£6m spent on transition to North Yorkshire Council so far

Wednesday, 24 May 2023 21:19

By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter

North Yorkshire Council has revealed £6m has been spent so far on the transition from eight councils into one.

Local government reorganisation has been the biggest change in local government in the county since 1974 and saw district councils in Harrogate, Craven, Hambleton, Scarborough, Rydedale, Richmondshire and Selby, as well as North Yorkshire County Council, abolished on 31st March.

The next day, a new unitary council called North Yorkshire Council based in Northallerton was created to provide all of the services previously delivered by the former councils.

To pay for the transition, £38m was allocated as a one-off fund with the money coming from reserves held by the former North Yorkshire County Council.

The council allocated £16.9m to be spent between 2021/22 until 2024/25 and North Yorkshire Council’s corporate director for resources, Gary Fielding, said £6m of this has been spent so far.

Mr Fielding added a “significant proportion” has been spent on technology and digital systems, with nearly £2.3m allocated during the last financial year and a further £1.5m earmarked in the current financial year.

Other areas of spending include £4.9m on delivering local government reorganisation over the previous and current financial years.

A further £3.4m has been allocated for finance and £1.8m for human resources with most of these costs due to upgrading IT systems.

The council is facing a £30m shortfall in its first year and is targeting savings of up to £252m in its first five years.

Earlier this month, the Local Democracy Reporting Service reported that the council will save £3.8m a year by cutting the roles of 24 senior managers.

Another one of the new unitary council’s early cost-cutting programmes will be to sell off some of the former district, borough and county council properties, which comes to more than 3,500 properties excluding schools.

Mr Fielding said: “We remain committed to ensuring that the move to North Yorkshire Council presents the best value for money for taxpayers. The new authority is set to bring about annual savings of between £30m and £70m through the streamlining of services and bringing together eight councils into one organisation.”

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