Stewart takes us forward amid growing support
Yorkshire Party Leader Stewart Arnold has been re-elected unopposed and will serve in the role for a further two years.
A founder of the party in 2014, Stewart served as Deputy Leader until 2016 when he took over the leadership from Richard Carter who stepped down because of work commitments.
Under Stewart’s leadership, the Yorkshire Party has established itself as the sixth largest party in England and the fourth largest in Yorkshire. Membership has continued to grow and recently the party has gained its first councillors on principal authorities in the region.
After his re-election, Stewart said: “The Yorkshire Party has helped put Yorkshire devolution on the map. Across all the main parties, business, trade unions and broader civic society there is a strong call for One Yorkshire devolution where the people here can best make the decisions that affect them.
“As a party our aim remains the same as when we were first set up: to get real devolution for Yorkshire through a directly elected assembly and to unlock the potential that Yorkshire has in abundance. This idea is proving popular with people as our electoral support has grown year on year since 2014.
“It is clear that Yorkshire needs a voice. Our requests for the things that would make a difference to our lives such as real educational investment, improving our transport infrastructure and more decision making here in Yorkshire continue to be ignored by Government.
“Yorkshire needs a voice too when it comes to Brexit negotiations. The EU referendum has created a period of political and economic chaos. It is telling that Scotland, with its own parliament and government, was quick off the mark as Nicola Sturgeon sought the best deal for the Scottish people. Where is the equivalent for Yorkshire?”
Arnie Craven, the leader of the Elections Working Group on the Executive Committee, has been chosen, unopposed, to take over the Chair of the Party from Lucy Brown.
Arnie said: “I am thrilled that members of the Yorkshire Party have chosen to put their faith in me in this way. The party has made real progress in the previous two years – and this is in no small part down to our outgoing Chair, Dr Lucy Brown. Lucy leaves big shoes to fill, but I look forward to working with the Executive Committee in the coming months and years to ensure the Yorkshire Party continues to grow and thrive.”
Chris Gauton, the director of Policy, is the Executive’s Elections Officer supervising the process. He has announced that for the first time there will be a ballot to fill other vacancies on the Executive Committee.
There are seven nominees for the four seats. Voting, by the single transferrable vote system, will be open throughout September, closing at 10pm on September 30. The candidates are Jonathan Barras, Bob Buxton, Jack Carrington, Richard Cullen, Keiron Mitton, Martin Roberts, Laura Walker.
Members will receive an email, if they have not already done so, containing 250-word election statements from each candidate together with a voting number, allowing them to take part in the poll. The statements will be repeated in a story appearing shortly on the website http://www.yorkshireparty.org.uk/
Ticket and booking details for the Party’s Autumn Conference are available at https://www.yorkshireparty.org.uk/events/2018-autumn-conference/
Fears of further fracking schemes in the south of Yorkshire were voiced in an update on the controversial energy plans for the county, drafted by East Yorkshire member and fracking campaigner Terry Walls. In a comprehensive assessment of developments in Yorkshire and across the border in Lancashire, Terry highlighted moves that allow the Government to “ride roughshod’ over residents who opposed exploration in their areas.
Terry’s assessment follows a Party look at energy and the environment.
Fossil fuels should be consigned to the dark ages, said the Yorkshire Party, in a statement on the county’s energy future and the environment.
The Party is particularly concerned at the continued reliance on coal and believes Yorkshire needs a comprehensive strategy to adopt greener technology to guarantee the county’s energy needs within a strong environmental framework.
Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry faces a backlash over his “crass comments” on Yorkshire devolution. The Yorkshire Party has served notice it is to mount its biggest campaign – urging Mr Berry to stop blocking the will of the people or else to resign.
The Yorkshire Party is highlighting the importance of the Yorkshire Pledge within the push for devolution. It took its lobby for signatures on to the streets of Northallerton on Yorkshire Day. At its successful One Yorkshire Pledge event at the market, Leader Stewart Arnold was joined by local Yorkshire Party councillors Claire Palmer and Mike Jordan and party activists, in publicising the Pledge and canvassing signatures.
On the website, our Devolution Comments section contains extracts from published articles, letters and opinion pieces from members and supporters of the Yorkshire Party and from others who have an interest in Yorkshire devolution. It shows how much the party has shaped the debate over the years.
North Yorkshire Tees Branch Meeting on November 20 at 7pm at the Anchor Inn, 16 Belmangate, Guisbrough, TS14 7AB; Wakefield Branch Meeting, September 25 at 7pm at Holmfield Arms, Thornes Park, Denby Dale Road, Wakefield, WF2 8DY; Calderdale Branch Meeting, September 27 at 7pm at the Victorian Craft Beer Cafe, 18-22 Powell Street, Halifax HX1 1LN.