APPENDIX A: Critical Milestones. 25

APPENDIX B: Key Deliverables on Vesting Day. 27





      1.      The North Yorkshire Council unitary programme is designed to create a single unitary council for the whole of the existing administrative county of North Yorkshire and for this council to assume the full range of local authority responsibilities on 1 April 2023.


      2.      The clear decision by the Secretary of State is to:


“Implement the proposal for a single unitary council for the whole of the administrative county of North Yorkshire” – Robert Jenrick, 21 July 2021.


      3.      The business case, A Unitary Council for North Yorkshire, provides the high-level context for the design of the new organisation, and the programme has to have regard to this.


      4.      This document is intended to provide the framework within which the unitary programme will be further developed and implemented so that we successfully transition from existing structures to a new single unitary council on 1 April 2023.   


      5.      The document recognises that significant service improvement work will take place following Vesting Day in a wider transformation programme. As the new council is formed with the election of new councillors and appointments of the senior management team, it will be important that the leadership of the new council is able to shape the culture and priorities of the new organisation, together with the integration of services, systems and processes. However, some decisions and choices will need to be made during the transitional period, which will have longer-term implications.  This document establishes a clear foundation on which to build that future transformation.


      6.      This document sits within a suite of programme documentation including the LGR Programme Management Framework, which sets out in more detail the arrangements for the day to day running of the programme, and a number of other specific guidance documents and templates.


      7.      Part A of this document sets out the framework for the creation of the new council. Part B describes the detailed transitional arrangements, which will be delivered in readiness for Vesting Day. Part C sets out the programme governance arrangements.









      8.      The purpose of the unitary transition programme is to establish a new, countywide single unitary council for North Yorkshire, with its own vision, values, policies and processes that are rooted in the best of the legacy councils but that are also ambitious, forward looking and fit for the future challenges facing North Yorkshire.



      9.      The business case for a new unitary for North Yorkshire, The Case for Change, set a vision for the new council: “Our vision for North Yorkshire is to establish a model of local government which: provides a new form of civic leadership; is modern, ambitious and innovative; empowers our communities to release the remarkable social, cultural and economic potential of our county; improves the environment; supercharges our economy and delivers a rural powerhouse; capitalises on the national opportunity to ‘level up’; and delivers better outcomes for all”.


     10.     The business case set out the following aims for the new council:


·         Reduce duplication, bring services together and make savings

·         Improve effectiveness and efficiency of local government services

·         A local office in every District area

·         A range of local customer access points (approx. 30)

·         A council of around 90 members

·         Local Area Committees

·         Community Network arrangements for every market town and area

·         New ways of working with and empowering Town and Parish Councils


     11.     The business case also outlined a series of ambitions: The new council will be a key leader in a broader local ecosystem of communities and partnerships, charged with creating the conditions for people and places to flourish. This will be achieved by a more efficient and effective approach that will be based upon four strong and interconnected pillars.


·         Local services and access – Locally based and integrated council, partner and community services.


·         Local accountability - six Area Committees, political accountability for the discharge of statutory functions and services at local level.


·         Local action – local people, partners and communities coming together in new Community Networks to identify and deliver against priorities.


·         Local empowerment – devolution of powers to community groups and town and parish councils to run assets and services where they want to.


North Yorkshire will be ready to play its part in delivering a bigger contribution to the regional and UK economy by meeting the social and physical structural challenges holding the county back:

·         Social inequality

·         Changing demographics and support needs

·         Digital infrastructure and connectivity.

·         Regeneration of town centres and places.

·         Improving rural transport.

·         Tackling climate change.

·         Employment and economic growth.

·         Housing.


     12.     These statements will need to be reviewed during the transition year to ensure they continue to reflect the ambition of the new council. These will also need to feed into the work to develop the council plan and performance framework for the new council, which will also inform the budget-setting process.



     13.     Creating the new unitary council is a complex programme of work with significant dependencies. To avoid duplication, and ensure that key work streams are aligned, a set of core design principles has been developed which set out a clear ambition about what sort of council we want to build.


     14.     These principles underpin work on vision, values, branding, strategies, people, systems and processes. The design principles are below and draw upon the ambition in the business case.


