About devolution

5.Commonly asked questions

Consultation

Devolution could bring about important change in Hull and East Yorkshire. Thank you for having your say during the public consultation, which took place between 2 January 2024 and 27 February 2024. Your views have helped inform the decision to progress to the next stage of the deal.

You can read the independent analysis of the consultation results on the HEY devolution website.

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Why do we need a mayor?

Having an elected mayor is an essential part of a Level 3 devolution deal, which is currently the most lucrative type of deal available to newly devolved areas. A Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) brings extra money and more say in local decisions.

Benefits such as the £400 million investment fund, integrated transport settlement and devolution of brownfield funding are only available through a mayoral combined authority, and the East Riding would not be able to access these advantages on its own, or without a mayor.

Will the mayor make all of the decisions?

The mayor cannot make decisions on their own. The mayor provides leadership and represents the interests of the region, but they work with the other members of the Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) to ensure a collaborative approach to decision-making. This means that the interests of the whole region and its residents are represented and considered in the decision-making process.

What is the difference between an elected mayor and a civic mayor?

An elected mayor and a civic mayor have separate roles. A civic mayor is mainly a ceremonial figure, chosen by council members. They do not have formal powers.

The elected mayor, chosen by residents, leads a board with councillors from each council. The mayor works closely with both councils, serving as a link to the government. However, they can't make decisions on their own; the support of the combined authority cabinet is needed to make any changes.

How will the mayor be held accountable?

The mayor in Hull and East Yorkshire will be chosen by the people living there, so will be directly accountable to them. An overview and scrutiny committee will check and review the mayor’s decisions and activities.

The Government has also set out an ‘accountability framework’ for all devolved authorities in England, to make sure that they are open and accountable to the communities that they serve:

GOV.UK - English devolution accountability framework

Will the mayor have new offices and how much will that cost?

It is expected that the mayor’s office will work out of the existing facilities in one or both local councils. The government has provided £2 million to support the set-up and operation of the mayor’s office between 2024/25 and 2026/27, including the cost of running the first mayoral election. Further funding is to be confirmed in the future after the next Spending Review (as is the case with other devolved areas).

Will my council tax be going up?

It is not expected that council tax would rise specifically because of the new Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA). It is true that the Mayor would be given powers to raise a charge on council tax, as is the case in other mayoral combined authorities around the country.

However, throughout the country, this power has rarely been used. In fact, many mayoral candidates run on a platform/pledge of not making changes to council tax.

When will elections be held?

Following the consultation, the two councils have decided to submit the proposal document to the Government. Parliament would need to pass legislation to establish the combined authority. There would then be a mayoral election, which could be in May 2025.

Read more about the consultation on the HEY devolution website

Will this merge Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council?

No, a combined authority for East Yorkshire does not mean the two councils would merge. It means that they would work together on certain issues that affect everyone in the region.

The two councils and their day-to-day responsibilities would remain separate, and local services would not be affected.

The purpose of devolution is not to merge our two areas, but to work better together. This means that each area retains its unique identity, governance structures, and decision-making powers.

Will we be called Humberside again?

No, the devolution process is not about changing boundaries. Both Hull and the East Riding will keep their current names and identities. Humberside was a former administrative county that no longer exists, and there are no plans to bring it back.

Are other councils being offered a devolution deal?

The government plans to offer a devolution deal to every part of England that wants one by 2030, as outlined in the 2022 ‘Levelling Up’ White Paper:

GOV.UK - Levelling Up the United Kingdom

What would happen if there were a change of Government?

East Riding Council remains committed to achieving devolution for the area, recognising the opportunities that it would bring. After submitting our devolution proposals to the government in April, East Riding and Hull councils will now await guidance on the next steps following the outcome of the General Election on 4 July.

Why was there no referendum?

Instead of a referendum, we have run a public consultation in line with the requirements of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act (2023). The consultation allowed people to express detailed, nuanced opinions, which would not have been possible with a simple yes/no vote. This feedback was then considered when shaping the final proposal. The cost of a referendum would have been considerable, including organising and staffing polling stations. We believe the public consultation approach has been a more efficient use of public money, and it has been used in devolution proposals across the country.

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