Backers of a region-wide devolution deal have demanded an urgent meeting with Local Government Secretary James Brokenshire to discuss plans they say presents a “compelling case” for a Yorkshire mayor.
One Yorkshire supporters have presented a road map to a deal in 2020 to the Government, alongside a plan for how a region-wide combined authority would work and an economic case showing it could boost the area’s economy by £30bn a year.
Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis and Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake said One Yorkshire backers, including 18 out of 20 of the region’s council leaders have now met the demands of the Government and called for negotiations to begin on a devolution deal immediately.
Mr Jarvis said: “The Government has always said that devolution should be led locally. This proposal perfectly matches their criteria, with huge Local Authority support and strong backing from businesses, trade unions and most importantly our residents.”
Ms Blake added: “We’ve done what the Government have asked and now is the time for them to agree to meet with us to discuss our proposals and find a way forward.
In their roadmap to a One Yorkshire deal, the leaders make clear their belief that an agreement can be reached in time for a May 2020 election of a regional mayor.
But the Government must begin negotiations now on the basis that the deadlocked Sheffield City Region (SCR) deal will be fully delivered and that any or all of the South Yorkshire councils involved would not be ultimately prevented from joining One Yorkshire.
The SCR deal has stalled as Barnsley and Doncaster back One Yorkshire, which the Government has so far refused to discuss seriously.
In response to concerns over how a Yorkshire mayor could govern in such a large and diverse area, the leaders propose sub-regional committees based on the boundaries of current local enterprise partnerships to ensure decisions take place at the most local possible level.
The model will see the mayor providing strategic leadership and the committees focusing on commissioning, oversight and delivery of policies that meets the need of a specific area.
“This is crucial in ensuring devolution works for our communities, towns, cities, sub-regions and wider Yorkshire,” their submission to Ministers said.
Mr Jarvis said: “The One Yorkshire devolution model has all the components needed to make a huge success of devolution.
“What Yorkshire needs now is one mayor working with our council leaders, businesses and other stakeholders, to deliver for our people and provide our region with a strong, clear voice.”
And Ms Blake added: “Our proposal for One Yorkshire presents a compelling case for devolution that will bring significant economic benefits to communities all across the county.