Listen and then move Whitehall departments to Yorkshire – The Yorkshire Post says

THE mishandling of Department of Health communications over the North’s new lockdown should also be placed in the context of the considered observations made in The Yorkshire Post today by Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan.

Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan has been on secondment to the Government.
Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan has been on secondment to the Government.

As one of the country’s most respected town hall leaders, he’s just completed a three month secondment on the setting up of the nationwide ‘test and trace’ system where he also gained some invaluable insight into Whitehall’s modus operandi.

And while he’s clearly respectful of the top civil servants, he believes London-centric decision-making is, in fact, detrimental to the rest of Britain because there’s insufficient ‘nouse’ when it comes to the practical implementation of policies, hence why he, too, advocates Whitehall ministries being moved out of the capital’s confines and to regions like Yorkshire.

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His argument, and experience, is that “the closer you get decisions made to the people” who will be impacted most of all, the better the quality of decision-making because officials will appreciate the importance, and impact, of their pronouncements on others.

Boris Johnson spoeaking at the latest 10 Downing Street press conference.

It is a timely intervention as Boris Johnson’s government ‘toys’ with relocating the Houses of Parliament to York while the Palace of Westminster is refurbished. It’s as likely as Tory HQ moving to the North, another ‘wheeze’ that has not come to pass after being floated last year.

Yet, if the PM is serious about his ‘levelling up’ and Northern Powerhouse policy agendas, he will take heed of Mr Riordan’s advice, accept that London is a different world to Yorkshire and move ministries here.

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.

There are growing calls for Whitehall departments to be moved to regions like Yorkshire.

And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.

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Sincerely. Thank you.

James Mitchinson