The Executive are asked to:
i. To agree a pilot inviting town and parish councils to submit expressions of interest in managing services and assets on behalf of North Yorkshire Council.
ii. To agree the process, criteria and outline timetable as set out in the report.
Considered: A report of the Assistant Director for Policy, Partnerships & Communities seeking agreement for a pilo,t inviting town and parish councils to submit expressions of interest in managing services and assets on behalf of North Yorkshire Council, commonly known as double devolution.
County Councillor Greg White introduced the report and highlighted the key points detailed in the report. He noted that for the proposed pilot the intention was to keep the number of participants selected to a maximum of six, noting there would be opportunities for others to participate later. He also drew attention to the proposed timetable detailed in the report and encouraged possible participants to talk to the Council before formally submitting an expression of interest.
Executive Members were supportive of the principle and noted expressions of interest could be for a wide range of services and assets. County Councillor Gareth Dadd drew attention to Thirsk Town Council’s eagerness to take on the running of Thirsk Market and questioned whether there was any way it could be expedited. In response, County Councillor Greg White confirmed it could be considered if it could be guaranteed that it would be done correctly. He stressed the importance of ensuring that any transferred services did not subsequently have to be returned due to previously unidentified difficulties.
County Councillor Michael Harrison recalled the early concern from some Parish and Town Council that the Council was seeking to off-load the delivery of some services, and was pleased to note the report gave reassurance that this was not the case.
Neil Irving Assistant Director for Policy, Partnerships & Communities, confirmed the likely process for the selection of suitable bids would be officer selection based on set criteria, followed by Executive approval. He also confirmed the intention that current budget would be ring-fenced and transferred to maintain the same level of service delivery. Any enhancements to the service would require a precept by the relevant Parish/Town Council.
County Councillor Carl Les welcomed the report and proposal, and it was
Resolved – That:
i. A pilot inviting town and parish councils to submit expressions of interest in managing services and assets on behalf of North Yorkshire Council be agreed.
ii. The process, criteria and outline timetable as set out in the report be agreed.