6pm – 7pm

    WHERE: Teams Live

    The event will give you a better understanding of the draft strategy which focuses on: slowing down and adapting to climate change as well as helping to thrive.

    The online event will give you the opportunity to ask questions as well as find out how you can feed your comments and views back in via the Let’s Talk Climate survey to help us form the final climate change strategy for the new North Yorkshire Council.

    If you have yet to complete the Let’s Talk Climate survey, why not join us then!

    Posted on 6th March 2023

    by Let’s Talk Team

    United approach with communities to tackle threat of climate change

    Communities across North Yorkshire are set to play a major role in helping tackle climate change as grassroots projects will provide the momentum needed to achieve ambitious goals to reduce harmful greenhouse gases. Have your say by taking the council's latest survey.

    A groundswell of support across all sections of society will be required to ensure that carbon dioxide emissions are curbed to halt the threat of climate change. However, a wealth of schemes already under way and involving communities across England’s largest county have laid invaluable foundations for work to progress.

    The launch of a new council covering the whole of North Yorkshire is seen as a prime opportunity to drive forward environmentally-friendly measures and provide a co-ordinated action plan to prevent climate change.

    The new North Yorkshire Council, which will be established on April 1, is set to adopt a climate change strategy which is currently out for public consultation and is due to promote measures to prevent greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for a changing climate and help nature to thrive.

    North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for climate change, Cllr Greg White, said:

    “There is already a great deal of work that is under way which is helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve the goals we have set to help prevent major changes to our climate. “The launch of a single council for North Yorkshire will play a key part in the fight against climate change, bringing together expertise and experience to promote a more sustainable way of living. “It is a huge challenge to reduce changes in our climate, but with a concerted effort and commitment which is evident across North Yorkshire, I believe it is one that can be met.”

    Figures show that North Yorkshire produced 5,829 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (kt co2e) in 2020, with agriculture equating to a third of the total, transport responsible for 28 per cent and 19 per cent coming from homes.

    Initiatives which will need to be adopted to tackle carbon emissions include producing more renewable energy, improving insulation in buildings, encouraging the use of low-emission vehicles and promoting more active travel such as cycling and walking.

    Other proposed measures to ensure that North Yorkshire Council achieves an ambition of reaching carbon net zero by 2030 include reducing energy demand and an increasing focus on low-carbon energy such as solar power as an alternative to fossil fuels.

    Among the areas of North Yorkshire that have already benefited from the work of community groups and volunteers with eco-friendly schemes such as tree-planting is the Harrogate district.

    Harrogate Borough Council is responsible for about 20,000 trees across 505 square miles of land and works with more than 20 community groups. It invested £20,000 to plant a total of 950 trees in the past year alone. The council is also a member of the White Rose Forest project, which is set to see seven million trees planted in North and West Yorkshire between 2021 and 2025, with support from landowners and farmers and funding from the Government’s Nature for Climate fund.

    The council’s parks and grounds maintenance manager, Kirsty Stewart, said:

    “We do rely so much on the dedication of our community groups and volunteers, and this is something that is evident across the whole of North Yorkshire. But to tackle climate change effectively, we do need everyone to do their part. The launch of the new council means there is an opportunity for everyone to come together and work for the benefit of the whole county, which is a really exciting prospect.”

    The draft climate change strategy was backed last month (January) by members of the county council’s executive, who also endorsed an ambitious bid for York and North Yorkshire to become the first carbon negative region in the country, meaning more carbon dioxide emissions would be removed from the atmosphere than are emitted.

    The routemap to become carbon negative by 2040 has been spearheaded by the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and has involved councils along with the National Park authorities for the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. The plan involves the public sector, businesses and communities working together to reduce emissions and tackle climate change.

    North Yorkshire Council’s own proposed strategy identifies the county’s vast natural resources as vital to helping prevent the growing threat of climate change, using trees, hedgerows, grasslands, peat bogs and seaweed to store carbon dioxide in so-called “organic sinks”.

