Leeds City Region Devolution Deal Imminent?

The leader in yesterday’s Yorkshire Post indicated that a form of devolution deal could be signed between the government and Leeds City Region as early as November. This could see a metro mayor for the city region being elected by 2022. The city region could take over various powers, but it is not yet clear what these would be.

It is far from clear that this would be another step towards a Yorkshire wide devolution deal which leaves those supporting One Yorkshire in a rather difficult position. The article in the Yorkshire Post cited different sources with quite different messages. Some thought that talks on One Yorkshire would continue while others were of the opinion that the current talks held out no guarantees on One Yorkshire. The idea could be pushed back several years or might never happen.

It has always been our opinion that devolution to city regions is a faux form of devolution. The powers on offer are worth little; the economies of scale already apparent within Yorkshire cannot be achieved; and those proposing such forms of governance are seeking to divide our community and stifle our aspirations. Some might say that the cash on offer is vital to their communities. There might be some merit in this argument if the path to proper devolution is also included in the agreement; otherwise it just looks like accepting 30 pieces of silver and our answer to that is: “You sold out too cheap!”

The fact of the matter is that proper devolution to Yorkshire can only be achieved on the basis of subsidiarity with a directly elected assembly representing all the people. The micro-management of the Westminster government has failed time and time again in the past. We don’t want another “top down” shambles, we want proper devolution for Yorkshire with deliberative democracy at its heart.

It is not clear what effect a Leeds City Region deal will have on the various devolution campaigns that are currently running, probably very little. If anything, it should invigorate most of the campaigns and motivate them to campaign properly. As we have already stated, the One Yorkshire Campaign, so far, has been lacklustre. The same could also be said for the rest of the campaigns. Its time we got our act together!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *