Residents across North Yorkshire are being urged to tell a local authority what they want them to spend money on amid a £100m shortfall in the first three years.

A countywide consultation is being launched to get the public’s views and ask what their key priorities are for North Yorkshire Council’s budget.

The authority was established in April, bringing together the former county council and seven district councils. It is facing major financial challenges but bosses say work already under way has brought significant benefits as services are amalgamated.

Darlington and Stockton Times: North Yorkshire needs to fine £100m in savings

But they warn ongoing global economic uncertainty is creating major financial issues and have launched a “Let’s Talk Money” survey to help set both next year’s budget and the Council Plan covering 2024 to 2028.

Council leader, Cllr Carl Les said: “Like all councils, and many residents and businesses, we face major financial challenges due to the cost of living crisis, high rates of inflation and a huge demand for critical services. However, despite the tough financial climate we are ambitious for residents and businesses.

“If we all work together we can build a stronger North Yorkshire. We are inviting you to help us by having your say in our survey about how we should spend the money we have available.”

Deputy leader and executive member for finance Cllr Gareth Dadd added: “We will not rest in our efforts to provide the best opportunities possible for this county. By bringing together the eight former county, borough and district councils to form North Yorkshire Council, we have put ourselves in a better position to face the future. In fact, by April next year we predict we will have saved £5m a year just by coming together.”

A shortfall of £25m this financial year is being covered through reserves. A masterplan is being pulled together for savings, which needs to be set by February.  During the second year of the new council’s operation, it is estimated there will be a further shortfall of £30m, with another annual deficit of £45m in the third year. Unless savings can be found, £105m in reserves will be needed over the next three years.

Between £30m and £70m is expected in annual savings.  The Let’s Talk Money survey is at LetsTalkNY online.