South Yorkshire council leaders have divided up Yorkshire for their own gain, without public involvement. When it comes to devolution, Yorkshire First demand the Full Monty!
Today the Government and the Labour Leaders of Councils across South Yorkshire and the north Midlands announced they had agreed a 'devolution' deal for the 'Sheffield City Region'. In response, Richard Carter, Leader of Yorkshire First, said:
"This is bad news for Yorkshire. A backroom deal between George Osborne and local council leaders has produced an arrangement which breaks up Yorkshire, barely delivers any devolution of note and flies in the face of public opinion.
"Recent political developments clearly show that communities want transparency and engagement not dogma imposed by out of touch local council leaders and those looking for backdoor solutions to their economic failures. After all, just three years ago Sheffield overwhelmingly rejected the idea of Mayor in a referendum.
"Consultation should take place and it should be a consultation which happens before any final decisions are made. This top down approach by politicians in London and by arrogant local Council Leaders does none of that.
"We need a first class devolution settlement based on real evidence and which clearly supports the needs and aspirations of our communities across Yorkshire. Only a Yorkshire Conversation can achieve this. Political leaders could lead that conversation but it must be one where grassroots voices are heard. Surely that is the task facing all of the country and George Osborne should recognise that before he tinkers with the future of Yorkshire and its people."