News Roundup

The last couple of months has been something of a mixed bag as far as the future of Yorkshire devolution is concerned.

Firstly, in May we had the announcement that the government was replacing its Devolution White Paper with a Levelling Up White Paper. We await sight of this new paper, which should be published later this year, with anticipation; though the general consensus is that the devolution of further powers is no longer government policy. See our news item on the topic below.

The second interesting event in May was the Yorkshire Party’s performance in the West Yorkshire mayoral election. Coming in third place with 9.71% of the vote and 58,851 actual votes gave the party and the Yorkshire devolution cause some welcome publicity. Bob Buxton gave a very creditable performance as the party’s candidate, especially in terms of his presentations to the media after the election results were declared.

The Yorkshire Party went on to contest the challenging Batley and Spen by-election on 1 July and emerged as the strongest of the minor parties.

The Empowering Yorkshire and Transforming Yorkshire submission to the House of Lords Constitution Committee Inquiry into the Future Governance of the UK was published in May. This is interesting as it raised further awareness of and interest in the campaign for Yorkshire devolution and it may give rise to the re-establishment of a more formal active campaign for Yorkshire devolution along the lines of the “all party and no party” Campaign for a Yorkshire Parliament, perhaps under a different guise.

The Big Yorkshire Conversation was also initiated during this period with a short survey sponsored by the Yorkshire Society.

We have yet to see the formal results from this survey and, according to the Yorkshire Society, the Big Yorkshire Conversation is closed, a communication glitch perhaps.

As we go to press, Yorkshire Day is approaching and there are many reasons to celebrate this year as the county and the rest of the country are coming out of lockdown. We have been through some very difficult times, and we are not out of the woods yet, but things are starting to look better, and we should face the future with a renewed sense of optimism and determination.

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