·         Customer-focused. We will simplify access to services, by placing customers and service users at the heart of what we do. Delivering services and partnerships locally with communities, which are evidence-based and co-designed, in a way that local residents, organisations and businesses feel is inclusive, effective and value for money.​

·         Digital by Preference. We will make a step change, modernising and rapidly increasing how we utilise digital in the delivery of our services to drive efficiency and to stimulate innovation. We will continue to support the digitally excluded and ensure that local services are accessible to all.​

·         Countywide and Local. We will improve outcomes by delivering simplified, joined up and accessible services across a range of channels, such as digital and telephone. Local face-to-face service delivery will be enhanced through area offices and community hubs delivering council, partner and community-based services reflective of local need. ​

·         Locally Accountable and Empowering. We will deliver local democratic leadership that is empowered and accountable for making a range of statutory decisions through six area committees based in the heart of their communities. Local people and groups will be given the power, opportunity and support to drive social action on what matters to them through Community Networks and devolution of assets and services where they want them and can demonstrate value for money and the ability to deliver.

·         Data-led and Financially Sustainable. We will ensure that from strategy to delivery, we are driven by detailed customer insight and data analysis with a clear focus on improving outcomes, value for money and sustainability in everything we do.​

·         Collaborative. We will improve value of the North Yorkshire pound and improve outcomes by delivering facilitative leadership that joins up communities, partners and suppliers to deliver solutions that meet local challenges.​

·         Empowered, Agile and Innovative Workforce. We will deliver a one team, delivery focused culture, based upon learning and innovation framed by a common set of values and priorities. Colleagues will be engaged and empowered to shape the development of the new council and its services, including responding quickly to opportunities and challenges in a way that minimises risk and delivers strong outcomes. 

·         Promoting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. We will tackle inequality and the impact of inequality by ensuring that no one has poorer life chances because of where they came from, what they believe, or whether they have a disability.  We will champion social mobility and tackle exclusion by promoting communities in which everyone can participate, delivering accessible services and ensuring equality of opportunity. Our workforce will be representative of the communities that we serve. ​

·         Tackling Climate Change. We will tackle the impact of the new council on the environment by reducing needless waste of natural resources, promoting sustainable working practices and reducing our carbon footprint. The new council will support and encourage communities and businesses to meet sub-regional targets of net carbon neutrality by 2034 and carbon negativity by 2040.​



     15.     The new council will need to develop its own distinct culture. This will be created over time through the development of shared values and behaviours, which underpin systems, processes, strategies and structures.


     16.     A framework for the values and behaviours for the new council will be developed with the new members in conjunction with the Chief Executive, once appointed.



     17.     Branding will be key to setting the tone of the new council for all stakeholders and it will need to represent the vision for the new organisation.


     18.     The team of in-house designers across the county and district councils will be developing options for the branding for consideration by the Executive/Full Council.


     19.     Once agreed, this will be rolled out across the key communication channels, and operational/transactional channels as appropriate. The aim will be to promote good awareness of the new brand while minimising costs as far as possible. A pragmatic approach will be taken on what is rebranded for April 2023, including signage, assets and uniforms.




     20.     Redesigning the functions of eight separate councils into a new fit-for-purpose structure for the new North Yorkshire Council will not only deliver savings but also provide the opportunity to drive improvement and improve resilience in services, as well as creating new career pathways to attract and retain key talent.


     21.     Following approval of the Structural Changes Order, North Yorkshire County Council will be a ‘continuing authority’.  It is recognised therefore that some of the existing infrastructure will continue through to the new authority, certainly for Vesting Day.


     22.      A draft target operating model (blueprint) for the new organisation will be developed. This will be considered by the new Executive and the Chief Executive once appointed.


     23.     For all posts, but particularly those with senior management and leadership responsibilities, it is critically important that the new council has the right people at the right level doing the right things and behaving in the right way.


     24.     The senior management structure will be critical to the successful transition to the new council. The aim is to secure the appointment of the Chief Executive by autumn 2022, statutory posts by late 2022, and the wider Corporate Management Team by January 2023. The Chief Executive will be subject to an open process, to ensure that elected Members are able to appoint the most suitable candidate for this key post.


     25.     A process will be conducted initially for the appointment of Director and Assistant Director posts, with a view to appointing these tiers by March 2023 (December to March). Where posts are not filled internally through the agreed restructure and reorganisation policy, vacant posts will be released externally.


     26.     While the organisational structure will set out broad areas of alignment between Director and Assistant Director  posts and services, the detailed design of service level structures will follow at a later stage, to allow detailed discussions with senior managers, once appointed.  This will form part of the transformational stage of the programme post Vesting Day.


     27.     Where staff are appointed to new roles, they will be appointed on new terms and conditions. Otherwise, staff will transfer via TUPE to the new council on their existing terms and conditions, on 1 April 2023.



     28.     The programme is being developed in two distinct phases:


·         Transition – October 2021 to March 2023

·         Transformation – May 2022 onwards


     29.     During transition, our key priorities are to deliver the key ‘must dos’ to ensure:


·         Safe and legal operations.

