Why Yorkshire leaders must present united front – The Yorkshire Post says

EVEN though plans for One Yorkshire devolution have been in abeyance since the Tories won an electoral mandate to forge ahead with city-region deals, and potentially a super-council for North Yorkshire, this should not preclude mayors, combined authorities and council leaders here from working together.

Can Yorkshire's leaders work together more effectively?

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.

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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.

Stephen Cottrell, the new Archbishop of York, is backing the Yorkshire Together initiative.

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.

Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.

Issues like funding for flood defences matter to the whole region once year afterthe Yorkshire Dales was hit by flash flooding.

And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.

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If you want to help right now, download our tablet app from the App / Play Stores. Every contribution you make helps to provide this county with the best regional journalism in the country.

Sincerely. Thank you.

James Mitchinson