We're now part of the York & North Yorkshire Combined Authority

An Introduction to the York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority

What is the York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority?

A Combined Authority is a new kind of local government body that takes over certain powers which currently belong to central government or separate local councils, led by an elected Mayor, David Skaith.

The York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority involves the newly-formed North Yorkshire Council and City of York Council, and covers every region they preside over. However, it does not replace either of these bodies.

The aim of the new Combined Authority is to provide more powers and funding to York and North Yorkshire as a whole, allowing big decisions to be devolved from Westminster.

Some devolution deals have included the transfer of powers in respect or policing, crime, and fire strategy and governance. Where powers like these do transfer, they are exercised by the Mayor rather than by the Combined Authority.

What other Combined Authorities currently exist?

As of May 2024, there are 12 Combined Authorities in England, 11 of which have directly elected Mayors and are Combined Authorities. All have extensive powers over transport and economic decisions, although York and North Yorkshire will be the first MCA to also be responsible for Fire and Rescue services from the outset.

In addition, we were be the first-ever OPFCC to transfer to a Mayoral devolution model.

The first Combined Authority, Greater Manchester, was established in 2011. Since then, the Combined Authorities across England have directly invested billions of pounds across their regions, expanding public transport, developing cultural institutions, and creating job and educational opportunities for young people.

How does this affect us?

The powers of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) to oversee the Police and Fire services in North Yorkshire were transferred to the new Mayor once elected, along with the Commissioner’s role as the Fire Authority. Mayor David Skaith will a Deputy Mayor for Policing Fire and Crime, to perform the day-to-day functions of the role previously undertaken by the Commissioner, in a similar manner to the approach other Combined Authorities have taken.

This creates opportunities to align police, fire and crime priorities with transport, housing, skills and employment and to improve outcomes for the public.

All OPFCC staff transferred to the new Combined Authority when the Mayor was elected in May 2024. North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service officers and staff also transferred.

Although scrutiny and oversight of North Yorkshire Police is undertaken by the new Mayor/Deputy Mayor, North Yorkshire Police officers and staff has not transferred to the new Combined Authority and North Yorkshire Police itself remains a separate corporate body.

When is this due to happen?

The timeline for the transition to the Combined Authority was as follows:

  • August 2022 – The agreement on the Combined Authority between City of York Council and North Yorkshire County Council was signed.
  • November 2023 – The new governance structure for the Combined Authority was agreed, via an Order laid before Parliament on Tuesday 7 November – The York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority Order 2023 (legislation.gov.uk)
  • December 2023 – Whitehall passed the Order to enable the YNYCA to be created
  • January 2024 – The YNYCA legally came into being in its shadow form
  • 2nd May 2024 – Elections held to choose the new Mayor of YNYCA.
  • 7th May 2024 – OPFCC & NYFRS statutory transfer into YNYCA