    The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority adopted the routemap in September last year and will work closely with North Yorkshire Council to make the most of opportunities provided by natural resources. Work already under way includes restoring degraded peat bogs through the Yorkshire Peat Partnership and creating new native woodland as part of the White Rose Forest.

    The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s member champion for the natural environment, Mark Corner, said:

    “As a National Park authority, we are acutely aware that transformative change is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “North Yorkshire Council will have a vital role to play in engaging people with the issues and supporting them to take action to reduce emissions - whether that is by improving the energy efficiency of older housing or cutting private car use, partly enabled by improved public transport.”

    North Yorkshire County Council and the seven district and borough authorities will merge from April 1 to pave the way for a devolution deal, which is set to transfer decision-making powers and millions of pounds of funding from Westminster to local political leaders.

    If you haven't had your say yet on the council's climate change strategy, don't delay, take the survey on Let's Talk North Yorkshire's Commonplace today.

    Posted on 23rd February 2023

    by Let’s Talk Team

    Let's Talk Climate launches today!

    In July 2022 a Climate Emergency was announced for North Yorkshire. With existing plans in place to reach Net Zero by 2030, the climate team created a draft Climate Change Strategy to enable North Yorkshire to reach Net Zero by 2030 and be the first Carbon Negative region by 2040. This ties in with the UK Governments aim for the UK to be Net Zero by 2050.

    During the first phase of Let’s Talk, responses collected show that Climate Change was ranked as a top 3 priority by:

    34% of people in the Let’s Talk Local Survey

    41% of people in the Let’s Talk Money Survey

    Let’s Talk Climate will gather your views and feedback on the draft Climate Change Strategy. By answering the survey questions, which focus on: slowing down and adapting to climate change as well as helping nature to thrive, the information you give will be fed back forming the final Climate Change Strategy for the new authority – North Yorkshire Council.

    You will be able to share your views online using a safe and easy-to-use tool - Commonplace, which we used on our previous Let’s Talk engagements. Our libraries are hubs where you can go and find out more about the Climate Change Strategy, with a hard copy of the draft strategy and fill in a paper survey if you wish.

    Events will be organised, alongside our Transport consultation, giving you the opportunity to talk to members of the Climate team about whether you think the council is doing enough to meet our Net Zero target. Further information will be available in the coming weeks.

    Fill in the Climate Change survey here: https://letstalkny.commonplace.is/en-GB/proposals/climate

    Thank you for your input, if you have any questions or would like to receive a paper copy, please contact: letstalk@northyorks.gov.uk

    Posted on 13th February 2023

    by Let’s Talk Team

    Have your say before 23 December

    North Yorkshire’s biggest conversation, Let’s Talk, comes to a close this month, with just nine days left for you to have your say on important topics. The new North Yorkshire Council will launch on 1 April, formed of the current county council and seven district and borough councils, and we want to find out which topics matter most to you and what your priorities are.

    Let’s Talk Local

    The new council will be the geographically largest council in England, but it’s being built with local at the heart of everything it will do. Tell us your views on what makes a good place to live, what you like about your local area, and what you think of our proposals for community networks.

    If you haven’t already taken part in Let’s Talk Local, have your say now.

    Let’s Talk Money

    The new North Yorkshire council will deliver services including waste collection, transport, planning, community safety, leisure and many more. Council tax is now the most important source of funding for the council, and each one per cent increase would raise £4m towards meeting rising costs and demand.

    We’re asking you which services are most important to you before the new council's budget is agreed, what you think about council tax, and your ideas for savings.

    If you haven’t already taken part in Let’s Talk Money, have your say now.

    Don’t miss your chance to have your say – take part before 23 December.

    Posted on 14th December 2022

    by Let’s Talk Team

    Let’s Talk Money: have your say on council tax

    As part of North Yorkshire’s biggest ever county-wide conversation, Let’s Talk North Yorkshire, we’re asking for your views to help shape the council’s budget. We want to know which services you feel are most important, what you think about council tax, and hear your ideas for savings.

    Council tax is now the most important source of funding for the council and each one per cent increase would raise £4m towards meeting rising costs and demand. How far council tax can be raised is, in part, controlled by the Government. In recent years they have set a ‘referendum limit’ which means any increase above that rate has to be voted on locally. The cost and practicalities of doing that means that this limit acts as a cap on council tax increases.

