In quite recent events, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council has decided to recognise historical boundaries between the two counties of Yorkshire and Durham with new signs. There will be four signs stating where the traditional boundary used to be, before the 1974 local government reorganisation. This has largely been campaigned for by various groups but notably the long established Yorkshire Ridings Society.
A sense of identity has been rekindled in places such as Yarm and Thornaby over recent years and both have had votes on actually returning to Yorkshire administratively to continue pursuing this goal. Yarm held a vote during 2014 and Thornaby-on-Tees during 2015 with both votes giving a clear majority for a return to Yorkshire.
In the Yorkshire Party we recognise the traditional boundaries of counties, including Yorkshire. This is, however, in keeping with recognising what people in those areas that have been moved from one administrative county to another during the 1974 Local Government Act actually want. Therefore we would support Yarm and Thornaby with their aims in regards to this if this is of course what the people living there still choose to do.
We welcome the historic signs announced by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council as this reinforces knowledge of the boundaries and educates people who may not know. For places and people that have a strong sense of wanting to return to Yorkshire this could be a first step towards that aim and we are supportive of that.
The Yorkshire Party supports the free-will of places and people to choose which devolution, county and/or identity they desire to have. We would want to see this done in a democratic and inclusive way with the result respected by all sides at the end of such a campaign. We would and do work with other parties, organisations and local groups to support this value of ours and to hopefully be able to play a role in moving things along.
The Yorkshire Party supports a Yorkshire Parliament. We feel that a Yorkshire Parliament, for reasons of democracy and inclusiveness, is the best option for devolution to Yorkshire. It is our belief that the reinstatement of Yorkshire's pre 1974 boundaries should be considered as soon as possible when the establishment of any future Yorkshire Parliament comes into force. Then, if it is the wish of those communities removed from the administration of Yorkshire in 1974, to 'return' to Yorkshire then they should be allowed that option.
The Yorkshire Party will campaign with all those promoting the establishment of a Yorkshire Parliament and for the self-determination of those communities removed from the administration of Yorkshire in 1974.