Plans to reignite the untapped potential of York and North Yorkshire and hand leaders more power were set out at the first ever, cross party mayoral meeting held in 10 Downing Street today (09/07/24).

Joined by England metro mayors, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister set out their ambitions for each leader to deliver economic growth working hand-in-hand with central government to benefit local people.

They confirmed that Mayors will be backed with new powers over planning, skills, employment support and transport; along with integrated funding settlements to leaders who demonstrate exemplary handling of public money.

During the first-of-its kind meeting, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister reaffirmed their belief that Mayors have the vital local knowledge, capacity or flexibility needed to take advantage of every opportunity.

Mayors will also develop Local Growth Plans which will help harness local strengths and deliver new opportunities, unblocking things standing in the way of tapping the potential that exists.

Prime Minister Keir Starmer said: 


“We know the huge potential of York and North Yorkshire, home to the headquarters of iconic brands and a major manufacturing hub in its own right.


“Local leaders know their areas best, and what the strengths and opportunities are that can only be unlocked from local decision making.


“Meeting with mayors, including David Skaith, across the country reaffirmed that we must put communities back at the heart of decision making, raise living standards and deliver growth.”


The Deputy Prime Minister will write to all Mayors reiterating the need to work together to develop proposals to boost growth and other opportunities.

A key part of the roundtable focused on resetting the relationship between central and regional governments, focusing on public service, respect and collaboration, along with the early steps needed to unlock economic growth and tackle regional inequality.

The Deputy Prime Minister also reiterated the government’s commitment to widening devolution to more areas, encouraging more local authorities to come together and take on new powers.

Mayors can play an important role in advocating for the benefits of devolution and showing the impact they have been able to make with expanded powers.

The government will also establish a Council of Nations and Regions bringing together the Prime Minister, the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales, the First and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, and the Mayors of Combined Authorities.

Deputy Prime Minister Angela Rayner said:


“Areas like York and North Yorkshire are brilliantly placed to be global leaders in the green technology of the future.


“We want to relight the fire of our regions to drive growth in every part of this country, and to do this properly we need people who know their areas best to have their say.


“That’s why it’s so important we work hand-in-hand with our Mayors to harness the potential of our towns and cities, tackle regional inequalities and to make a difference to people’s lives.


“But I want to take devolution even further and expand our offer to other areas – and I invite local leaders from parts of England without a mayor to come forward and speak to us about how we can work with you to transform your regions.”


David Skaith, Mayor of York and North Yorkshire, said:


“I want to see our region reach its full potential. We need to have more affordable housing and better living standards, our communities must be connected and businesses given every chance to thrive. We are not like many mayoral areas, with a distinctive rural, coastal and urban setting and strong carbon negative ambitions, making it a vibrant place full of opportunity.


“We can bring solutions to Government. Our strengths position York and North Yorkshire to create solutions for some of the world’s biggest challenges, of food insecurity and sustainable energy generation. We can show how rural economies can make a unique and significant contribution to green growth. I will be positioning York and North Yorkshire as a powerful test bed from which resilience on nationally significant issues can be borne.


“Meeting the Prime Minister today, with other Mayors, has shown the support we have from the new Government to drive the benefits of devolution forward for our region. Working in partnership locally and nationally, we can deliver investment and create new opportunities for York and North Yorkshire.”


Today’s meeting marked the start of a new partnership between mayors and government, opening the door to a new structure for vital ongoing engagement.

This press release was originally issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Published on Tuesday 9 July 2024