Hull MP says it's been 'five wasted years' since Northern Powerhouse launched

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 15 Feb 2019

Hull MP Diana Johnson appeared to give her backing to a Humber devolution bid as she hit out at "five wasted years" since the launch of the Northern Powerhouse.

Speaking in Parliament, Ms Johnson said a ‘Plan B’ was needed after the Government rejected a single devolution deal for Yorkshire.

The Hull North MP said devolution to the Humber area was needed to allow the regeneration of the region to continue, and said a similar approach was needed that saw the transformation of London's Docklands.

Ms Johnson said: “The five wasted years after the Northern Powerhouse was launched has now seen Whitehall this week kill off Yorkshire devolution.

“It is time for Plan B, and for the same priority to be given to the Humber Docklands that has been given to the London Docklands for the last 40 years.

Hull North MP Diana Johnson (Mail News & Media Ltd)

“Devolution to the Humber area needs to be real, to allow the continuation of the regeneration of the region, and for transport devolution too.”

A “One Yorkshire” plan which would have seen a single devolution for the whole county was backed by 18 out of 20 councils.

Read more: Yorkshire devolution and mayor plans rejected by Government

This week however, the Government said the plan did not “meet the devolution criteria,” and rejected the proposals.

The move has been labelled “a massive snub” by some, as eyes now begin to turn to a back-up devolution plan.

An aerial view of how the East Bank of the River Hull might be developed over the next five years

The concept of having a Humber Estuary devolution has previously been floated, but Hull City Council and East Riding Council leaders Steve Brady and Stephen Parnaby had united behind the idea of a directly-elected Yorkshire mayor.

The London Docklands regeneration gathered momentum in 1981, when environment secretary Michael Heseltine formed the London Docklands Development Corporation to redevelop the area.

Read more: East Yorkshire MP David Davis calls for HS2 to be scrapped - this is why

Responding to Ms Johnson in Parliament, House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom MP said: “The honourable lady is a powerful voice for her constituency and the area, and she is absolutely right to be so.

Watch: Yorkshire devolution - should it happen?

“She will be aware that the Government is fully committed to the Northern Powerhouse and to the devolution projects we have implemented in recent years.

“She will also be aware we have seen a quarter of a trillion pounds of infrastructure investment since 2010…"



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