About the Campaign for a Yorkshire Parliament

 

The Campaign for a Yorkshire Parliament is an unincorporated association which was formally established in November 2018.  It is governed by an elected Steering Committee which elects a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer to manage the day to day running of the campaign. The current officers are Bikatshi Katenga, Chair; Kieron George, Vice Chair; Philip Hardstone, Secretary; and Richard Honnoraty, Treasurer.

The reasons for the introduction of a regional government for Yorkshire have been well documented. These include the fact that current systems of government and public service delivery within the UK are over centralized and far more complex than they need to be. We believe that the Westminster government has been insufficiently focused on the needs of Yorkshire which has led to significant deficiencies and neglect in many areas. Existing local authorities have neither the powers nor the ability to address these issues.

We believe that a directly elected parliament, elected by a system of fair votes, with properly constituted powers; ideally based around the concept of subsidiarity, but perhaps in the first instance taking the precedent of the Scottish Parliament; could transform the system of government within the region for the better. A regional parliament would be inclusive and would be accountable to the people of the region for all matters appertaining to the region. This form of regional administration should lead to a dramatic simplification of local and regional governance procedures, potentially resulting in extensive efficiency savings and improved effectiveness.

Current government devolution proposals fall well short of these aspirations as they are much more limited in terms of authority and geographical scale than we would like, however, the One Yorkshire campaign of 17 local authorities plus the mayor of South Yorkshire is challenging government accepted norms and dogma by putting forward the opportunities of scale, identity and cohesion that could come with a regional devolution deal. If successful, One Yorkshire would represent a significant boost for our own campaign as it would represent the first acceptance of the idea of English regionalism outside London and would establish an administration for Yorkshire, probably for the first time in over 1,000 years. The success of One Yorkshire is not necessarily a prerequisite for the success of our own campaign, but it would represent a defining moment for Yorkshire devolution.

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