North Yorkshire County Council

Corporate and Partnerships Overview and Scrutiny Committee

6nd December 2021


Council Plan Refresh



1.0       Purpose of the report

To update Corporate and Partnerships Overview and Scrutiny Committee on what is being considered as part of the refresh of the 2022 – 2023 Council             Plan.




2          The Council Plan 2022 – 2023 will require approval by full Council in February 2022 (alongside the Medium Term Financial Strategy), with prior consideration at the Executive (on 25 January 2022).


3          A light refresh is being undertaken rather than a full rewrite, as this will be the council plan for the last year of the County Council. Therefore, now is not the time for a major change in format or content. That will come with the council plan for 2023 onwards for the unitary council. Ambitions, priorities, our approach and principles remain relevant and appropriate, and the current format provides an effective structure to articulate the Council’s intentions.


4          The foreword will emphasise the importance of laying strong foundations for the new council and working together with the districts. It will also cover the support we have provided throughout the pandemic.


5         There will be a new section on ‘Delivering Local Government Reorganisation’. Which will set out how we will work together with the district and borough council’s to deliver the new council.


6          Draft changes and additions to priorities are:


Leading for North Yorkshire

·         New outcome: Work with the district and borough council’s to deliver Local Government Reorganisation and provide strong foundations for the new council.

·         Support the county’s most rural communities: The Rural Commission has examined key issues faced by rural communities. The Commission’s findings highlight a number of ‘major blockers’ within the County, which prevent the rural economy from thriving and present significant challenges for rural dwellers. An Advisory Task Force have been set up by the county council to support and monitor progress with implementation of the Commission’s actions. In total there were 57 actions recommended by the commission. 26 of the actions are aimed at the County Council and it is anticipated that these actions will provide the backdrop and help to set the strategic direction for the County as it moves forward together, towards a single unitary authority.

·         Reducing the causes and impacts of climate change, now and for future generations – we recognise that delivering council services creates carbon emissions and are committed to reducing these with an aspiration to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2030, or as near to that date as possible.  We also recognise the role that the council can play in reducing carbon emissions of our county.  We have developed and published a Carbon Reduction Plan that sets out our vision, ambitions, achievements to date and what we need to do next.  We are confident in the data that we currently report on our carbon footprint for direct and indirect energy emissions; we recognise that we still need to do more to build a better picture of our other indirect emissions.

·         Delivering our carbon reduction goals - we have established a programme, Beyond Carbon, to build the action plan and objectives to deliver our ambition.  The activities in scope of this plan include, but are not limited to:

o    Waste, Property and Energy – reduce overall footprint of property and waste operations, decarbonising buildings and heating, and reviewing potential to generate energy

o    Travel, Fleet and Highways – transition our fleet to low or zero carbon options, promote public and staff active and public travel, build electric vehicle charging capacity

o    Procurement – understanding and lessening the emissions embedded in goods, works and services associated with our operations

o    Community, business and economy – working with partners, communities, individuals and groups to support carbon shift and reduce their environmental impact

o    Sequestration, land use and mitigation – understanding our natural carbon storage, how we can protect our county and increase our environmental benefit

·         Work to achieve a fairer and more inclusive North Yorkshire, and support and celebrate our diverse communities, including:

o    identifying and targeting areas of inequality through our equality objectives

o    tackling the wider causes of poor health and health inequalities

o    increasing inclusion and diversity within our workforce

Every child and young person has the best possible start in life


·         Minimal changes to the priorities

·         The language on the Teaching School Alliances needed to be changed to Teaching School Hubs (TSH).

·         Removal of the objective ‘Continue to focus on raising outcomes for young people, particularly with a focus on literacy at Primary level’, as this is covered under the other raising outcomes objective ‘Work with school leaders to raise the outcomes of children and young people including SEND, identifying schools showing significant levels of under achievement’.

Every adult has a longer, healthier and independent life


New priorities:

·         Protecting the health of North Yorkshire’s residents – through the establishment of a permanent Health Protection Team, maintaining and developing our proactive outbreak management and prevention response to the COVID-19 pandemic and any other incidents that pose a risk to the health of the public.

·         Reducing inequalities - Working with our partners to reduce disadvantage in the County and improve people’s physical health and promote positive mental health and wellbeing.  We will build on existing sources of support around jobs, income and education so that people have the same opportunities whatever their circumstances or where they live.

Green text indicates change of wording:

·         Care Market –working with a range of organisations from the health, independent and voluntary sectors to develop a sustainable, diverse and innovative care market that meets the varied needs of the people of North Yorkshire and ensures quality and dignity for all. Providing targeted support to local providers to help them prevent and/or contain COVID-19 or similar outbreaks amongst their people who use services and staff.

·         Workforce – ensuring social care teams have a full complement of staff with the right mix of skills and experience and with opportunities for career progression, to fulfil the roles required for the new delivery model to operate effectively.

