Secondary legislation was laid in Parliament on Tuesday which is central to implementing the new devolution deal in York and North Yorkshire.

If approved by Parliament, it provides for the establishment of the York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority (YNYCA) and a directly elected mayor for the region, with a vote scheduled for May 2, 2024.

The deal will unlock significant long-term funding and aims to give county leaders greater freedom to decide how best to meet local needs.

The new mayor will receive a long-term investment fund worth £540m over 30 years to boost growth and regeneration, complemented by a consolidated local transport budget and funding to support the building of new homes. The future devolution of the adult education budget is also part of the agreement.

Minister for Levelling Up, Redcar MP Jacob Young, said: “Levelling up – driving prosperity in all parts of the United Kingdom – is done best when people locally can forge the future of their area. This order is a big step in that direction.”

Darlington and Stockton Times:

North Yorkshire Council’s leader, Cllr Carl Les, added: “The prospect of bringing more decision-making powers and millions of pounds in additional funding from the Government will bring real and tangible benefits for hundreds of thousands of people in York and North Yorkshire.

“Devolution is about ensuring levelling up becomes a reality, tackling regional inequalities and bringing the prospect for more equal opportunities with better job opportunities and improved skills and training, more affordable housing and tackling the threat of climate change.

“The announcement that the Government has approved the order for the creation of a combined authority is very welcome, and the next significant step towards achieving the long-held ambition for devolution for both York and North Yorkshire.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Cllr Carl Les, leader of North Yorkshire Council

“The new combined authority will be a driving force behind the devolution process, overseeing major strategic projects and how funding will be allocated, and working closely with both North Yorkshire Council and City of York Council.”

Last month, a joint meeting of the Conservative-run North Yorkshire and Labour-run City of York councils to discuss the expected creation of a mayoral combined authority heard that while the councils had agreed on how to split the first significant tranche of Government devolution funding, uncertainty still surrounded the transfer of powers from Westminster due to the wait for the order to make the combined authority a legal entity to be laid before Parliament.

Deputy leader of York council, Councillor Peter Kilbane told the meeting: “What we need is certainty in the region, so really this is a plea to Government, if they are listening to get this order made. We just need them to step up to the mark really.”