Dear Yorkshire Party Members
I am honoured to become party leader. I look forward to carrying on the hard work of fighting for proper devolution for Yorkshire and the benefits it will bring. I want Yorkshire to become an example of prosperity, equality and success to which other regions aspire.
How do we achieve this distant ambition? We must be all prepared to do our bit. I wish to energise the Yorkshire Party, increase our number of supporters, members, activists, candidates and election victories. I will be embarking on a restructure of the Executive Committee to encourage greater cooperation between all levels of the party, including councillors, and to ensure members from branches across Yorkshire are represented.
I cannot do this without you. We need more people to put themselves forward for Executive roles and to become active in their local branch – or to form a branch where there is none. I also need your ideas. Please email your views and ideas to me.
My friend, Chris Whitwood, took over during a difficult period and became our most successful leader. He, along with his deputy Laura Walker and Chair Arnie Craven, worked tirelessly during an incredibly busy multi-election period. Chris represented us regularly on TV and radio and helped to improve our standing. In every election last year – parish & town councils, district council, European and General Election – we had more candidates and more votes per candidate than ever before. Hard work by candidates in Selby and Bridlington yielded not just our first district council victory but our first six; there is lots of good practice for us to learn from.
Yet we are still a long way from our objectives. Phoney, underfunded devolution is being thrust upon us – Yorkshire is still the poor relation. We need more breakthroughs in local elections and must acknowledge that, despite our hard work, we did not keep a single deposit in the General Election. But, while that election was fought on Brexit, the Mayoral elections will be fought on our turf: devolution and the social and economic renewal of Yorkshire. We will fight for our Yorkshire on the hustings, in the media and – most importantly - on the doorstep. Join me and, however long it takes, however much work it is, we will win, together.