The Institute of Directors’ North Yorkshire branch has welcomed the statement by Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick that North Yorkshire's county and district councils are to be replaced with a single unitary authority for the entire county (excluding City of York).

The IoD said the move ended the uncertainty that had been created for local businesses while two different proposals were considered and paved the way for devolution to North Yorkshire including local decision making powers over economic investment.

Ian Garner, IoD North Yorkshire Vice-Chair, said: “Uncertainty is never helpful for business and this announcement starts to create clarity for the future.

“IoD North Yorkshire held a devolution debate last September in which leaders from North Yorkshire County Council and the District and Borough Councils put forward the case for devolution. It’s fair to say our members were split in support of each case and there will be some pleased and others disappointed with the decision. However, clarity will be a positive for businesses as they strive to succeed and grow.”

The existing setup sees North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) run services including social care, transport and education, with seven district councils running planning, waste collection and other services.

The IoD is the UK’s number one organisation for directors, providing connections, professional development and a lobbying voice. The Institute helped to secure vital support for directors during the Covid-19 pandemic, including financial assistance for wage bills and changes to insolvency rules.