Analysis: New round of devolution deals will test Yorkshire's resolve

George Osborne has announced more devolution deals.
George Osborne has announced more devolution deals.
0
Have your say

THE announcement of new devolution deals for the North-East and Tees Valley but a new perspective on Yorkshire's negotiations.

Back in July, the Chancellor told MPs that having agreed a deal with Manchester last year, the Government was "working towards deals with the Sheffield and Liverpool City Regions and Leeds, West Yorkshire and partner authorities on far reaching devolution of power in return for the creation of directly elected mayors".

Just over three months later and the North-East and Tees Valley have jumped the queue and joined Sheffield City Region in the deals completed. The well documented wrangles over the shape of devolution for West, North and East Yorkshire continue.

As news of the latest deals began to leak yesterday, Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan tweeted: "For those getting excited about the order of devo deals, any new arrangements will start May 2017. Time to get it right for each area."

It's a fair point and getting the best deals for Yorkshire is more important than doing so quickly.

However, when councillors have previously questioned the rush to get a devolution deal, they have been told speed is of the essence because once the Government's spending review ends in November budgets will be set and there will be less room for negotiation.

The fact that more parts of the North have signed agreements may also make it harder for West Yorkshire to deliver on its implied threat to walk away from discussions if it does not get its desired Leeds City Region deal.

Are they willing for Yorkshire to be perceived, fairly or not, as being in the slow lane of George Osborne's Northern Powerhouse?