THE frustration of political and business leaders over devolution is understandable – this process can be nearly as tortuous to some as Brexit.
This was also clear when Bridget Meynell, president of York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, called last night for One Yorkshire to be “set aside” in favour of a series of smaller interim deals.
Yet, while her stance should be respected in light of the reluctance shown by James Brokenshire and Jake Berry, the two key Ministers, The Yorkshire Post believes this view is mistaken for the following three reasons.
First, people living and working here do not want more tiers of bureaucracy. On that, there is unanimity. They want more effective leadership – and governance.
Second, the issues raised by Ms Meynell, like transport, inward investment and skills, are not exclusive to York. They are relevant to the whole county and collaboration is key if funding, and opportunities, are to be maximised for the greater good. Progress can still be made while a wider devolution deal is finalised.
Finally, backing down from One Yorkshire now, after so much progress has been made advancing this agenda, risks compromising Yorkshire’s ambition to become the most successful and dynamic region of all.
This must not happen. When Theresa May was questioned this week by Keighley MP John Grogan on One Yorkshire, and their shared admiration for one Geoffrey Boycott, the Prime Minister noted how the legendary batsman “stayed at the crease, kept going and got his century in the end”.
It is precisely the type of Boycott-like durability that One Yorkshire’s proponents need to show if they’re not be caught out short of scoring their centry. For, when Mrs May does step down or is replaced, the political state of play will change markedly – and hopefully to this region’s advantage.