This process of transferring powers and decisions to a more local level is called devolution.
Q: What are the benefits of devolution?
Currently, the vast majority of spending decisions affecting Craven are made by central Government. Many of the taxes paid by Craven residents go back to central Government for them to redistribute to any public service in the country. Local powers and responsibilities would mean parts of Yorkshire could work together to:
- Focus spending on local priorities, and have more of a say over where your taxes are spent
- Work together across services and use local knowledge to get better value for money
- Be more self-sufficient and have more responsibility for the future of the local area
- Have decisions taken by locally elected politicians working together, who understand local issues and are more accountable
Q: What are the options for devolution in Yorkshire?
These are the four options that have been put forward to central Government for consideration:
- Leeds City Region - including Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale, Wakefield and York, with Craven, Harrogate and Selby
- York City Region - including all North Yorkshire districts, NYCC, East Riding and potentially Hull and West Yorkshire
- Greater Yorkshire - including the five West Yorkshire authorities, NYCC, the seven North Yorkshire districts and the East Riding
- Hull and Greater Yorkshire - Greater Yorkshire including Hull
The Leeds City Region option
Q: Does Craven already work with other areas of Yorkshire?
Craven already works a great deal with other areas in the region. The district works closely with North Yorkshire County Council and other county districts, and is currently part of the Leeds City Region, which enables joint working and allows Craven businesses to benefit from regional funding streams. European funding for the Leeds City Region, for example, totals £338million and Craven organisations are eligible to bid for this funding.
Q: What powers could a Yorkshire region wield?
Possible elements of a devolution deal could include:
- Keeping more local taxes to spend locally
- Cheaper and better transport links to nearby places
- More efficient public services
- A greater say on education and training
- Increased funding and decision-making powers for planning and housing
- Health and social care joint working
- Potential for additional levy for residents to invest in important projects
Q: Has devolution been introduced elsewhere?
Greater Manchester, including Manchester, Salford, Bolton, Wigan, Oldham and Trafford, has already been granted many of these powers.
Q: Would we have a mayor?
To get the most powers and responsibilities, an elected mayor would be needed. This would be a bit like the Mayor of London and would work in a similar way.
Q; When and how will devolution happen?
Devolution proposals were submitted to the Government by September 4, 2015.
Proposals may be affected by the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review, due on November 25, 2015.
A final decision on devolution will be taken by the Chancellor, George Osborne.
Implementation of devolution could take place by April 2017.
A mayoral election could take place in May 2017.
Q: What does this all mean for Craven?
We will know more when a decision has been taken as to which bid will be moved forward. However Craven district is likely to be included in whichever of the options is chosen.
When an option has been chosen, negotiations over the exact nature of the devolved powers will then take place.
It is only when all these negotiations have taken place, that the council will take a decision on the devolution proposals.
We will work together with the other authorities involved in the bid, in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for the district.
If you have any views on devolution please send them to email@example.com
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