Government rejects One Yorkshire devolution deal

14 Feb 19

The government has rejected plans to devolve powers and funding to Yorkshire.

In a letter to Sheffield City region mayor Dan Jarvis, communities secretary James Brokenshire claimed the One Yorkshire proposals “do not meet our criteria for devolution”.

An extract from the letter was posted on Twitter: 



The proposals, which were backed by 18 out of 20 councils in the region, sought devolved powers over things like skills funding, bus franchising and transport budgets.

Brokenshire’s letter, published on Tuesday, said: “The One Yorkshire concept is novel. It focuses on an area that is far greater than any past local administrative area for Yorkshire or any of today’s functional economic city regions.

“It would involve significant departure from the type of devolution deals that we have successfully put in place elsewhere in terms of geography, governance and purpose.”

Supporters of the One Yorkshire deal previously said that it has the potential to double the size of the local economy.

Clive Betts, MP for Sheffield South East, has told PF he was not in favour of the deal.

“In my view, the One Yorkshire deal is about centralisation,” he said.

“It’s about pushing powers up towards a mayor for the whole of Yorkshire. I don’t think that it will ever work or happen.”

Brokenshire said that he was prepared to “begin discussions about a different, localist approach to devolution in Yorkshire”.

“There is local appetite for other devolution elsewhere in Yorkshire, with representations, for example, having been made previously by the Leeds City region, York and North Yorkshire and the Humber Estuary,” he said. 

Keighley MP John Grogan said: “This is a massive snub by ministers to the councils of Yorkshire and the people they represent.

“A more shameless example of 'Whitehall knows best' would be hard to find. The government is basically proposing the balkanisation of Yorkshire and the creation of competing fiefdoms with all the duplication and waste of resources that will bring.”

The two councils who did not support the One Yorkshire deal were Sheffield City Council and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.

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