A WELL-KNOWN North Yorkshire figure has joined the race to be Mayor of York and North Yorkshire.

Zoë Metcalfe, who is currently the North Yorkshire and York Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC), has confirmed that she will be putting her name forward for selection to be the Conservative candidate for the York and North Yorkshire Mayor election.

Ms Metcalfe was elected PFCC in November 2021, and before this served as a Harrogate district and county councillor.

She has also set up and run a children’s mental health charity.

The role of PFCC involves scrutinising and holding the police and fire service to account on behalf of the public.

Ms Metcalfe is also responsible for appointing the police chief constable and the chief fire officer, and monitors their performances while in the role and dismissing them if necessary.

York Press: Zoë Metcalfe is the PFCC for York and North YorkshireZoë Metcalfe is the PFCC for York and North Yorkshire (Image: Zoe Metcalfe)

Now, she has decided to join the race to become Mayor of York and North Yorkshire.

“This is a really exciting role that I am uniquely qualified to do,” she said. 

“The Mayor will have responsibility for Economic growth, transport, housing and regeneration, but will also see the integration of the responsibilities and decision making of my current role as Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner within it too.

“There is a rich synergy between creating safer streets and economic growth, two areas that I am passionate about.

“I have the necessary business experience and close links to Westminster to promote economic growth.

“I will also continue the great work I have started in turning around Community Safety in York and North Yorkshire and I will see through the transformation of both the Police force and Fire and Rescue service.

“I have always been a supporter of devolution as it will bring many exciting opportunities for York and North Yorkshire, it will be a great platform to enable and enrich the lives of our residents and businesses bringing hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment into our region.”

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The first Mayor of a York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority is due to be elected in 2024, following a process of devolution.

This new authority, with the Mayor at its head, will have responsibility for bringing hundreds of millions of pounds of investment into the region, and will be in charge of regional projects such as the York and North Yorkshire Local Transport Plan and adult education.

The new Mayor will also take over the powers currently held by the police, fire and crime commissioner.

City of York Council and the new unitary North Yorkshire Council (which comes to power on April 1) will remain autonomous but would work closely with the new Mayor, and would appoint members to the new combined authority.

Kevin Hollinrake 'not likely' to go for post

As reported by The Press yesterday (March 7), Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, said he was ‘not likely’ to go for the post, despite reports in a regional newspaper which suggested that he was the front-runner for the job.

York Press: Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and MaltonKevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton (Image: Agency)

“A few people have mentioned it to me, and I think it is a fabulous job,” said the Conservative MP.

“It is a massive job for the region.”