One Yorkshire Developments

Yesterday’s lead article in the Yorkshire Post was about a letter to Boris Johnson from Yorkshire’s political leaders asking the new Prime Minister to re-open talks on the One Yorkshire devolution initiative with the hope of having a One Yorkshire devolution deal completed by 2022.

We hope that the Prime Minister responds positively to this request. We have said previously that the adoption of the One Yorkshire proposal would be a huge step forward for us and would create a rallying point for Yorkshire. This is reinforced by the fact that it now incorporates a convincing economic case.

Clearly, as part of future discussions, the governance arrangements need further development. Having a mayor for Yorkshire would be a step in the right direction but having a parliament or assembly could be transformational for the good of the region.

Proper representation for the people should be essential in any form of devolution, as should defined responsibilities, authorities and accountabilities. These features make governance transparent and easily understood, as well as aiding in inclusion and participation. That is why I tend to feel nervous when people talk about Northern Powerhouse this or Council of the North that. These tend to be pseudonyms for a form of imposed “localism” which is really disguised central government control by devious means and has little to do with effective devolution at all.

Finally, it would be good if negotiations could re-start under the Johnson government, but we need to be mindful that the government’s position is currently very fragile and that it may not be capable of delivery.

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