YORKSHIRE’S political leaders have done everything that Ministers have asked of them when it comes to devolution.
There is now political unity – 18 out of 20 councils, plus South Yorkshire’s mayor, back the One Yorkshire proposition. And, furthermore, independent research suggests devolution could be worth up to £30bn a year to the county – and national – economy if the region’s exports become comparable with the rest of the UK.
As details are submitted to James Brokenshire, the Cabinet minister who presides over local government, our hope is that he treats the proposals with respect – they are a serious and considered piece of work – and enters into a constructive dialogue with councils here. Appointed in late April, he’s been conspicuous by his absence here while the likes of Jake Berry, the Northern Powerhouse Minister, appear to obfuscate and obstruct.
Yet, as this newspaper made clear on Yorkshire Day, there will be only one loser if local, regional and national leaders remain at loggerheads – and that is this county and its people. It’s why it’s time for Mr Brokenshire to come to the table.