The Government only sanctioned the contest towards the end of 2019, following years of debate over Yorkshire devolution, and lockdown rules still preclude public meetings.
But it is a legitimate source of concern that public awareness of the poll is so low, according to Centre for Cities, and that even the likely frontrunners do not have significant name recognition.
Again, this appears to be a consequence of circumstances – and the fact that West Yorkshire, for whatever reason, did not attract political big-hitters like Andy Burnham (Greater Manchester) or business leaders such as Andy Street (West Midlands).
Yet the winning candidate on May 6 will have very significant powers that they will be expected to use to help the economic renewal, and regeneration, of Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale following the Covid pandemic.
However, after the protagonists set out their respective visions in The Yorkshire Post on Monday, a number of readers have said that they want to know more about how the mayoral candidates intend to actually stand up to the London Government and ensure that this region receives the fairer funding, respect and recognition that it so badly needs.
Too many lives and livelihoods are at stake for this to be left to chance’, hence why it will be to the advantage of the prospective mayors, and help raise the profile of the election, if they spell out far more details about how they intend to run their office (if elected) and the skills that they have the disposal if, as is very likely, they find themselves at loggerheads with one Boris Johnson over the area’s future. It’s called the ‘Boris test’ and it still needs to be passed by all.
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