As a pathfinder North Yorkshire has been trialling EHC Plans for some time. Under the pathfinder rules, parents must be offered a choice of process, either the current statutory assessment process that includes Statements of Special Educational Need, or they can opt for the EHC assessment and potentially receive an EHC Plan for their child . At any point parents can ask to change from the Plan process to the statutory assessment process, including changing a Plan for a statement once issued.
The key difference between the two is that the statutory assessment process is governed by the law and current Code of Practice (the name does rather give it away). It allows parents to appeal to the SEND Tribunal if they do not believe the council has provided appropriately for their child. The EHCP process allows for no such appeals - there is currently no legal oversight.
Earlier this year the council announced that it was moving to the new EHCP system in April ahead of the legislation (see this post for details). It has now confirmed the changeover in a document dated May 9 (page 9, here). The result of this move is that it appears parents will not be given the choice of process and therefore have no protection in law over decisions made by the council or health services.
Such a seeming disregard for the law and removal of parental rights does not bode well for the new legislation which was, in part, created to "..minimise the adversarial nature of the system for families and to maximise value for money." (DfE Support and Aspiration)
According to this recent FOIA response from the council, parents can still opt for the currently legally-backed statutory assessment and statementing process. This seems like a reversal in the position taken by North Yorkshire - though this has been denied. In that case why did it announce it was moving to the new system in April if nothing has changed?
I can reassure you that North Yorkshire is not about to do anything illegal. The document you refer to is an update on the SEND Strategy. The quoted sentence might more comprehensively have said, " . . . with the informed consent of parents" which has always been the Local Authority's position. The attached document is for parents and is or will shortly be on the website of the Parent and Carer Forum (NYPACT) and on the Council's Local Offer website. It explains in detail what North Yorkshire is intending to do within the current legislation whilst preparing for imminent changes in the law.