North Yorkshire is a place with a strong economy & a commitment to sustainable growth

*Changes in red

·         Implement and monitor a countywide framework for economic recovery – Providing the County Council’s response to COVID-19 economic recovery, pursuing devolution for North Yorkshire & York bridging the gap between the sub regional and local, addressing issues that are common to a number of authorities and sectors within North Yorkshire, and reflects the functions of the County Council. Focused on supporting and delivering the County’s Plan for Growth enabling the socio-economic well-being of our residents, businesses and visitors.

·         Create high quality places, increased housing provision and delivering infrastructure - Working with partners, NYCC will support the development and delivery of strategic housing and employment sites alongside the required infrastructure to create high quality employment opportunities, housing provision (including affordable housing), education and health care for everyone. Working with partners and stakeholders NYCC will support the regeneration of town centres rethinking the allocation of road space to create public realm that is accessible, safe, healthy and business friendly. NYCC will take a leadership role ensuring agility to take advantage of evolving government policy and funding opportunities such as the Active Travel Fund which is already delivering schemes to promote sustainable travel in parts of Harrogate and Whitby.  We were also successful in securing funding through the LEP to deliver the major repair scheme for the A19 at Chapel Haddlesey which had been severely damaged due to unprecedented rainfall in early 2020 with the road reopening to traffic in June 2021.

·         Deliver a modern integrated transport network - Delivering the council’s Local Transport Plan, improving transport to, between and within all of our towns, (especially east-west links) to improve access to markets, skills and supply chains within the county and the rest of the UK. A key priority for the County Council is to improve east to west connectivity and significant progress has been made of the development work for the A59 road realignment scheme at Kex Gill which has now been awarded planning permission and provisional funding approval from the Department of Transport whilst the scheme to upgrade Junction 47 on the A1(M) where it meets the A59 is nearing completion. 

·         Increase skills levels and ensure that the workforce meets the needs of the county - Ensure a clear pathway for young people from education to training and employment, for example by continuing to support the York and North Yorkshire Careers and Enterprise Programme, with which every school is now engaged. Undertake measures to support the development of the workforce that meet the social and economic needs of the county. NYCC will work with partners, including the Local Enterprise Partnership, to support skills and training provision in North Yorkshire and seek to ensure that it meets the needs of North Yorkshire businesses and supports the aspirations of all the people of North Yorkshire especially as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and adapt to new ways of working.

·         Creating the right conditions for business growth and investment - By promoting good growth across the county that is clean and inclusive. NYCC will seek to support investment projects by working closely with partners to facilitate business growth, inward investment and development of low carbon technologies and seek to raise the median and lowest wage levels across the county. Through its Trading Standards and licensing functions and working in partnership with the York and North Yorkshire Growth Hub, NYCC will continue to support legitimate businesses to trade successfully, recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and promote good growth.

·         Deliver a modern communications network – With the increased prevalence of home working a modern communications network is more important than ever. NYCC will continue to work alongside partners towards delivering mobile phone and data connectivity in currently unserved rural areas, ensuring the delivering of the Shared Rural Network promoting 4G infill in areas of poor coverage and moving towards the 95% coverage target by 2025. The County will also continue to progress the pilot roll out of new 5G technology to support rural businesses and residents. Alongside this, we will maintain our support for enhanced fibre broadband provision across North Yorkshire and the integration of mobile and broadband services to provide seamless access to the internet and telecommunications networks for all users. By the end of 2021 we will have installed public Wi-Fi in 13 towns across North Yorkshire, with a further four towns to be added in 2022, and through NYnet, our wholly owned company we will continue the delivery of the Superfast North Yorkshire Project bringing Next Generation Access to the whole of North Yorkshire.

New section:

·         Bus Service Improvement Plan- In March 2021 Government published a National Bus Strategy:  Bus Back Better.  The strategy sets out clear priorities for the improvement of public transport, recovery from Covid and an ambition to “make buses a practical and attractive alternative to the car for more people”. Alongside this were key challenges for local transport authorities, including the development of a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), to be published by end October 2021 and development of an Enhanced Partnership to be ‘made’ by 31 March 2022. NYCC, working with bus operators, has agreed a BSIP and this is available on the council’s website.  It is an ambitious plan aiming to transform bus services across the county by creating “An efficient and optimised bus network in North Yorkshire that: · meets the needs of our local communities · enables people to remain active and independent · provides excellent customer service · offers simple payment and ticketing options”.


We are an innovative and forward thinking Council


*Changes in red

·         Ensure the robust and effective management of the council’s financial resources in accordance with the council’s financial regulations and statutory responsibilities to produce the financial accounts, and create the best possible conditions for the new unitary authority in 2023.

·         Ensure working environments for staff meet their needs and makes them more effective in their jobs, whilst facilitating new ways of working where appropriate or needed.

·         Exploring the early opportunities that the Local Government Review brings


6          Corporate and Partnerships Overview and Scrutiny Committee is asked to comment on the draft new and amended priorities under each ambition.

7          As last year, it is proposed to circulate by email the draft plan to all members of the Council as soon as possible after 14th December 2021, when there will be an opportunity to comment further.



Neil Irving - Assistant Director - Policy, Partnerships and Communities

24 November 2021

Background information: The current Council Plan (2021 - 2025) is available at