·         Democratic arrangements are in place, including the election to the new council in May 2022, comprehensive member induction programme and the formation of relevant committees.

·         Developing the policy framework and priorities for the new council.

·         Transfer of staff and the retention and engagement of employees.

·         Transfer of property, assets and contracts.

·         IT systems and technology are in place.

·         Customer access-/-One Front Door (and simplification of customer journey) - business and service continuity for the public, partners, suppliers, stakeholders and business, with ongoing effective operation of existing systems, processes and contracts.

·         Locality transformation and implementation of new localism.

·         The right conditions are in place to undertake the transformational activity that will be required post Vesting Day in relation to services.

·         Clarity is built for Members and employees on what type of organisation the new council will be, including the working environment, expectations on behaviours and the priorities over the coming years.


     30.     While there may be a clear business need to integrate some teams from Vesting Day, the realisation of benefits through harmonising teams, systems, policies and contracts, will be phased over time to ensure that North Yorkshire Council is able to lay strong foundations for future success.


     31.     Once the new council moves into the transformation phase, the new Corporate Management Team (CMT) will be responsible for developing and implementing detailed transformation plans that fully achieve the benefits and savings associated with service integration, creating cohesive teams and bringing to life the vision, culture and values of the new organisation.


     32.     The new council will inherit a mixed approach to service delivery, directly providing some services in house (particularly where there is a statutory responsibility), through alternative delivery models, and commissioning others from a range of public, private and voluntary sector providers. During the transformation phase, all service delivery arrangements across the new council will be reviewed to identify the optimum model of delivery, which not only achieves savings but also maximises innovation in service delivery, digital opportunities, customer improvements and effective organisational development.



     33.     The following principles have been agreed by the existing eight Chief Executives to underpin the transition programme:


·         Observe the governance and programme management principles at all times.

·         Collaborate to establish a clear vision for the new council with shared goals.

·         Work together to reduce the risk to staff jobs during this transition stage.

·         Resource transitional work internally wherever possible, recruiting additional temporary resource to deliver the change programme and business as usual.

·         Involve all staff as early as possible to work together to help to shape service delivery for the new council.

·         Recognise that staff across organisations are operating in different cultures and bring different talents, expertise and skills to this change programme.

·         Be patient and understanding in recognising concerns or anxieties during a time of huge change and tough timescales for staff.

·         Take early opportunities to join up services and teams where it is sensible to do so.



     34.     Member engagement will be at the forefront of the transition programme. While the Member Implementation Board (pre-elections) and Executive (post-elections) is responsible for overseeing the creation of the new North Yorkshire Council, Members from across the eight councils will be involved in a number of different ways.


     35.     A comprehensive Member engagement programme will be established for those new Councillors elected in 2022, which will ensure Members have a good understanding of all the functions of the new organisation and have the opportunity to help to shape the new Council.


     36.     Specific task and finish/working groups will be established for elected Members to look in detail at specific issues and help to identify suitable outcomes.


     37.     Full Council will be responsible for setting the budget for the new Council.



     38.     There will be a number of key deliverables, which will be delivered by the programme by 1 April 2023. These are set out in Appendix A & B


     39.     A high-level milestone plan has been developed, which is underpinned by detailed project management plans for each board and work stream and can be found at Appendix A.


     40.      A detailed breakdown of the ‘must have’ critical tasks and deliverables and the work streams that will be delivering them can be found at Appendix B of this document.



     41.     These plans will be monitored through the programme governance outlined in Part C below of this plan. As part of this governance, forward work plans have been developed for the Member Implementation Board, including the published 28-day statutory plan.






     42.     The extent to which employees will be directly impacted by changes, and the timing of the impact, will vary considerably across the workforce. Employee engagement is a key feature of the transition programme and specific opportunities will be made available to assist staff in preparing for future opportunities in the new organisation.


     43.     On 1 April 2023, the majority of staff will continue working in their current role in their current location as they had done on 31 March 2023. Most staff can therefore expect to have the same:


·         Office location.

·         Phone number.

·         IT devices and service-based systems and applications.

·         Terms and conditions of employment.

·         Line manager.


     44.     There will be minimal or no changes for schools based on staff who are current NYCC employees.


     45.     Terms and conditions for the new North Yorkshire Council for staff commencing employment from 1 April 2023 will be agreed with trade unions prior to Vesting Day.


     46.     Key visible changes on Vesting Day will include:


·         New email address for colleagues who will TUPE into the new North Yorkshire Council.

·         Whole organisation phone directory in place.

