Leeds North West's MP has this week spoken in parliament in support of the proposed ‘One Yorkshire’devolution deal. In the wake of new powers being granted by the government to greaterManchester and the West Midlands, there is a growing concern among Yorkshire’s MPs in the regionis being left behind.
An adjournment debate was held in the house of commons last week led by Keighly MP John Grogan. In a letter to council leaders, communities secretary Sajid Javid said the government “would not consider any proposal for a Yorkshire-wide deal that involved one or moof the four South Yorkshire councils.”
In that debate Alex Sobel MP said: “People in many of our towns and cities would not recognise themselves as being part of a city region, but they understand the idea of Yorkshire. Yorkshire people are proud of being part of Yorkshire, and it is time that our identity and regional uniqueness were acknowledged, and not dismissed by this Government.
If our region could speak with a single voice, it would be a player on the world stage, rather than on the national stage. As my hon. Friend John Grogan said, both industry and the unions have backed the One Yorkshire model.
They want to develop region-wide hubs around IT, tourism, food and advanced manufacturing, including low-carbon and renewable energy, helping to create 21st-century jobs and 21st-century solutions which can be the envy of the world and start to rebalance our economy away from London. That is the most important goal for our region and others.”
Speaking afterwards Alex said “The communities secretaries letter to Yorkshire Council leaders just highlights the inconsistency in the Government’s approach to Yorkshire. Sajid Javid, when outlining the case for South Yorkshire devolution talks about the Government’s manifesto commitments to Combined Authorities yet also argues for ‘Greater Yorkshire deal’ to come forward for everywhere except South Yorkshire which isn’t based on an existing combined authority or city region.
Government policy is an argument when it suits him and can be dismissed when it suits him.” “I call on the Communities Secretary to stop playing politics with Yorkshire and allow meaningful devolution, one that allows us to own our own future.”