Yorkshire needs devolution for the best interests of its people - The Yorkshire Post says

Devolution could be transformative for Yorkshire.
Devolution could be transformative for Yorkshire.

DEVOLUTION for Yorkshire holds out the prospect of the brightest possible future for our region.

The ability to set our own course and make decisions in the best interests of the county’s residents would truly be transformative.

Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

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Yet the Government’s sluggishness and intransigence has so far denied us the powers we deserve, despite executive, civic and business leaders joining forces to back a realistic and workable One Yorkshire plan.

This must change, as the CBI’s director-general, Carolyn Fairbairn, emphasised in her speech at the University of Leeds. She is absolutely right in her assertion that devolution would unlock huge economic potential, creating new jobs and opportunities for business.

Yet there are many more benefits to be derived from having the powers to address the issues that really matter to Yorkshire, of which we have infinitely more knowledge than any Whitehall mandarin or London-focused minister.

Devolution and regional policy can help bring our country back together and tackle issues that caused Brexit - Paul Scriven
They include health and social care, the plight of elderly residents of former steel or coal communities, worn out by a lifetime of hard work in the service of their country, yet not getting the help they need.

Then there is the creaking transport network, a rail system that dates from Victorian times and increasingly congested roads. It is nonsensical that local leaders have to go cap-in-hand to London for help instead of being given the clout to sort out problems on the patches they know well.

And only a strategically-minded regional executive can bring Northern Powerhouse Rail to fruition, transforming the ability of firms to do business and the lives of long-suffering commuters.

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Just across the Pennines, in Greater Manchester, we can see the benefits that devolution and an elected Mayor have brought. Yorkshire deserves no less, and must not be denied the means to forge a bright new destiny any longer.