·         Access to existing council offices and networks.

·         Internal communications.

·         A single universal Employee Wellbeing and Support offer for all staff.

·         Budget management.

·         Branding (not universal coverage)

·         A single employee knowledge management portal (Intranet) to access:

o   Digital service desk queries.

o   Legacy council terms and conditions, and the new terms and conditions and reward framework for the new North Yorkshire Council.

o   Jobs and opportunities.

o   Benefits and well-being provision.

o   North Yorkshire Council performance management process.

o   Learning and development provision.

o   Staff processing systems, e.g. expense claims.



     47.     The new council will operate from a range of locations across the county. Where people work will be driven by where they need to be because of their role. This is expected to be from their usual workplace plus a number of hubs across the county. Flexible workspaces will be provided in a variety of locations across North Yorkshire, and staff will be able to work remotely from any North Yorkshire Council office, with their manager’s approval and where service need and delivery allows.

     48.     In the transition period, employees will have a number of ways in which to access support, get involved and keep in touch.  These include:


·         New shared staff website (includes regularly updated FAQs, with a chance to ask new questions)

·         Regular webinar and update sessions

·         #AskSAL staff support available (details on

·         Work stream work plans will involve staff from all services

·         The programme will follow the agreed internal communication strategy



     49.     The new North Yorkshire Council will have 90 Members in April 2023 (elected May 2022). A key priority for the new council will be to support the unitary councillors to ensure that they have the capacity and capability to carry out their community leadership role.


     50.     Some of the challenges for the new Members will include:


·         Developing a good knowledge of the full breadth of services that will be delivered by the new council.

·         Determining how local Members can work effectively to respond to the needs and ambitions of their local communities while playing a role in the development of the strategic framework of the new council.

Role of Members


     51.     The constitution will establish the governance framework within which all councillors will operate. This will set out the committees and scrutiny arrangements which will be implemented by the new council, together with the Code of Conduct for Members. Guidance will also be provided on effective Member/Officer relationships and ways of working, linked to the values and behaviours established for the new organisation.


Supporting local Members


     52.     To support all Members to fulfil their roles effectively, the following arrangements will be developed:


·         Training and Development – an induction programme for Members of the new council, with training and development opportunities, will be delivered online and in a variety of locations around the county, together with additional online resources;  

·         Engagement – opportunities for direct Member input into the design of the new council through a series of task and finish groups and workshops to support the programme objectives. This will be supplemented by a regular newsletter to keep Members abreast of developments and key meeting dates, together with a programme of briefing sessions;

·         Accommodation - Executive and Committee meetings will be held in a variety of venues around the county. It is proposed that a single location will be identified for meetings of the full council, and that all Members will be able to access drop-in office facilities and parking in each of these locations:

·         IT equipment – the ambition is to provide all Members with access to a common set of devices. All council meeting papers will be published on, with no paper copies produced. Appropriate support and training will be available;

·         Officer support – all Members will be provided with contact details for officers who will provide them with administrative assistance, digital and ICT support, and signposting on case work issues.

Boundary review


     53.     During the first term of the new council, it is anticipated that a Boundary Commission Review will be undertaken to review the current arrangements.  



     54.     People who use our services will be at the heart of the new North Yorkshire Council and the new systems and processes need to be designed to deliver best in class customer service.


     55.     The overarching objective for the customer work stream has been agreed to aid in the transition period:


‘To deliver safe and legal customer-focused services across the new authority, ensuring a ‘one front door’ approach across all access channels and that all services are aligned to new policies, processes and procedures.’


     56.     Access channels which have been agreed so far as:


·         Online

·         Face-to-face (Locations beyond Vesting Day to be covered as part of longer-term transformation)

·         Telephone


     57.     The programme through the Customer workstream has developed a number of principles to ensure a strong customer focus and consistency of approach in service design and delivery across LGR and the new organisation.  Our customer principles are:




Transition (Vesting Day ‘safe and legal’)


Service Design

No customers will have a worse experience when they contact us on day 1, and where possible it will be better

Customers will have an improved experience when they contact us

Design based on existing customer feedback and data

Co-design with customers through engagement

Accessibility – 3 primary contact channels in place, with accessible and jargon-free information. Meet recognised equality standards for accessibility

Customers will be able to stay on their chosen channel for the full end-to-end customer journey

Design using replicable patterns to bring consistency and efficiency

The front door will add value for customers and the new Council

Increase online options supported by assisted digital offer

Service Delivery

We will act as one council with one front door from day one so that the customer's experience is as seamless as possible

Good customer service is everyone's responsibility

Learn from customer feedback

Our front-line customer services staff will be supported and well trained so they can confidently deliver good-quality services across the full range of services expected

Keep customers informed about their request and any changes that will affect them



     58.     A high-level customer experience and operating model for customer services across access channels focussed on Vesting Day is in development.



