This May’s elections to the new North Yorkshire Council will be one of the most crucial votes in the county’s history – and candidates could be able to put themselves forward as soon as next week.
Friday, March 18 is when nominations are likely to open for candidates hoping to become one of the 90 councillors who will lead a new era of local government.
That date is subject to new legislation which is currently passing through Parliament and once approved will fire the starting gun for voting to take place on 5 May.
It will also spell out the end of North Yorkshire County Council and the seven district and borough councils in Harrogate, Selby, Scarborough, Craven, Hambleton, Ryedale and Richmondshire which will be scrapped and replaced by the new unitary authority from April 2023.
Speaking at a public briefing last night, Ben Nattrass, elections manager at Harrogate Borough Council, said parliamentary approval of the legislation was expected next week as he also set out some of the next steps.
He said: “We are waiting for the Structural Changes Order to pass through Parliament and we expect that to be done next week, which would allow us to open nominations on 18 March.
“Each candidate who wishes to stand in the elections must submit a set of nomination forms and these must be submitted no later than 4pm on 5 April.”
Once approved, the Structural Changes Order will be followed by an official notice of election which is likely to be published on 17 March.
Candidate nominations will then open the following day before closing on 5 April.
After voting takes place on 5 May, polling cards will then be counted and the results announced the following day.
The newly elected councillors will represent 89 new divisions on North Yorkshire County Council for one year before serving a four-year term on the new council.
They will play a key role in shaping how public services will work in the future, with all areas from bin collections to road maintenance being transferred across to the new council in what will be a mammoth task.
Richard Flinton, chief executive of North Yorkshire County Council, previously said: “The councillors elected on 5 May will make decisions on services that affect individuals, families and communities, so we want to make sure that anyone who wants to consider stepping forward as a candidate has all the information they need.
“These elections are important for everyone in the county, so if you are eligible to vote, please make sure that you are registered, then you can be sure that your vote will count.”
The deadline for people to register to vote is 14 April.
To find out more on how to become a candidate go to www.northyorks.gov.uk/briefings-prospective-candidates-and-their-agents