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Agenda item 6 - Devolution update

1  Purpose of the report

This report provides an update on progress with devolution and an initial review of the asks.


2  Background

2.1  The York and North Yorkshire Devolution asks were submitted to government on 23rd December 2020.

2.2  Currently no formal response has been received from government, however informally, we have been advised that formal discussions will not progress until after the decision on Local Government Reform in order to ensure the process is not compromised.

2.3  It is also worth noting that the devolution white paper has not been published and will now form part of the levelling up white paper due to be published later in 2021. This paper will be published through Cabinet Office.

2.4  In addition, Neil O’Brien MP, has been appointed special adviser on levelling up within Cabinet Office. Neil O’Brien was previously special adviser to both George Osbourne and Theresa May. Tom Walker, who worked on early city and devolution deals has also been appointed as Senior Private Secretary to Michael Gove MP, Chancellor to the Duchy of Lancaster within Cabinet Office. Both have previously been proponents of devolution.

2.5  Further, Hull and East Riding, who are ahead of Y&NY in the process have been advised that government are ready to start negotiation.

2.6  Consequently, Chief Executives have asked for a review of the devolution asks to identify and significant policy changes, or covid impacts which may may require existing asks to be amended, removed or added to.

2.7  The table below provides a summary of early assessments of current asks. These will be discussed at Directors of Development on 28 May . A verbal update will be provided .

Theme Current asks? Policy changes? COVID impact? Changes required?
  • £250m New 5-yearly Integrated Transport Settlement for the York and North Yorkshire region
  • £52.5m New funding to deploy ultra-low emission vehicles
  • £50m to roll out EV charging facilities
  • £36m for bus services to support covid recovery
  • devolved and consolidated mayoral transport settlement
  • enhanced joint working and transport powers, covering:
  1. local flexibility over concessionary travel scheme
  2. statutory transport plan powers
  3. bus franchising powers
  4. joint working with Highways England and Network Rail
  • National Bus Strategy published in March 2021 with funding to support the development of partnership or franchising arrangements
  • National Decarbonisation Strategy - still awaiting publication
  • Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands expected to be published in June 2021, outlining infrastructure plans for rail, including HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail
  • Mayor funding announcements via the Levelling Up Fund and Community Renewal Fund can include transport schemes led by NYCC and CYC - first round of bids due to be submitted by 18 June 2021.
  • UK government commitment to bring forward ban on new diesel and petrol vehicles to 2030 and acceleration of use of electric vehicles
  • Restoring Your Railways - bids submitted for a number of former lines, stations and services
  • Working with DfT and Northern Transport Acceleration Council - continuing to highlight key priorities for Y&NY
  • funding approval for key projects including A66 dualling and A1237 York Outer Ring Road dualling and scheme development underway on A64 dualling and A1 Darrington schemes
  • Requirement for additional train services on Harrogate line, Scarborough line, Esk Valley line and Goole-Leeds line
  • UK how have the second largest EV market in Europe
  • The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution:
  • The government has pledged a £2.8 billion package of measures to support industry and drivers to make the switch to cleaner vehicles.
  • committed up to £1 billion to support the electrification of UK vehicles and their supply chains, including developing ‘Gigafactories’ in the UK to produce the batteries needed at scale. 
  • £1.3 billion to accelerate the roll out of charging infrastructure
  • £582 million to extend the plug-in car, van, taxi and motorcycle grants to 2022 to 2023 to reduce their sticker price for the consumer.
  • £20 million next year in freight trials to pioneer hydrogen and other zero emission lorries, to support industry to develop cost-effective, zero-emission HGVs in the UK.
  • invest tens of billions of pounds in enhancements and renewals of the rail network, £4.2 billion in city public transport and £5 billion on buses, cycling and walking
  • electrify more railway lines; end the complicated franchising model and create a simpler, more effective system; and create integrated bus and train networks in more places, with smart ticketing, more frequent services, and bus lanes to speed journeys
  • A new body, Active Travel England, will hold the budget, inspect schemes, and assess local authorities for their performance on active travel.
  • Transport Decarbonisation Plan will set out how we will move further and faster to decarbonise the entire UK transport system.
  • Cycling and walking plan for England was published in July,
  • Are districts requesting anything via the Levelling-Up Fund?
  • National Infrastructure Strategy
  • Disruption to public transport - reduced levels. Increases in car usage and active travel (funding accessed via DfT Emergency Active Travel Fund)
  • Longer term changes to travel patterns – less commuting and more working from home, and strong recovery of retail and leisure trips for both cars and public transport
  • Increased awareness of the importance of freight and logistics and changes to freight and delivery patterns







