The Northern Powerhouse Minister has promised to “carefully consider” detailed economic proposals for devolution of powers and money to a mayor for the whole of Yorkshire, which supporters say could give the region a £30bn boost.
But Jake Berry said the Government’s priority was still to get the foundering Sheffield City Region (SCR) agreement up and running, despite two of the councils involved - Barnsley and Doncaster - keen to pursue a One Yorkshire deal.
One Yorkshire backers, including 18 out of 20 of the region’s council leaders and SCR Mayor Dan Jarvis, submitted a detailed economic study to the Government on Wednesday.
The dossier commissioned by Yorkshire’s council leaders sets out how its 5.3m population could benefit by an average of £5,400 a year if Ministers agree to the widely-supported devolution proposals.
Mr Berry said: “The One Yorkshire proposals from the 18 Yorkshire Authorities have taken several months to put together and we only received these yesterday. We therefore need time to give the proposals the careful consideration they require.
“But our priority for devolution in Yorkshire remains completing the Sheffield City Region deal. We want the Sheffield City Region to enjoy the full benefits of its 2015 deal, including £900m of investment.
“The City Region’s Mayor was elected on a commitment to implement the deal in full and we will support him in this ambition.”
Labour MP for Keighley John Grogan said the document had been sent to several members of the Government.
He said: “It is significant that this document has been sent to a range of Cabinet Ministers.
“The future of Yorkshire is surely a big enough issue to demand cabinet attention.
“There is a political, moral and legal imperative that they consider it properly.”
Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake said One Yorkshire supporters have met all the Government's criteria, and insisted talks could run in parallel with the implementation of the SCR deal.
“We are presenting a compelling case to the Government to work with us to deliver an ambitious devolution deal unlocking significant benefits for our communities and the UK," she said.
“These are ground-up proposals, supported by a clear economic case and which can be taken forward in parallel with the Sheffield City Region deal and therefore meet all the criteria the Government has set.”
Tory leader of North Yorkshire County Council Carl Les said devolution would help raise living standards faster.
He said: “We want the best possible future for our communities right across North Yorkshire. Devolution is a way of getting the funding and decision-making powers to do that faster. Devolution is about improving the standard of living for all our communities and making important decisions closer to where their impact will be felt.
“Areas with mayors and devolved powers appear to be moving ahead at pace – this was clear at the Conservative Party Conference I attended recently – and I`m concerned that North Yorkshire folk don’t miss out on these opportunities.”
Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Bradford Council leader, said: “In West Yorkshire, we are already making huge progress through the delivery of our £1bn Growth Deal, but to go further and faster in delivering for all our communities we need to take this next step towards devolution.”
"The submission, supported by an independent economic study, shows that by using devolved powers and money to address the challenges we face as a region we could add up £30bn a year in output, equivalent to £5,400 per person, and I hope we can work constructively with the Government to deliver this exciting vision."