    In his Autumn Statement on 17 November, the Chancellor announced that local authorities in England who provide social care will be able to increase council tax by up to 5 per cent without holding a local referendum, with a 3 per cent general increase and 2 per cent to fund social care.

    Have your say by taking part in Let’s Talk Money before 23 December here.

    If you haven’t completed our Let’s Talk Local survey yet, looking at what’s important to you in your local area and what improvements you’d like to see, you can take part here. Please encourage your friends and family to take part as well!

    Posted on 24th November 2022

    by Let’s Talk Team

    Devolution - have your say!

    In North Yorkshire eight councils currently provide local public services. From 1 April next year there will be just one - North Yorkshire Council. Having one council will save money and join up services so that they make sense to local people and businesses. This alone will deliver savings of between £30 and £70 million each year. Money which will be used to protect the most important local services at a critical time when everyone and every organisation is feeling the pressures from increased costs.

    Let’s Talk Devolution

    Making this change to local government was also necessary to make sure the county could qualify for the strongest possible devolution deal. Devolution is the transfer of certain powers and money from national government to a region. It means local people and businesses have a bigger say on their local priorities and how that money is spent.

    By replacing eight councils with just one, North Yorkshire was able to bid for a devolution deal which included a mayor.  A mayor would lead a regional combined authority for both North Yorkshire and York.

    Devolution could bring about important change in York and North Yorkshire, so it’s important you have your say.

    Take part in the devolution consultation before 16 December via this link.

    Why not encourage your friends and family to complete the survey as well? Send them this link ynydevolution.com.

    Posted on 18th November 2022

    by Let’s Talk Team

    Share your views with North Yorkshire Council

    It’s been eight weeks since we launched Let’s Talk Local, the first stage in the biggest conversation North Yorkshire has ever seen, to find out your priorities for your local area and listen to your views on proposed Community Networks.

    We’ve held over 100 events across the county from dale to coast, meeting members of local groups and attending partner meetings, as well as hosting popup events at libraries and community hubs. Our team of council staff and volunteers have really enjoyed speaking to so many residents. There are many more events planned between now and December, and we would love to see you to discuss your local area. You can find the details of all events here.

    If you can’t make it to an event, we’d still love to hear what you have to say - complete our Let's Talk Local survey.

    Let’s Talk Money

    The new North Yorkshire council will deliver services including waste collection, transport, planning, community safety, leisure and many more. It will provide around 27,000 hours of personal care every week to over 4,300 people, supporting them to continue living in their own homes, as well as providing care to more than 3,200 people in residential or nursing placements. The council will also be responsible for the welfare and education of almost 118,000 children and young people, managing and maintaining more than 8,300 council houses, and processing around 60,000 housing benefit changes every year.

    We’re asking you which services are most important to you before the new council's budget is agreed, as part of Let’s Talk Money. We also want to know what you think about council tax and hear your ideas for savings. Have you had your say yet? Share your views here.

    Posted on 14th November 2022

    by Let’s Talk Team

    Let's Talk Money and Devolution

    Let's Talk... Money

    From 1 April 2023, North Yorkshire Council will replace the eight councils currently delivering public services across the county.

    The scale of the new council’s operations will see it serve the greatest geographical area of any local authority in the country, and it will have an overall spend of about £1.4 billion, including £343 million on schools. For all eight councils, demand for services has exceeded central government funding. There are other significant financial pressures too, with inflation reaching double figures for the first time in over 40 years. All of these factors combine to make a very challenging financial environment for the new council, however we will meet this challenge head on to protect vital services and continue delivering the help and support that people across the county rely on.

    We want to know which front line services are most important to you and hear your idea for savings. Take part in Let’s Talk Money and help us shape the new council's budget together.

    Let’s Talk... Devolution

    The public consultation for the proposed devolution deal for York and North Yorkshire is live, and we want to hear what you think. Devolution could give us a bigger say on what happens in our area. With a mayor to champion our region, increased powers and more funding, we could deliver affordable housing, better connect places, create more, higher paid jobs, and tackle the climate emergency.

