Yorkshire devolution and mayor plans rejected by Government

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 14 Feb 2019

The government has refused to back devolution plans for Yorkshire.

Eighteen council leaders across the region - including Hull's Steve Brady and East Riding's Stephen Parnaby - had united behind the idea of a new-look directly-elected Yorkshire mayor with powers similar to London's Sadiq Khan and Greater Manchester's Andy Burnham.

They called for decision-making powers and funding to be devolved on transport, economic development and strategic planning.

But after months of waiting for a response from Whitehall, communities minister James Brokenshire now says their proposals "do not meet our devolution criteria".

Instead, he has suggested more talks over a "localist approach" to devolution, claiming a proposed Yorkshire-wide  body would have been too big and diverse to function properly.

Communities secretary James Brokenshire (Image: PA)

Mr Brokenshire's favoured option appears to back small city-region bodies led by their own metro mayors.

In a letter, he said: "There is local appetite for other devolution elsewhere in Yorkshire, with representations having been made previously by the Leeds City Region, York and North Yorkshire and the Humber estuary."

The scenario of a Humber mayor would have to be agreed by council leaders on both sides of the river, mirroring the current geographical area covered by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership.

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

Reacting to the letter on Twitter, Hull North MP Diana Johnson said: "After five wasted years Yorkshire Devolution looks dead.

"We urgently need a Plan B for devolved powers to drive, with real clout, the continued economic regeneration of the Humber estuary and to give greater power for Transport for the North on a par with Transport for London."

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