18 May 2022


This statement covers the period from the meeting of the County Council on 16 February 2022 to the County Council elections on 5 May 2022





Budget Update


We are now coming close to the final outturn for the 2021/22 financial year and a report is currently scheduled for the Executive on 21 June. At this stage there is nothing to suggest that the position is fundamentally different from the projections made in previous quarters on revenue or capital. As a result I believe the new Council will inherit a relatively strong financial position. As all will be aware, there is significant pressure being felt across the globe as inflation bites. The Budget approved in February 2022 provides some funding for that but whether it remains sufficient will be something the new Council needs to monitor closely as it also starts to produce its first Revenue and Capital Budgets for the unitary council in 2023/24.


Pay Update


National negotiations for this year’s pay award are due to start this month and we have stressed with the national employers side the need for an early settlement given the real pressure from cost of living increases on personal finances. The settlement will be backdated to 1st April and the expectation is that it will be need to be higher than last years and with some bottom loading, so higher increases to the lower grades, to meet the increase to the national living wage by 2024. The lack of a pay settlement for 2022, and the delay in yet another year, is not helping the current difficult recruitment position, and the higher than usual turnover levels where staff are able to move to other organisations for often significantly higher levels of pay. Other than the delay in this year’s pay award, the county council continues to provide a good overall pay package when including features such as pension, annual and other leave, and allowances, and we pride ourselves on being a good employer which develops, values and supports staff and provides excellent job and career opportunities.  


Property Update


Work on what the future property estate looks like for the new Council across North Yorkshire is underway through collaborative working amongst all eight councils. More information will come from that area as appropriate. In the meantime, staff have now entered the next phase of agile working which sees a greater office presence for those who were previously based in offices. We must remember many frontline staff did not have changes to how they worked but for those who predominantly worked from home we now have staff team spaces available in offices and the benefits of home and office working. Those of you familiar with the County Hall campus may also have spotted that the East Block has now been completely demolished. This was planned several years ago but the works were undertaken at a time when it was least disruptive to staff and local neighbours.