     59.     A new localism model will be developed which builds on the experience of the eight councils to date and provides the critical link between strategic decision making by the unitary council and local decision making by unitary councillors, town and parish councils and partners. The localism model will need to ensure that the unitary council is accessible to communities and that town and parish councils and residents are able to find answers to service issues close to home.


     60.     The draft locality principles are:


·         Local and accessible services delivered through place-based working to meet local need

·         Local influence on strategic decisions

·         Behaviours – collaborative, consistent, listening, enabling, open and honest

·         Keep and build on what works

·         Reduce inequalities in processes and outcomes

·         Respect the diversity of people and communities throughout North Yorkshire

·         Consistency of outcome, flexibility in local delivery

·         Economic and environmental sustainability

·         Strong relationships with clear responsibilities

·         Work in collaboration with people and communities

·         Deliver services that are viable and sustainable at the most local level possible

·         Recognise that customers don’t see lines on maps

·         Treat our services and communities as the experts


     61.     The key elements of the localism framework aim to ‘keep the local in local government’, including:


·         Positive working relationships – with all parish and town councils and parish meetings recognising their unique role and encouraging effective communication, engagement, consultation and mutual respect. 

·         Supporting town and parish councils through Double Devolution – parish and town councils that want to do more with services and assets, providing there is a valid business case. 


·         Area Committees – likely to be six based on parliamentary constituencies, made up of all the unitary councillors for that area. 

·         Community Networks – to be co-designed after May 2022.  Likely to be centred around market towns and surrounding areas to bring together residents, councillors, town and parish councils, MPs, community groups and partners to become the engine rooms of local actions and ideas. 

·         Local service hubs and customer access points – to ensure the new council is local with staff continuing to live and work in the communities they serve.

·         Town councils in Harrogate and Scarborough – as largely unparished areas of the County.  Community governance reviews in both areas will explore local interest in developing town councils and, subject to local interest, these could be in place in 2023 or 2024.


     62.     The detailed operation of these elements will be designed with key stakeholders in advance of Vesting Day.


     63.     It is recognised that not everything can be in place through transition for Vesting Day. The framework below reflects a pragmatic and deliverable programme for the delivery of good-quality, integrated unitary services and recognises that there will be a programme of ongoing transformation after Vesting Day to meet the full ambitions set out in the business case.




Transition (Vesting Day ‘safe and legal’)


Locality Ambitions & Objectives

  Focus on ensuring we deliver good unitary customer services (safe and legal)

  The customer experience will be at least as good as currently on Vesting Day – this largely means continuing delivery through existing locations and types of access point (although some of these may be transitional arrangements, pending the completion of the transformation phase)

  Accessibility is key - but this needs to include strong online, phone and assisted digital offers as well as face-to-face points, with a focus on ensuring we continue to offer the right provision for vulnerable customers and complex services which make up an increasing proportion of face-to-face delivery in light of behaviour change through the pandemic

  Aiming for consistent customer outcomes but flexibility in local service delivery (respecting current arrangements and the diversity of North Yorkshire)

  Maintain partnership working and shared service delivery arrangements

  Continue delivering a channel management strategy, building on strong online and assisted digital offers and recognising customer behaviour change in how they access services

  Review unitary access points/locations to consolidate where appropriate

  Consider how to grow and develop community-run hubs/access points in line with wider locality working model – both offer and locations

  Extend and develop partnership working and shared service delivery with public and voluntary sector partners





     64.     Strong collaboration by the new council with public, private and voluntary sectors - at both strategic and local levels - will be essential for meeting the future needs of North Yorkshire.


     65.     A strategic framework for regular liaison and engagement with key groups, such as businesses, NHS, Police, and the voluntary and community sector, will be developed in advance of Vesting Day. Arrangements for partnership structures for North Yorkshire will be developed alongside this framework.


     66.     Partners will be engaged to support the development of the new unitary authority so that immediate challenges are understood and explore opportunities for co-design and co-creation.


     67.     Working with the voluntary and community sector to understand issues across the sector. Concerns for the VCS particularly are recognised.  Contracts will be novated and the new councillors will take decisions, but avoiding cliff edges will be important.


     68.      Existing statutory partnerships arrangements will be retained and where possible strengthened.


     69.     Members during the transition period will have the opportunity to help to shape the plans for partnership working.



