I AM disappointed, but not surprised, by the Government’s decision not to proceed with creating a ‘One Yorkshire’ authority (The Yorkshire Post, February 13). I remember that, back in the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher abolished metropolitan counties because they appeared to constitute a power bloc against her government.
It was a little surprising that a successor Tory government should entertain the idea of creating mayors governing city-regions like Manchester. They are certainly a good idea for improving infrastructure, communications and economic development across industrial conurbations. However they do present problems for surrounding rural areas and small towns which could be turned into power vacuums losing out on the big deals.
That is why the (almost) unified approach by local authorities in Yorkshire to create a body, which would benefit both industrial as well as rural areas, is both a unique and refreshing solution. It is a bottom-up approach which shows that small local authorities can come together for the common good.
I remember this working well many decades ago when the Yorkshire and Humberside Development Association promoted Yorkshire worldwide, later to be replaced by Yorkshire Forward, and which was itself later abolished in a supposedly cost-cutting exercise by David Cameron’s government. Fortunately Yorkshire ’s standing internationally is still strong.
Ironically living up to his name, the Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has declared that ‘One Yorkshire’ does not meet the Government’s devolution criteria. Perhaps he could spell out what these are.
But what is stopping the local authorities in Yorkshire coming together informally, as they already have done, in planning – and hopefully – implementing projects on a co-ordinated basis? The Government could ring-fence funds which would be used on approved projects.
From: Peter Horton, Ripon.
IT was disappointing to read of the casual way in which James Brokenshire, the Communities Secretary, has rejected the widely-supported proposals for ‘One Yorkshire’ devolution.
A complete Yorkshire unit would be a bigger economy than Scotland and a wonderful counter-balance to Scottish ambitions. Is the Government afraid we would be too powerful? Mr Brokenshire is so well-named as he has broken the ambition for the shire of Yorkshire.