    We’re holding drop-in events where you can find out more about Devolution and ask questions:

    • Thursday 10 November - Selby Leisure Centre, Scott Road, Selby, YO8 4BL – 10am – 2pm

    • Monday 14 November - Scarborough Library, Vernon Road, Scarborough, YO11 2NN – 10am – 2pm

    • Friday 18 November - Northallerton Library, 1 Thirsk Road, Northallerton, DL6 1PT – 10am – 2pm

    You can take part in Let’s Talk Devolution online.

    Posted on 8th November 2022

    by Let’s Talk Team

    Help shape the future of North Yorkshire and York – Let's Talk Devolution

    Posted on 24th October 2022

    by Let’s Talk Team

    What matters most to you in your local area? Have your say

    On 1 April 2023, the new North Yorkshire Council will replace the eight councils currently delivering public services across the county. The new council will be the largest geographically in the country, but it’s being built with local at the heart of everything it will do. We want to find out what’s important to you locally, and what you think the new council should prioritise for your local area. That’s why we’re holding North Yorkshire’s biggest ever conversation – Let’s Talk.

    We asked Sarah Howsen, Skipton’s Business Improvement District Manager, why she’s supporting Let’s Talk.

    Speaking about her love for Craven, she said: “Skipton has everything that you need. You can come into town and you have your butchers and bakers and the vibrant high street; you have picturesque walks, the award-winning cafés and restaurants plus good public transport – everything you need is in a walkable distance. Tourists from far and wide visit the town for its bustling market and famous Skipton Castle, but many come due to the town’s proximity to the Yorkshire Dales National Park. We have several independent businesses – there aren’t many high street chains. People love supporting local businesses as they offer a unique and personal shopping experience. 

    “I’m looking forward to the implementation of the new council as it will reduce duplication and complexities. However, I’m conscious that the voices of local communities are always heard and represented in any local decision-making processes, and we are not forgotten about or overlooked when compared to nearby towns. 

    “I would like to see the distinctive character of our rural district always recognised, and I’m glad the Let’s Talk campaign is giving members of the public an insight and opportunity to learn more about the council and how it will represent us equally at local level. With the centralisation of power from April onwards, I hope the support for the delivery of local services – be it council tax or emptying of the bins – is stronger and fit for the future.” 

    Have you had your say yet? Complete the Let’s Talk Local survey here and tell us what’s important to you in your local area. Why not encourage your friends and family to take part in the survey as well by sending them this link https://letstalkny.commonplace.is/.

    Posted on 17th October 2022

    by Let’s Talk Team

    Council tax bills across North Yorkshire set to be brought in line under the new council

    A bold attempt to provide a unified approach to council tax across North Yorkshire is being drawn up to ensure that hundreds of thousands of residents pay the same rate, providing millions of pounds to finance vital services. The launch of the new North Yorkshire council which will cover the whole county from 1 April 2023 means that there is a legal requirement to ensure that all council taxpayers in North Yorkshire are charged the same amount.

    The major task of unifying all council tax bills across the seven districts in North Yorkshire is set to see a phased shift spread over the next two financial years, with the proposals due to be considered by members of North Yorkshire County Council’s decision-making executive on 18 October.

    There would be huge variations in the amount of funding generated if the decision was taken to move council tax levels to the lowest amount seen in Hambleton, or by adopting the highest level in Harrogate. Funding from council tax is used to finance services ranging from waste collection and recycling to highways maintenance and adult social care.

    The move to harmonise council tax levels would see bills for an average Band D property rise by £44.75 during each of the two financial years on a bill of £1,586.83 in Hambleton, £12.88 on a bill of £1,650.57 in the Selby district, £10.88 on a bill of £1,654.56 in Craven and by 38 pence on a bill of £1,675.56 in Ryedale. By comparison, council tax bills for a similar Band D property in Harrogate would fall by £23.47 during each of the two years on the current bill of £1,723.27, while the Scarborough district would see an annual reduction of £17.89 on a bill of £1,712.10, and Richmondshire would witness a decrease each year of £8.01 on a bill of £1,692.35.

