West Yorkshire Leaders' devolution latest

Statement from the West Yorkshire leaders on devolution

11 January 2018

"As the Government appears to be moving away from the central importance of devolving to economically coherent areas we have started conversations with colleagues across Yorkshire to explore other options so that our region isn't left in the devolution slow lane.

"There are numerous possibilities for a larger geographic basis for a devolution deal but to be viable they all need to involve single mayors underpinned by multiple combined authorities as the mechanism to ensure economic focus and coherence and a real sense of identity.

"A refusal to look at other options within this one mayor/ multiple combined authorities framework seems to be an unnecessary hurdle placed in the way of real devolution for and in Yorkshire. There is nothing to stop Government at least exploring the merits of such a deal - certainly not legal considerations that could easily be overcome if the Government so wished.

"We are determined to achieve a deal that meets the ambitions, drive, and opportunity of everyone in our great region, not just the political ambitions of a few. We will continue meeting with colleagues across Yorkshire to discuss options that benefit everyone and will achieve the ambitions set out by ministers in the Government's Industrial Strategy. This is why we are calling on everyone involved in the negotiations to rise above party politics and concentrate on what's best for our local economies and in delivering opportunities for local people. That surely is the ultimate goal that we are all working towards."

Cllr Judith Blake - Leader Leeds City Council
Cllr Peter Box - Leader Wakefield Council
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe - Leader of City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
Cllr David Sheard - Leader of Kirklees Council
Cllr Tim Swift - Leader of Calderdale Council