     70.     The new authority requires a robust and legally compliant budget, including the process of setting council tax, for the financial year 2023/24. This needs to be formally agreed in advance of Vesting Day and the development and approval of this budget will fall under the remit of the new Executive.


     71.     There are a range of issues, all of which give rise to some uncertainty in the financial position of the new council. These include:

·         no visibility of core government funding for councils beyond 2022/23;

·         no certainty, as yet, on how the new council will fare within the existing formula funding arrangements for government funding;

·         a range of pressures on budgets across all eight councils relating to covid scarring with expected increases in demand for many services;

·         a high inflation environment in the short term and looking increasingly like it could last into the medium term; and

·         the precise costs and benefits of delivering unitary local government across North Yorkshire.


     72.     The new council will deliver a Medium-Term Financial Plan (MTFP) in addition to a single year for 2023/24. It is suggested that this MTFP will cover a minimum of three years but possibly for the whole life of the new council.


     73.     Both the Budget and the MTFP will be financial expressions of the priorities of the new council. There will need to be close alignment with the Council Plan that is produced following Vesting Day.


     74.     Early decisions will need to be taken by the new Executive about:

·         the harmonisation of council tax across the whole of North Yorkshire;

·         the harmonisation of local support for council tax and business rates;

·         a strategy for fees and charges, including when to align and when not to; and

·         a reserves strategy that supports resilience within the council given the degree of uncertainty and risk.


     75.     In addition, the new Executive will, as part of a Budget/MTFP, approve a savings and investment plan for the new council. This will need to set out the investments in order to transition to the new council alongside the realisation of savings and other benefits from consolidating and re-engineering services. This will be in line with the themes set out in the unitary business case, but there will be greater clarity on where those savings and benefits opportunities arise as further work progresses towards the transition.




     76.     The new council will have a wealth of physical assets at its disposal and will provide a strong base for realising the benefits of a new unitary council.


     77.     In advance of Vesting Day, key priorities will be to develop a clear understanding of the combined portfolio of property and assets and the existing capital projects and ensure that these are effectively transferred to the new council. This will require on-going delivery of existing projects and an assessment of the benefits opportunities from consolidating the assets portfolio. A property asset management plan, a capital investment strategy and a combined capital programme will be developed for agreement by the new Executive prior to Vesting Day.


     78.     It is anticipated that, post Vesting Day, the new council will have the opportunity to explore further and to begin to deliver opportunities for rationalisation. In parallel, it will be able to secure new investments and to prioritise its ambitions in relation to regeneration, place shaping and income generation.






     79.     The Structural Changes Order requires Parliamentary approval, and was laid before Parliament in January 2022 and gained approval in March 2022 following parliamentary debate.


     80.     The Structural Changes Order puts in place the formal legal structures to create the new unitary council and sets out the intention for the county council to operate a ‘continuing authority’ model.  It also sets out the timings of elections, specifies wards and numbers of councillors and imposes legal duties on the county and district councils:


·         to cooperate and consult with each other; and

·         to work together to prepare for the transfer of the functions, property, rights and liabilities to the new unitary authority.


     81.     The Structural Changes Order sets out that the county and districts continue as sovereign bodies until 31 March 2023.  However, they must cooperate and work together to prepare for the new unitary authority


     82.     The 90 councillors elected on 5 May 2022 will serve for five years and will govern the:


·         county council to 31 March 2023, and;

·         unitary council to 31 March 2023 ahead of Vesting Day, and

·         unitary council from 1 April 2023 to May 2027.


     83.     The newly elected councillors will oversee the creation of the new council and will, in particular, have a key role in setting the budget for the new council in February 2023.  The new Executive will lead the delivery of the Implementation Plan and consider critical ‘business as usual’ decisions that have longer-term implications for the new council. 


     84.     An interim formal member Implementation Executive will then oversee the transition programme until the elections in May 2022 (comprising the County Council Executive and District and Borough Leaders or representatives).






     85.     Key features of the officer governance arrangements are set out below, and are illustrated at Figure 1:


Figure 1: Officer Governance Arrangements



     86.     Details of the Implementation Team are as follows:


·         Membership: County and District Chief Executives and the Management Board members from the County Council. 

·         Chair: Chief Executive of North Yorkshire County Council

·         Vice Chair: Chief Executive of Craven District Council

·         Frequency: monthly

·         Location: virtual



     87.     There are currently 15 work streams across the programme. Underneath these work streams are a number of sub work streams, projects and task and finish groups. A member of the Implementation Team sponsors each work stream.


