North Yorkshire to lose District Councils

North Yorkshire will become a unitary authority and will become responsible for delivering all local authority services currently delivered by the “county” and district councils, probably from April 2023. The unitary authority will have a population of around 618,000 but will cover an area of 3,341 square miles. The aim of the reorganisation is supposedly […]


This article was provided by Philip Hardstone. Outsourcing was the brainchild of Margaret Thatcher’s government, which introduced compulsory competitive tendering in the early 1980s. The government viewed this policy, which forced local authorities to open up in-house services such as cleaning, catering and maintenance to private competitors, as a way to neuter strikes, downsize council […]

Empowering Yorkshire

This article was provided by Philip Hardstone. It is essential to Yorkshire’s future prosperity that we can compete fairly within the United Kingdom’s internal market and internationally, but first, Yorkshire’s economy needs putting on a new, stronger footing. We only need to look at areas like Dewsbury, Batley or Spen Valley, once proud areas, to […]

Future Governance of the UK

Empowering Yorkshire and Transforming Yorkshire recently submitted evidence to the House of Lords Constitution Committee Inquiry into the Future Governance of the UK. Our submission is reproduced below. Empowering Yorkshire – Transforming Yorkshire Submission to the House of Lords Constitution Committee in respect of their inquiry into the governance of the United Kingdom Summary 1.           […]

Bottom-up Approach to Politics

This article was written by Philip Hardstone. Here, he provides us with some insight into his thinking of what constitutes the bottom-up approach to politics. I would define the bottom-up approach as starting with neighbours coming together to discuss what is needed to improve their area. This maybe extra trees being planted, resurfacing broken pathways, […]

Devolution White Paper Scrapped

We understand that the much anticipated and delayed Devolution White Paper is to be replaced by a levelling up White Paper. The Government press release stated that the Government will publish a landmark Levelling Up White Paper later this year, articulating how bold new policy interventions will improve opportunity and boost livelihoods. The White Paper […]

Local Council Elections 6 May 2021

Philip Hardstone shares his thoughts on tomorrow’s local elections. Tomorrow many people will be going to the polls to elect their local councillor and in West Yorkshire a new regional Mayor. At the end of the day, whoever you vote for doesn’t have the power to make all that much difference because Westminster keeps tight […]

Is Devolution Doomed?

In this article we look at the vagaries of the UK constitution and the effects these might have on obtaining and sustaining an effective devolution deal for Yorkshire. “Parliamentary sovereignty is a principle of the UK constitution. It makes Parliament the supreme legal authority in the UK, the courts cannot overrule its legislation and no […]

Yorkshire Regional Parliament Referendum Petition

As we understand that plans are in hand to commence extensive promotion of the petition for a referendum on devolving powers to a Yorkshire Regional Parliament, we thought now might be a good time to look at the current progress of the petition on a constituency basis here in Yorkshire. The table below shows how […]

We dare to suggest a new way of doing politics

The following article was provided by the Independent Constitutionalists UK. It really doesn’t make sense  –  there simply has to be a better way! In general elections the winning Party is granted permission to impose its policies and ideology on the rest of us, even although as few as only 25% of the electorate might […]