Quite the opposite. It’s even more important, two years after they came together on Yorkshire Day 2018 at a landmark gathering hosted by Dr John Sentamu, the then Archbishop of York, because this county is at its strongest – and most effective – when it presents an united front.
After all, many of the current issues – such as the future of Welcome to Yorkshire tourism agency, funding for flood defences and investment in key infrastructure to cite three examples – transcend local boundaries and demand far closer co-operation for progress to be achieved.
Yet the Government’s desire for bespoke leadership models for each of South, West, North and East Yorkshire risks creating more tiers of bureaucracy, and more convoluted decision-making, at the expense of the provision of services.
As such, this is an opportunity for the Yorkshire Leaders Board, a forum which brings together council leaders and metro mayors, to become more proactive and embrace the Together Yorkshire initiative being launched this weekend with the blessing of Stephen Cottrell, the new Archbishop of York.
It should aim to become the most dynamic lobbying organisation in the country. The reason? The Government is keen to devolve policy powers here; yet Ministers still need to be persuaded to transfer sufficient money from London to counter decades of under-investment. And, irrespective of devolution’s outcome, this specific issue of pounds and pence will remain a defining one – and critical to this region’s future success.
Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.
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Sincerely. Thank you.