     88.     The work streams are:



·         Corporate Governance

·         Communications, Engagement & Branding

·         Customer

·         Finance

·         Human Resources and People

·         ICT and Digital

·         Locality

·         Organisational Development

·         Property



·         Culture, Leisure & Sport

·         Economic Development

·         Housing

·         Planning

·         Regulatory Services and Emergency Planning (service continuity)

·         Waste, Highways, Parking and Street-scene


     89.     In addition, there will be three additional work streams focussed on Day 1 Planning and service continuity issues within 3 current countywide, statutory services (Adult Social Care, Children and Young People’s Services and Public Health) to maximise the opportunities which LGR offers. There will also be a separate but linked programme to deliver devolution in North Yorkshire.


     90.     The work streams will all carry out an equality impact assessment and a climate change impact assessment. A newly created climate working group will support the climate agenda with representatives from across the eight councils to guide the work streams.  


     91.     The programme approach broadly follows the stages identified in Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) and these are set out below.



     92.     Further guidance documents explain the day-to-day running of the work streams in more detail.  However, the work streams are expected to deliver the following:



·         Work stream scope and plan on a page (including initial start-up workshop)

·         Set up of governance – work stream board, sub groups and leads, highlight reporting, communications methods etc.

·         Initial project task list and plan (using workshop outputs)

·         Map and start to manage risks and issues

·         Map and manage interdependencies and asks

·         Identify resource issues and complete resource plan

·         Initiation documentation started (including scope, governance, high-level plan, success criteria, risks and issues, stakeholder map, etc.)

·         Programme team established (change resource)



·         Complete terms of reference for work streams and sub groups and ensure papers are booked onto PMO forward plans

·         Complete the initiation documentation

·         Refine and further develop resource plans

·         Confirm work stream critical tasks and complete high-level work stream plan

·         Complete impact assessment screening forms

·         Map controls and set up logs (benefits, communications, risk and issues, dependencies etc)

·         Complete business capability mapping



·         Project start-up

·         Ensure detailed plans for work stream and sub groups in place and managed

·         Deliver capabilities, outputs and products to ensure the new council is safe and legal for Vesting Day

·         Realise benefits

·         Refine and further develop work stream resource plans

·         Monitor and manage controls (including change control and issue escalation)

·         Start to define further transformation outcomes



     93.     The PMO has a clear structure and leadership.


     94.     The PMO is responsible for the overall coordination of the programme and for commissioning work streams and resources on behalf of the Implementation Team as well as supporting the Executive.


     95.     Regular programme progress reports will be provided to the Implementation Team and Implementation Board/Executive and the PMO will develop and manage the forward plans for both groups.


     96.     The PMO also contains communications resource that will ensure regular updates for all staff, Members, employee representatives and trade unions in relation to the transition work as well as providing specific communications support for work stream activity.



     97.     Each work stream is allocated a programme team comprising a sponsor, subject matter expert and programme manager.  The roles and responsibilities are detailed below:





       Either a CEX or Member of NYCC MB

       Strategic figurehead for the work stream – providing top-level endorsement for the rationale and objectives of the work stream.

       Accountable for the overall delivery of the work stream for Vesting Day. ​

       Ensures appropriate investment.

       Ensures resources are agreed and secured throughout​.

       Mediates and resolves conflicts and ensures an effective risk management strategy.​

       Agrees critical success factors and all major plans. ​


       Lead officers from the Councils 

       Subject matter experts.

       Works with project plan and takes responsibility for specific priority areas. ​

       Manages the production of the required deliverables. ​

       Reports to the relevant areas ensuring the direction of the project. ​

       Identifies any risks or issues within the project areas, including those which may impact on the delivery. ​

       Takes accountability for specific areas of the project delivery, individually or collectively. 


       Responsible for the set-up, management and delivery of the work stream, working to the sponsor and closely with the subject matter experts.


     98.     In addition, each work stream has access to a pool of project and change resources and allocated representatives from each of the core work streams.


     99.     A resourcing group exists to support prioritisation and funding of additional resources.  This group meets weekly.


    100.    For additional resources, a resource process is in place to support work streams to identify whether resources can be secured internally (across the eight councils), or whether funding is required for recruitment or consultancy.  Programme managers are then required to submit a resource justification document to the resourcing group for consideration.





    101.    The PMO will provide internal assurance to the programme.  However, independent assurance of the programme will be critical and will be undertaken through a number of elements, which will complement each other. Discussions are currently under way with Veritau as to what an audit plan would look like for the transition phase of the programme.



    102.    The final aspect to the assurance will be from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. As the government department overseeing the unitary programme, there will be regular meetings with civil servants together with monthly updates provided to them.



