City of York Council is encouraging residents and local organisations to have their say on the first steps of a potential devolution deal for York and North Yorkshire, via Our Big Conversation.

Devolution, which is typically focused on boosting local economic growth, could see powers and funding transferred from Westminster, to York and North Yorkshire.  There are many steps that need to be taken before a deal is agreed.  The first major step provides York the opportunity to present a series of ‘asks’ to Government, which would outline what the city would like to see if a devolution deal is agreed. 

A devolution deal for York and North Yorkshire could potentially unlock significant investment in the region, including investment in York’s transport infrastructure, like Haxby station, investment in low-carbon technologies, more affordable housing, funding to boost tourism and investment in major schemes, like York Central.

Given the potential scale of funding that a devolution deal could unlock for York, local residents and businesses are being invited to find out more on the Council’s website here and share their thoughts via Our Big Conversation. 

There will also be a Facebook live ‘Ask the Leaders’ event on Thursday 16 July 5-6pm, where a panel will answer questions about York’s ‘Big Conversation’ consultation, and what devolution might mean for York’s future.  Residents can watch live on Facebook to hear from:

  • Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council
  • Cllr Andy D'Agorne, Deputy Leader of City of York Council
  • Ian Floyd, Deputy Chief Executive of City of York Council
  • Professor Charlie Jeffery , Vice Chancellor at the University of York
  • James Farrar, Chief Executive Officer at the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Public Health representative

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of the Council, said:

“The possible scale of investment with devolution is significant, and therefore, it is incredibly important that local residents and organisations have the opportunity to have their say on this important first step, particularly on the outcomes we want to achieve. This feedback will help to guide our conversations on getting the right deal from the Government.”

“This is a first step, with further consultation to come. To continue to progress, any deal has to be right for our area and be of direct benefit to residents, communities and businesses. I would strongly encourage everyone to visit to find out more and have their say on what a deal could look like.  I look forward to answering residents questions on the #AsktheLeaders Facebook live in the weeks to come, as we discuss the Council’s Big Conversation.”

To get involved with the Facebook live event, residents can either submit questions in advance by emailing them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or commenting on the live video on Facebook, where leaders will read out questions and respond. Questions may be answered by theme rather than individually, so that the conversation covers as many themes as possible.

The Council’s Executive will discuss a proposal regarding York’s ‘asks’ of Government at a meeting of the Executive on the 23rd July, in order to agree the ‘asks’ before they are sent to the Government for consideration, as has been published on the Council’s Forward Plan.  The ‘asks’ documents relating to this meeting will be published on the 15th July.

If conversations between the Councils and Government progress well, a governance review will be required to take place, including a full consultation, which will provide residents and businesses a full opportunity to comment before decisions are made at Executive and then, Full Council.

For more information on devolution and what a potential devolution deal for York and North Yorkshire could look like, people are encouraged to visit the Council’s website here.