Current asks broadly ok, however need to review against emerging principles falling out from the National Bus Strategy published March 2021

Also considering bringing ULEV buses and EV Infrastructure together into a single EV Connectivity Plan


  • £520m Devolution of DCMS funding for fibre connectivity
  • Co-design of the rollout of the Shared Rural Network in the York and North Yorkshire region
  • £20m for the establishment of a new Smart Infrastructure Investment Fund





  • Increased reliance on digital connectivity (for work and social purposes)
  • More businesses have shifted to online models, alongside a physical store
  • Health care (i.e. doctors) are using more digital means of engaging with patients, rather than face to face.



New ask proposed: Technical Solution to provide mobile phone coverage in pockets missed by the main coverage deployment.
£5m for exploring 5G's small cell capability to deploy a private mobile network into areas with no coverage. Connecting via roaming agreement onto mobile operators network. Building on work from DCMS 5G testbed and trials projects.
  • £240m Devolved Mayoral Towns Fund, which will cover 5 areas of intervention
  1. Smart and Enterprising Towns
  2. Active and Transformed Towns
  3. Cultural and Heritage Towns
  4. Living and Circular Towns
  5. Growing Towns
  • £65m York Place Fund
  • Civil Service relocation - York Central to become economic campus in North
  • Town programme to be submitted within Community Renewal Fund
  • Districts submitting proposals within levelling up fund
  • Scarborough/Whitby Town Deal announced
  • Hambleton allocated within Future High Streets Fund
  • Historic Environment Report completed: any data/evidence to be included?
  • National Infrastructure Strategy 
  • Various support funds have been released to support towns/high streets (i.e. Welcome Back Fund/Reopening the High Street.
Priorities remain valid - need to consider the asks and priority investments in light of government announcements e.g. town deals, future high street funding, levelling up fund, welcome back fund etc.

Funding to establish a devolved pace-based Strategic Housing Investment package

  • £1m match funding to scale up YNY strategic planning and delivery
  • £45m to establish revolving credit fund to accelerate OSm
  • £50m to address viability challenges
  • commitment to higher grant rate per plot for rural affordable homes
  • enhanced local planning powers to facilitate the delivery of housing and regeneration, including a) statutory spatial plan powers, b) land assembly and CPO powers for the mayor, c) mayoral development corporation powers.
  • National Infrastructure Strategy -
  • Feb 21 - Homes England announce a new round of wave funding for strategic partnerships to delivery of affordable housing. Wave funding provides multi-year agreements rather than site by site approvals.

Need to consider asking for Homes England Wave Funding which supports strategic partners to deliver affordable homes to be devolved. Currently no strategic partners in NY.

An area where Chief Execs are challenging. A major priority for government and some concern a lack of ambition.

