Combined Authority responds to spending review
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority responds to the 2019 Spending Review.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, has delivered the 2019 Spending Round to Members of Parliament, setting departmental budgets for 2020-21.
We need progress
Commenting on the spending round, Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council, said: “I was hoping that today’s single year spending review would provide an update on the scope and purpose of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which would provide certainty for our regional economic development after we leave the EU, but disappointedly it did not.
"With Brexit approaching it is more important than ever that all parts of the UK are able to fire on all cylinders using the right powers and investment. We now need to make progress towards a devolution settlement, which will benefit all parts of Yorkshire, including interim arrangements towards a One Yorkshire deal.”
Work with us
Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Lead, said: “While Northern Powerhouse Rail was mentioned in today’s spending review, we now need to see the detail of how these commitments will be taken forward.
“Both NPR and HS2, are key to our vision for a modern, reliable transport network that delivers faster journey times, additional capacity and greater reliability and I hope the Government will now work with us to accelerate delivery of this project.
“By integrating Northern Powerhouse Rail, HS2 and an upgraded trans-Pennine line at a transformed Leeds Station we can maximise the positive impact of these investments for the benefit of all our communities.”
Comprehensive, national approach needed
Responding to the Chancellor’s announcement that over £200 million would be invested to transform the country’s bus services, Cllr Kim Groves who Chair the West Yorkshire Combined Transport Committee and the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance said: “I am pleased that at last the key role that buses play in supporting our economy is being recognised.
“Significant investment is needed not only to connect people to employment and skills opportunities but also to combat social isolation, especially in rural communities”
“I hope that any planned investment will be in line with the Transport Select Committee’s recent report on the bus industry which called for a change to the way services are funded and organised, vital.
“We have formed the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance between the Combined Authority and the bus operators to find ways we can work together to reverse the decline in passenger numbers and we are working to ensure bus travel is affordable to everyone and that the bus services that people need to get where they want to go actually go.
“What we need to see, in addition to this investment is the government coming forward with a comprehensive, national approach to bus services that can deliver the kinds joined-up networks people need and quite-rightly expect.”
A full multi-year Spending Review is now due to take place in 2020.