PARISH councils in South Craven are to be consulted over a draft charter which will shape how they work with North Yorkshire's new single authority.

They and other parish and town councils across North Yorkshire will be asked for their views after the draft document was endorsed at a meeting of the county council's executive.

The 12-week consultation begins next Wednesday (January 18).

Letters will be sent to every parish and town council inviting them to comment.

The new single authority – which launches on April 1 – is being formed through a merger of the county council and the existing seven district and borough authorities, including Craven Council.

Councillor Carl Les, who is leader of the county council and will head-up the new authority, says: "Grassroots democracy will be at the heart of local government for North Yorkshire Council.

"It's vital for the new council and parishes to have a strong relationship so that each parish has confidence in carrying out its crucial role as a voice for the community."

Pledges in the draft charter include consulting on planning, licensing and highways issues, and supporting parishes to maintain their local services and assets if they wish to and where practicable.