Council leader pledges "the best for North Yorkshire"

Councillor Carl Les

3:31pm 18th May 2017
(Updated 3:46pm 18th May 2017)

The leader of North Yorkshire County Council has pledged that the authority will "work to achieve the best for North Yorkshire".

Councillor Carl Les, who was re-elected at the annual meeting of the council at County Hall in Northallerton, said this month's local elections and "the new faces it has brought into our midst" will provide renewed impetus for progress.

He added: "Our priority will always be to protect the frontline services that benefit all residents of North Yorkshire as much as we can, but in these uncertain times when we will continue to face austerity for many years to come, it is inevitable that the nature of services and the way they are delivered will continue to change.

"The county council is in a strong financial position to face the challenges ahead, and as a newly-elected council, we will face these challenges and our priorities with renewed vigour.

"We will continue to help North Yorkshire's economy grow through the work of the local enterprise partnership and the continuing expansion of high-speed fibre broadband to more remote rural areas. We are close to a £21m procurement contract for phase three of Superfast North Yorkshire, a programme we set up to address market failure. By the end of phase three, the total number of business and residential premises connected to high-quality broadband will reach 96 per cent and our ambition is to reach as near to 100 per cent as possible.

"No doubt we will also be taking full advantage of the long-lasting opportunities offered by the Tour de Yorkshire and other world-class cycling events programmed for our county.

"The county council continues to promote east-west connectivity and the upgrading of key rail and road arterial routes such as the A59 and A66, as well as the relief of congestion in Harrogate. What's more, we must never overlook opportunities to improve the safety and connectivity of the A64, a Highways England road but which nevertheless is a major concern and priority for us.

"North Yorkshire has an ageing population, which creates increasing demand for health and care services. We will therefore strengthen our work with private, public and volunteer partners to support the elderly and vulnerable, helping them to remain independent and in their own homes for as long as possible.

"We will pursue our ambition for an extra care development in every market town and carry on our innovative work to combat loneliness and isolation.

"North Yorkshire is blessed with a strong volunteering culture and the county council will continue to work in partnership with groups and communities to provide innovative solutions for services such as transport and libraries. Helping people to help themselves.

"North Yorkshire has built a national reputation in children's services and we aim to maintain that position. We will continue to protect and educate our children, striving to make the county one of the best places for children and young people to grow up.

"Actions we take to address all these issues will be set against a background of ongoing financial constraint, but our new council is committed to finding the best solutions to supporting our communities."

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