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Devolution Deal Getting More Urgent by the Day

by jamesbaker on 27 November, 2017

Labour and Conservative council leaders need to stop squabbling and start working together to thrash out a devolution deal with the government.

At the meeting of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Scrutiny Committee on November 15th  I heard that funding streams worth millions of pounds are shortly to come to an end unless replacements are found.

Devolution in Yorkshire is just a mess. The agreed deal for South Yorkshire is being unpicked and the alternative ‘One Yorkshire’ deal hasn’t had support from the government and is unravelling.

Labour and Conservative leaders across the region need to sort this out – now. The people and the economy of Yorkshire deserve a deal that will deliver significant long-term investment. Instead, we appear to have rival Labour and Conservative proposals that are more concerned with delivering an elected Mayor for their party.

Many other areas across the country are benefitting from the devolution deals that have been agreed over the last few years. In Yorkshire, we seem no closer to agreement than we were months – even years – ago. It is incredible that Labour councillors, in particular, complain about cuts in government funding but are prepared to send vast amounts of money back to London.

Clearly no one is going to get the precise deal they want so some compromise is needed. We are in grave danger of sending a message to the government that we don’t want the extra money and powers that are on offer.

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