Responding to the announcement by Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council and Chair of the North East Combined Authority, that Durham will hold a referendum on their devolution proposals, Yorkshire First has called on local Labour leaders in Yorkshire to follow suit.
Leader of Yorkshire First, Richard Carter, said:
"We have wanted to see a greater engagement with the Yorkshire public in the devolution process and have been pushing for democratic input all along. However, we have been rebuffed all the way. We've been told 'there isn't time' or 'there's no appetite for democracy'; whatever the excuse the people of Yorkshire have been fobbed off from inputting into what are fairly momentous decisions.
"But if there's time to listen to the public of Durham, why isn't there time to listen in Yorkshire?
"The attitude of Councillor Simon Henig stands in such contrast to that of Councillor Steve Houghton Chair of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority and Councillor Peter Box, who leads the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. These two councillors, neither elected to lead their Combined Authorities, have granted themselves the power to decide what devolution to Yorkshire should look like. They have both turned their backs on a Yorkshire-wide solution.
"It's time the leaders of councils across Yorkshire followed the admirable example set by Durham and gave people across our county the final say on their future."