Debate aims to encourage corporate Yorkshire to rally behind the drive for devolution settlement

THE leaders of four Yorkshire councils will take part in a public debate that will act as a rallying cry for regional devolution.

The white rose flag of Yorkshire

The event, which has been organised by the Met Club, will feature speeches from Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford City Council’s leader, Coun Judith Blake, Leeds City Council’s leader, Coun Carl Les, North Yorkshire County Council’s leader and Coun Stephen Houghton, the leader of Barnsley Council.

Organisers believe the event, which will be held on January 26 from 11.30am to 2.30pm at The Marriott hotel in Leeds, will highlight the widespread support for a devolution settlement.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Organisers hope it will rally corporate Yorkshire to push for a settlement that will help the county to achieve its rich potential.

Yorkshire businessman Chris Longley, who is working with the Met Club to promote the event, said he hoped the debate would be one of the last steps towards a “One Yorkshire” deal.

Many local businesses believe devolution would unlock the door to major sources of public funding that would provide a boost for Yorkshire businesses.

A devolution deal could lead to significant upgrades in the transport system, faster broadband speeds for local businesses and consumers and decisive action to close the skills gap.

It is hoped the debate, which will be chaired by James Mitchinson, the Editor of The Yorkshire Post, will provide more clarity over what could be contained within a “One Yorkshire” deal.

“What’s the roadmap from where we are now to finally achieving it?’’ said Mr Longley. “We are so much nearer than we were one year ago.”

Mr Mitchinson and The Yorkshire Post have been passionate advocates for devolving greater powers to the region.

For further information on the Devolution and Yorkshire lunch event contact Julie Edmondson on (01423) 525622 or email [email protected]