Yorkshire’s political leaders have told James Brokenshire they remain committed to their One Yorkshire proposals after he attended a summit at Fountains Abbey on the future of devolution, The Yorkshire Post has reported.
Journalist Rob Parsons wrote that council leaders from both main parties met Communities Secretary James Brokenshire after he said their plan for handing powers to a Yorkshire-wide mayor did not meet government criteria.
The Yorkshire group later issued a statement describing the talks as “positive” and saying that the two sides would meet again later in the year.
But Parsons said there were conflicting accounts about whether Mr Brokenshire signalled he would be willing to change his mind about region-wide devolution being viable, after earlier ruling that Yorkshire did not represent a “functional economic area”.
Though it had been agreed that officers from Yorkshire councils would start working with staff from the Tory Minister’s department on the points raised in last year’s submission setting out their economic case.
Stewart Arnold Picture: Robbie MacDonald
Yorkshire Party Leader Stewart Arnold said he was pleased that dialogue would continue.
“However I’m concerned that further talks will only happen ‘later in the year’,” he said.
“This isn’t good enough. We will fall further behind other parts of The North if this particular can is kicked down the road.
Stewart is to speak at a one-day conference on One Yorkshire devotion in Leeds on Friday (March 8). The conference aims to bring together “key decision-makers from national and local government, business, education, research bodies and the third sector to discuss the key drivers of Yorkshire’s future prosperity”.
“James Brokenshire needs to realise there is popular support behind the One Yorkshire deal and that’s why next week’s meeting in Leeds is so important. It will send a clear message to the Government just how broad support for One Yorkshire is,” said Stewart