Renewed call for devolution at Combined Authority AGM

There were renewed calls for a devolution deal for Yorkshire and Leeds City Region at the West Yorkshire Combined Authority�'s annual meeting today.

11 January 2018

There were renewed calls for a devolution deal for Yorkshire and Leeds City Region at the West Yorkshire Combined Authority's annual meeting today.

The discussions arose in response to a proposal to change the name of the organisation to Leeds City Region Combined Authority.

Members agreed that the proposal reinforced the need for a meaningful devolution deal encompassing the City Region, in the interests of prosperity and jobs.

Top priority

Summing up the discussion, Combined Authority Chair and Wakefield Council leader Cllr Peter Box said: "Bringing investment and jobs to our area has always been our top priority and we believe the best way to achieve this is to secure a proper devolution deal for our City Region that reflects the significant contribution we make to the UK economy as one-fifth of the Northern Powerhouse.

"We will revisit the question of brand once our request for a speedy resolution to the devolution discussions that have been going on for close to two years now has been addressed by Government. Millions of pounds of funding for our region is at stake if we do not close this deal. It's time for Yorkshire and Leeds City Region to be treated the same as the rest of the country."

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe who chairs the Combined Authority's Investment Committee agreed and said: "I'm Bradford born and bred and whatever the name of this organisation, I will always be Bradford and we will always be Yorkshire.

"Bradford is a city with a young population keen to grasp the growing opportunities that we are developing as a City Region. It is vital that we speak with one voice and be consistent about our priorities so that our case for investment in our economy, our transport network and our people is heard loud and clear."

Deputy Chair of the Combined Authority and Calderdale Council Leader Cllr Tim Swift said: "It is vital that our region doesn't get forgotten amid the uncertainty that's followed the General Election. Any decision around the name of the organisation needs to be taken on the basis of devolution to our area which remains unresolved and is now of paramount importance.

"We need something more significant than a name change. We need the ability to take our own decisions about the priorities for our area and the tools to address those priorities."