The York and North Yorkshire Mayor has officially taken office after signing the declaration of acceptance of office on Tuesday (May 7).

Labour's David Skaith was elected as the first Mayor of the region last Friday (May 3) after beating Conservative candidate Keane Duncan in what was a hotly-contested election campaign in York and North Yorkshire.

Mr Skaith received 66,761 votes in an election which saw a turnout of 29.89 per cent from the 640,012 people who are registered to vote in York and North Yorkshire.

The mayor will now serve a four-year term and will develop close links with the Government to secure more funding and decision-making powers as the devolution deal evolves.

David Skaith, Mayor of York and North Yorkshire, said: “I’m honoured to take on the role of Mayor for York and North Yorkshire. I’m looking to bring together York and North Yorkshire as one.

“This new role of Mayor, and the Combined Authority, presents a great deal of opportunities to the region. We can attract new investment, and tackle key areas such as affordable housing and transport. This is just the start, and I’m looking forward to working with partners, businesses, and communities.

“Over my first few weeks as Mayor, I want to take every opportunity to listen to communities across the region. Communities must understand the role of the Mayor and what it means for York and North Yorkshire.

"This is a huge opportunity to make lives better for people across the region long into the future. I take the responsibility very seriously and I want to ensure that we get this right and deliver benefits to communities now and for the future.”

The new Mayor leads the York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority, which was formed on 22 January. The Combined Authority is delivering the region’s historic devolution deal, which is worth more than £540 million over 30 years.

The mayor will continue work that is already underway on projects including £12.7 million to deliver 700 new homes on brownfield sites and a further £10 million to support the transition to net zero, unlocking economic opportunity, empowering business growth and creating new and better-paid jobs.

Mr Skaith will also take on the responsibilities of the police, fire and crime commissioner for York and North Yorkshire.

The commissioner is responsible for holding the chief constable as well as the chief fire officer to account and ensuring their services are efficient and effective.

North Yorkshire Council’s leader, Cllr Carl Les, said: “We have long said that the election of a mayor for York and North Yorkshire will bring so many benefits for hundreds of thousands of people in the region.

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“I would like to welcome the mayor to his new role, and we are looking forward to forging a close working relationship with him to make the most of this hugely significant moment for politics here in York and North Yorkshire.

“The appointment of the mayor will mean we have more decisions being made locally and millions of pounds in additional funding from the Government to target the issues that really matter to people.

“The election of the mayor will mean we can drive forward the benefits of devolution in the region, which will mean better jobs and improved training, more affordable housing and boosting the green industry sector to tackle climate change.”