    North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for finance, Cllr Gareth Dadd, said, “We are acutely aware of the financial pressures which everyone is under across the whole country, as we see inflation rising and the cost of energy soar along with the price of food and drink and other essential items. A great deal of work has gone into the proposed scheme to harmonise council tax bills across all seven districts, and we believe that the plan that has been drawn up to introduce the changes over the two years represents the fairest way forward for everyone involved.”

    You can have your say on the new council budget and plans for council tax harmonisation when Let’s Talk Money launches on 31 October.

    In the meantime, if you haven’t yet shared your thoughts on Let’s Talk Local, which focuses on your local area and what you think about the proposed community networks, you can complete the survey here.

    Posted on 12th October 2022

    by Let’s Talk Team

    Let's Talk offers a great opportunity to listen to residents priorities

    Council staff and volunteers who will speak to residents around North Yorkshire in the Let’s Talk conversation have highlighted the hugely valuable chance to understand the priorities of local communities.

    Liz Meade has lived and worked in the Harrogate area for more than 20 years. Since 2014, she has been the Harrogate area delivery manager for North Yorkshire County Council’s stronger communities team, who work alongside communities supporting them to deliver local projects and activities. Before that, she was a children’s centre manager, so has been closely involved in her local area for a long time.

    Her children have grown up in the town and are now at university. They love Harrogate, so a key issue for the family is developing opportunities for young people to make their careers in the area.

    “I am invested in the area and it is important to me,” she says. “I live and work in the same patch and I work in the community, so I do get involved in things and have an interest in making sure people are connected into things that can help them.

    “It is really important that we have the opportunity to listen and understand what is important to people where they live. We can’t make assumptions.

    “I think what people say to us will vary a lot in different places. We will ensure we are in different venues so we can hear voices from a whole range of people, including people we wouldn’t normally hear from, to discover what is important to them.

    “The Let’s Talk conversation is an opportunity for them to say what they value most about where they live – and we don’t know that until we listen.

    “We are having these conversations where people live and where they identify with, so hopefully the new council can build on what is important in those local areas. We know it won’t be the same everywhere.”

    Fiona Protheroe is a climate emergency officer at Craven District Council. She grew up in Skipton and went to school there, leaving the area when she was 18, but returning 12 years ago to raise her family in the town.

    Naturally, she expects climate change is likely to come up in the Let’s Talk conversations.

    “It affects so many aspects of people’s lives and there are so many actions you can take,” she said. “It’s an issue that does need everyone working together and the new authority gives us a chance to do that. I think that’s really exciting. It’s a massive challenge, but the more of us working on it the better we can do.”

    She added that Let’s Talk is an important opportunity for council staff to get out and listen to people as they share their priorities, which will help the new North Yorkshire Council to design the services that people want and need.

    “It is a period of big change in the county, with one authority, so it’s important that people can input their views about what matters to them in their local area. We want to keep things local as we move forward. We will be one area, but we want to work locally, so this is a chance for people to talk about their area, what matters to them, what they might like to see in future – their priorities.

    “Not everybody is on social media or interested in social media, so it’s important to get out to people and talk to them in places that they go to, so they have a chance to get involved and no-one misses out. A big thing about the Let’s Talk campaign is that we want to reach people who wouldn’t normally comment. It will be great if they give us a chance to listen to what they think.”

    Tom Jenkinson has worked in North Yorkshire for more than 20 years, with spells in Harrogate, Northallerton and Craven before he took up his current role as Selby area delivery manager for the stronger communities team. Among other things, he loves North Yorkshire for the fabulous walking in the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors.

    He has been part of the stronger communities team since it was created in response to the Government’s austerity measures earlier this century.

    “The drive behind stronger communities was to give communities and the voluntary sector more opportunities to get involved and to give them support,” he said. “The recent big thing has been the response to Covid-19 and one of the really positive angles to that has been how closely we have worked with district councils. We have established strong bonds and a clear understanding, which highlights how much stronger we are going to be when we are all one council.

