Minister, we’re looking to you for One Yorkshire

The new Minister who will decide the Government’s stance on regional devolution has received an early reminder that Yorkshire’s ambitions should be high up his agenda.

Yorkshire Party Leader Chris Whitwood has welcomed the incoming Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick and urged him to back the One Yorkshire plan, which has drawn all-party support.

Chris Whitwood: This is an opportunity to address the funding imbalance

Chris writes to Mr Jenrick: “Congratulations on your recent appointment.

“There is no doubt as to the scale of the task facing the new Cabinet. However, it is imperative not just to heal the divide caused by Brexit but also to heal the divide that has long existed between London and the rest of the country.

“The Kerslake report recently compared the divide between the capital and the North to the divide between East and West Germany at the end of the Cold War. Our country will succeed only if the whole country is enabled to prosper.

“In Yorkshire, local government, civic leaders and businesses have put aside political differences to put together proposals for a One Yorkshire devolution settlement. However, the Government is unfortunately yet to support this proposal.

Robert Jenrick: new Communities Secretary
Picture: UK Parliament

“Your appointment represents an important opportunity to rectify this matter. If the Government is to appear credible in its talk of devolution, it must allow regions to decide what form they want devolution to take. For the Yorkshire Party this would mean a devolved assembly to represent the entire region – similar to the Greater London Assembly.

“Giving power to local communities is about more than just amending how local government functions in the UK. It is an opportunity to address the funding imbalance between schools, provide communities with skills to create jobs and connect our country through public transport investment. In short, this is an opportunity to bring the country together.

“I hope you share in this vision of a fairer United Kingdom and look forward to your support in making this a reality.”

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