City region compromise proposed over Yorkshire devolution stalemate

What will devolution mean for Yorkshire.
What will devolution mean for Yorkshire.
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A SENIOR Yorkshire MP is set to propose a compromise to end the increasingly acrimonious deadlock over efforts to give the region more control over its own affairs.

The Yorkshire Post says: Devolution debate is now political – we should expect better

Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis

Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis

Dan Jarvis will suggest the existing Sheffield City Region devolution deal could go forward on an “interim” basis with a clear agreement that a Yorkshire-wide devolution arrangement will be in place by 2020.

While groups of councils across England have negotiated deals to transfer Government powers and money to new elected metro-mayors, Yorkshire has struggled to do the same.

The latest attempt to end the deadlock, One Yorkshire, a plan for a single elected mayor overseeing a devolution deal for the whole region, was backed by 17 councils over the summer.

But the Government has insisted the troubled Sheffield City Region deal covering South Yorkshire should go ahead, despite Barnsley and Doncaster having withdrawn their support and backed One Yorkshire.

Rotherham and Sheffield continue to back the Sheffield City Region deal.

Mr Jarvis will put his compromise proposal to Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry at a meeting later this month.

He said: “The people of Yorkshire deserve the ‘One Yorkshire’ proposal to be fully explored and I hope that all of our local council leaders and members of parliament in Yorkshire will continue to engage and discuss the benefits this model would undoubtedly have.

“If the government are serious about promoting economic prosperity in the North of England then they also need to engage with local council leaders, the business community and trade unions and recognise the benefits that devolution over this scale would undoubtedly offer.

“Given we have reached an impasse in South Yorkshire about how best to proceed, I will be meeting the Northern Powerhouse Minister to explore whether there might be an interim agreement that could be reached.Perhaps one that would allow us to proceed with an interim settlement across the Sheffield City Region but time expired to 2020.

“This would provide both the time and space to further develop the ‘One Yorkshire’ agreement as well as satisfying the government’s desire to proceed with the Sheffield City Region deal.”

Over the weekend, a string of Yorkshire Conservative council leaders who had previously backed One Yorkshire signed a letter arguing Government resistance to the idea meant it was now time to look at alternative options for North, West and East Yorkshire.

But their favoured approach, known as Greater Yorkshire, is known to be fiercely opposed by many of their Labour counterparts.