  • £10m revenue and capital funding to deliver a low carbon skills programme
  • Devolved adult education budget
  • Enhanced joint working with Government, covering
  1. joint working with Government to align local/national programmes
  2. joint working with careers enterprise company and national careers service
  3. influencing spend on unutilised apprenticeship levy funding
  4. stronger links with Department for Work and Pensions
  • New Labour Market Analysis published via the LEP - any updated data/evidence required?
  • Research completed around low carbon skills - further evidence available?
  • interim conclusion of the review of post-18 education and funding htt;s://
  • DofE policy emerging aligned with Chamber of Commerce and business representative organisations rather than CAs and LEPs
  Need to consider against recent DofE policy announcements, in particular move towards business representative organisation for skills improvement plans rather than MCAs/LEPs
Business and innovation
  • Devolving LIS related funding programmes as flexible funding, enabling us to prioritise investment against regional priorities, comprising, an extended local growth fund fully devolved as a single pot and shared prosperity fund fully devolved to the region
  • Co-development of a Yorkshire Tourism Plan between York and North Yorkshire and Visit Britain to increase high value tourism
  • Joint working with Innovate UK and Department for International Trade
  • Support for Harrogate Convention Centre
  • Support for AMRC Scarborough
  • Will the LIS be replaced with local growth plans? How relevant is the LIS now?
  • KAM function now set-up within YNYLEP
  • Anything included within Scarborough's town deal for this?
  • UK research and development roadmap
  • Y&NY internationalisation strategy developed
  • C4DI launched in Northallerton and Fab Lab funded within Scarborough Town Deal 
  • Innovate UK discussing co-development of cluster programmes and innovation deals with some areas
  • Visit England policy due to emerge around core funded DMOs
Hospitality and tourism has been one of the hardest hit sectors. Update data/rationale for this ask. For example, even at 2029 accommodation and food services will not have pre-covid employment levels (Oxford Economics)

Key policy change in the move from Local Industrial Strategies to Plans for Growth. Not yet clear how this translates at a local level. 

Also consider changes through LEP review once outcome becomes clearer.

Consider strengthening the Innovate UK ask in light of development around innovation deals.

Need to re-consider tourism ask in light of covid impact and recovery plans. Suggest a T&F group.

  • £175m Bio-Yorkshire Innovation Central (BYIC)
  • £25m Bio-Yorkshire district incubator hubs
  • £15m Bio-Yorkshire innovation accelerator
  • National infrastructure strategy 
  Core asks ok - consider potential for a co-developed bioeconomy cluster deal with Innovate UK.
  • Joint working to develop and deliver York and North Yorkshire’s Roadmap to become a Carbon Negative Region
  • £100m Funding for a 5year place-based Low Carbon Housing Retrofit Programme
  • £25m for 5 year public building decarbonisation programme
  • £8m for regional-level capacity and feasibility work for strategic low carbon energy projects
  • £42m for a Low Carbon Energy Generation Demonstrator Programme
  • £2m to develop Local Area Energy Action Plans 





Update content to reflect the carbon abatement pathways study which has been finalised and published on line, and that stakeholder engagement to develop the co-owned routemap to carbon negative is underway and the first draft is expected in Sep 2021. Dependent on when negotiations with Gov commence, we may want to reframe the ask to focus on delivery rather than the development of the routemap.

For LAET ask, need to add within the narrative that LA and LEP funding has been secured for the first stage i.e. the local energy area representation (LEAR) approx £50k. Dependent on timings and success in securing CRF will need to review the ask as funding has been sought for LAEPs through energy CRF bid.

Natural capital

£2m development of a natural capital investment plan working with national partners

Tier 2 ELMs trial and joint working with DEFRA to co-design how ELMs will operate locally.

£10m Natural Capital Innovation Challenge Fund

Local Nature Recovery Strategies - Natural England are leading the development of LNRSs.

The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution:

  • we will protect our natural environment through the creation of new National Parkes and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • £40m second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund
  • establishment of 10 long-term landscape recovery projects over the next 4 years and Nature Recovery Network.
  • launch environmental land management pilots next year as we move away from the Common Agricultural Policy, alongside Productivity Grants for farmers to invest in modern technology to make their businesses more efficient and more profitable, while reducing their emissions.
  Update narrative to incorporate LNP and LEP work around Natural Capital Asset Register and Routemap to Carbon negative. Reference GY CRF application - specifically use of farm carbon audits, benefit of smart farm technologies and development of a regional bio-crop group


3  Next steps

3.1  Chief Executives to consider the current asks and comments against policy changes and provide recommendations for changes, additions.

3.2  The timeframe should be to be able to ‘resubmit’ early July around the LGR decision date


4  Recommendations

4.1  Chief Executives are asked to consider the comments within the table and verbal update from Directors of Development and agree next steps to review and update the asks.

5  Additional information

5.1  Contact - James Farrar