    103.    Alongside the assurance activity above a full and comprehensive risk management process has been put in place, including an escalation framework. This process operates across all levels of the programme to enable the PMO, Implementation Board and Team and work streams to identify, evaluate and monitor risks and ensure actions are taken to mitigate them.


    104.    The programme risk log will be reported to the Implementation Team and Implementation Board/Executive. In terms of existing strategic risks, sovereign councils will retain responsibility for managing these until Vesting Day, but the Executive will need to remain sighted on the content, which could inform decision making and its initial medium-term financial strategy.




    105.    The programme will seek to mitigate and wherever possible deliver transformational change, which contributes to tackling climate change.  A standard climate change impact assessment tool has been developed for use across the programme. The assessment of climate impact will be undertaken at programme, work stream and project level throughout the course of the transition and when planning transformation activity. Impact assessments will be reviewed at regular points in the programme.


    106.    To ensure that the programme meets its equalities duties through the transition and when planning transformation activity, a standardised equality impact assessment tool has been developed and will be delivered at programme, work stream and project level. Impact assessments will be reviewed at regular points in the programme.


    107.    A fund has been secured to support the creation of the new North Yorkshire Council. This consists of £32m but may rise to a maximum of £38m as that was the sum set out in the unitary business case as the level of one-off investment required to successfully deliver the transition and further change to release savings and benefits. In addition, there are additional funds and existing budgets across all eight councils to fund backfilling arrangements to support the LGR work streams.


    108.    Requests for funding are channelled through governance arrangements at officer and Member level with delegations being determined. Costs are then tracked as part of the programme management approach and regular financial monitoring and reporting will be carried out.



    109.    This plan provides a high-level overview of the programme to create the new North Yorkshire Council and is underpinned by detailed plans managed through a robust governance model, supplemented by external assurance.


    110.    The plan will evolve as the programme develops and be kept up to date. The Implementation Team and Board/Executive will be provided with regular updates on changes to the plan as well as on the progress of the programme.

APPENDIX A: Critical Milestones


APPENDIX B: Key Deliverables on Vesting Day

The following outline the key deliverables by the programme for vesting day:


·         Structural Changes Order enacted

·         Notice of election published and new Members elected

·         Leader appointed and Executive created

·         Mop-up Structural Changes Order complete

·         Newly elected Members induction training complete

·         Priorities and strategic policy framework in place

·         Agreement on operating mode for committees

·         Review of the Charter Trustee Status complete

·         All policies required for Vesting Day in place

·         Constitution agreed

·         Dissolution of existing councils and creation of unitary authority

·         Financial ledger system agreed

·         External auditor appointed

·         VAT/PAYE regulations complete

·         Council tax consultation complete

·         Finance regulations agreed

·         Council tax reduction policy agreed

·         Final budget agreed

·         Approach to council tax harmonisation agreed

·         Companies transferred

·         Payroll system agreed

·         Terms and conditions agreed

·         Pay structure and policies in place

·         Organisational structure agreed

·         Trade union framework in place

·         Senior Officer Posts recruited

·         Starters, movers and leavers processes in place

·         TUPE  complete

·         Critical Day 1 training complete

·         TUPE transfer complete

·         All staff and suppliers paid correctly and on time

·         IT architecture output board approval

·         Single network in place

·         Cyber security in place

·         Council email addresses in place

·         New accounts created for all staff

·         Privacy notices in place

·         Statutory returns produced

·         Data incident management arrangements in place

·         Data sharing agreements in place

·         Complaints policy/procedures agreed

·         Revenue and benefits systems and processes configured

·         Council tax bills issued

·         Single phone number in place

·         One Front Door live across channels

·         Face-to face locations for Day 1 agreed and live

·         Area committee governance agreed

·         Agree Parish Charter

·         Community governance reviews completed

·         Communication and engagement strategy approved

·         Workforce engagement strategy agreed

·         Branding agreed

·         Day 1 property ambitions agreed

·         Out-of-hours response implemented

·         Door access in place

·         Agreed branding deployed

·         Decision on validation (planning)

·         Agent forums in place

·         Scheme of delegation agreed

·         Decision on planning committee structures and composition

·         Approved housing strategy in place

·         Final communications issued to tenants, landlords, residents etc

·         HRA business plan agreed and submitted

·         Financial policies and budgets agreed and in place

·         Museum accreditation returns complete

·         Proposed model for leisure centres approved

·         Consideration of approach to harmonisation of prices (leisure)

·         Emergency handbook approved

·         Decision on fleet asset register

·         Organisational development framework/strategy agreed

·         Values and behaviours agreed

·         Approach for appraisals and performance management agreed