Time for real devolution – not sham metro mayors

Piecemeal powers won't solve our problems

The Yorkshire party continues to oppose the creation of further undemocratic "metro mayor" style posts.

Despite being electorally successful in the elections held for such positions in West and South Yorkshire, finishing third in both with tens of thousands of first preference votes and large swaths of second preference votes, we don't believe that these mayors have the right powers to make anything more than minor improvements to our communities.

Although both East Riding of Yorkshire Council, and Hull City Council are standing opposed to the development of an East Yorkshire Mayor, it is impossible to know if the government will attempt to force one through regardless. Much like how Barnsley - where we made history by becoming the first non-parliamentary party to finish second across the entire borough at a metro mayor election - and Doncaster councils were forced to accept the South Yorkshire Mayor despite voting against the devolution deal.

"The placement of a Mayoral Combined Authority in Hull and East Yorkshire would pull much needed funds away from the sharp end. Both Hull and East Yorkshire have serious areas of deprivation both coastal and inner city. Every penny needs to be spent developing growth opportunities rather than on creating a false, unnecessary and expensive level of bureaucracy. This will pull decision making further away from the residents rather than including them in the process." - Yorkshire Party Councillor Tim Norman

We also oppose the idea of creating a Mayor of North Yorkshire, although we will be contesting the election for the role in 2024 - with such a contrasting population difference, of urban locality and rural sectors it would be impossible for one person to effectively represent every area.

Undemocratic, unrepresentative devolution is no devolution at all.

If we were to take a different approach and establish a Yorkshire Parliament, with strong powers and joined-up thinking, we could see significant improvements to our communities, revolutionising our healthcare, boosting our economy and protecting our environment.

We are committed to campaigning for such a model, that will unlock Yorkshire's potential through devolution.