THE SCARBOROUGH and Whitby MP Robert Goodwill today breaks ranks and adopts a pragmatic approach to Yorkshire devolution which is far more enlightened than the stance taken by his constituency neighbour.
In contrast to Kevin Hollinrake, the Thirsk and Malton MP, who appears to be doing the bidding of Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry, a roadblock to reform, Mr Goodwill can see the bigger picture when it comes to One Yorkshire.
This is a significant intervention and his Conservative colleagues would be advised to follow suit. As a former Minister, Mr Goodwill has better insight than most on how the mechanics of government work, and the extent to which Whitehall marginalises regions like Yorkshire.
He has clearly seen the policy progress which is being made in the West Midlands and Greater Manchester where Andy Street and Andy Burnham, the respective mayors, have become significant political figureheads. Like so many here, Mr Goodwill does not want this county left behind. And, unlike Mr Hollinrake and others, he’s happy to trust the people who in, two elections to date, have backed the One Yorkshire proposition by a substantial margin.
As he says, the electorate will see through any mayor who does not represent the whole region – including Yorkshire’s coastal and countryside communities which matter so much to so many people – and will vote them out of office. With further talks on devolution next week between the 18 councils who back countywide devolution, Mr Goodwill’s contribution is both welcome and helpful.