    “Although the new council is going to be a bigger organisation, which I know makes some people anxious, we have worked so closely with localities through Covid-19, and that will be our approach moving forward, while still giving us that size and collective bargaining power to do things more effectively.

    “We recognise that local residents know their area, they know what they need, and we want to be able to meet those needs as well as we can, although there will be challenges and it is not necessarily going to be easy.

    “Let’s Talk is a brilliant opportunity for people to raise our awareness of the things that really matter to them and how they think we need to communicate with them. We want to listen, and we need people to keep talking to us in a constructive way. Our residents are as much a part of the solutions as we are.”

    Find out where your nearest event is or complete the survey.

    Posted on 4th October 2022

    by Let’s Talk Team

    Public urged to help shape future of North Yorkshire’s new council

    The biggest ever conversation with the public in North Yorkshire will help shape a watershed moment in local democracy and pinpoint the future priorities for vital services for hundreds of thousands of people in the county.

    The largest programme of consultation events ever undertaken by councils in North Yorkshire will be launched this month (September).

    The aim of North Yorkshire’s biggest ever engagement programme is to collate thousands of views from the county’s residents and businesses to help provide the bedrock for decision-making and policies for when a new council is launched in the spring of next year.

    The county council will merge with North Yorkshire’s seven district and borough authorities as part of the biggest restructuring of local government in the county for nearly 50 years.

    North Yorkshire County Council’s leader, Cllr Carl Les, claimed the Let’s Talk campaign is key to helping draw up a detailed vision for the new authority, as well as identifying people’s priorities for spending on services on a local level ranging from social care and education to waste collection, recycling and highways maintenance.

    Cllr Les, who will assume the leadership of the new North Yorkshire Council when it launches on April 1 next year, said: “The new council will be the largest geographically in the country as it will cover England’s largest county, but it is being built with local at the heart of everything it will do.

    “There will be local staff providing local services, based on local priorities and decision-making taking into account the views of the public.

    “Having one new council will save millions of pounds by streamlining services and preventing duplication, creating the most efficient and cost-effective way of delivering them that we can.

    “This money will help support services to ensure they are stronger and fit for the future and will fund decision-making on the most local level possible.

    “It is vital we engage with the public to help shape exactly how the new council will operate, and this biggest ever conversation in North Yorkshire will be the way in which we can glean people’s views.

    “I would urge everyone who lives and works in North Yorkshire to take time to put forward their opinions, and we will listen carefully to those views.”

    The first topic will be focused on the new council’s commitment to serving communities on a local level. Teams of staff and volunteers from all eight councils which will merge will travel across North Yorkshire to gather the public’s views on how the new authority can best serve people on a grassroots level.

    Questions will focus on people’s opinions on their own communities, asking what are their priorities for issues including job opportunities, education provision and facilities for young people as well as access to nature, parks and open spaces.

    Other issues set to be part of the conversation include public transport, road and pavement repairs and traffic congestion along with access to libraries, museums and theatres and shopping facilities.

    The conversation will also aim to get the public’s views on the new council’s priorities over an initial three-year period to tackle wide-ranging issues from social inequality and the cost of living crisis to regenerating town centres, improving rural transport and tackling climate change.

    Other issues which the public will be asked to consider for the new council’s initial priorities include tackling climate change, creating more housing to counter the affordable homes crisis and improving connectivity for mobile phone and internet coverage.

    Additional subjects that will be covered in the ongoing Let’s Talk conversation include money and how the new council’s budget will be spent, as well as a specific engagement with the public from the start of next year on the actual authority itself.

    A potential conversation about a proposed devolution deal for York and North Yorkshire, details of which were unveiled on August 1, could be launched in the autumn, although this is dependent on the approval of councillors on the county council’s executive.

    The Let’s Talk conversation will be aimed at engaging with residents, businesses and community groups as well as town and parish councils and council staff.

    The Let’s Talk conversation will be available online at www.northyorks.gov.uk/LetsTalkNY and the site will be regularly updated to provide details of public events taking place across North Yorkshire.

    Posted on 7th September 2022

    by Let’s Talk Team