Letters September 18: Put ambition aside in united fight for Yorkshire devolution

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From: David Shutt (Lord Shutt of Greetland) and William Wallace (Rt. Hon. Lord Wallace of Saltaire)

The forthcoming decision on the pattern of devolution for Yorkshire is crucial to the county’s future.

All those involved should base their arguments on what is best for the region, not – as sadly seems to be the case for some – on maintaining Labour control over the new bodies that will emerge, or even personal ambition to become the first directly-elected mayor of competing city regions.

We have listened to presentations of the competing proposals in Parliament. We were persuaded that the best outcome for Yorkshire is a broadly-based authority, which includes West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, and East Yorkshire including Hull.

The position of South Yorkshire, with Sheffield’s economic impact spilling over into northern Derbyshire, is more open to argument.

We need the strongest counterweight to the dominance of London and the South-East – and to the political clout of already-devolved Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

That means a devolved authority that can speak for Yorkshire as a whole, rather than proposals that cut North Yorkshire in half and cut Hull off from western Yorkshire.

From: Mr RM Downs, Main Street, Linton-On-Ouse, York.

For several months now I have been reading that many Yorkshire worthies have been discussing, “this, that and t’other” as well as writing to 
you, about the proposed devolution for Yorkshire as offered by Messrs Cameron and Osbourne.

As a “Yorkie” myself I would have thought (hoped) that we had more nous than our northern cousins across the Pennines, that we should believe what history has manifested time after time that it is foolish to trust any politician and Government of any colour, unless what they promise is actually written down in words of one syllable – in 
other words, gobbledegook, or phrases that can be taken two ways.

What is needed in writing is, how much money, for what and when and or how we will be allowed for monies to be raised, along with their reasoning as to why a mayor is required for devolution to take place.

Until these two questions are answered in writing there are no reasons for discussions to take place as we, almost certainly, will be led down the proverbial garden path.