Nominations have opened for candidates hoping to become one of the 90 councillors on a new unitary authority for the whole of North Yorkshire.
Elections to the new council will take place on 5 May, with candidates able to put their names forward up until 5 April.
The move to a single council will mark a crucial time in North Yorkshire’s history and comes after the government announced in July that the area’s eight county and district councils would be scrapped in April 2023.
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.
Richard Flinton, chief executive of North Yorkshire County Council, said the councillors would play a key role in shaping how public services will work in the future as he also urged residents to make sure they are eligible to vote.
He said: “If safe communities and thriving business matter to you, or services like schools, social care, housing, planning, roads, waste management and leisure, then it is really important that you take part in these elections.
“The people elected will determine the vision and values of the new North Yorkshire Council from the beginning.”
The opening of nominations follows Parliamentary approval of legislation for the new council to replace North Yorkshire County Council and the seven district and borough councils in Harrogate, Selby, Scarborough, Craven, Hambleton, Ryedale and Richmondshire.
The Structural Changes Order approved last week also enables parish elections to be held on the same day as the county elections.
Nomination papers must be completed by those wanting to stand as candidates in both the county and parish council elections. These papers are available from the district and borough councils.
To be able to vote you must be on the electoral register by 14 April.
Those who are signed up will receive polling cards or letters which are being sent out from the last two weeks in March.
Voters who are not able to get to their local polling station on 5 May can apply to vote by post or proxy.
For more information go to www.northyorks.gov.uk/elections