Counting the cost of Hull City and East Riding Councils squabbles - Yorkshire Post Letters
Political in-fighting is nothing new. It happens all the time at Westminster.
Today though, the petty squabbles of our locally elected councillors – at Hull City and East Riding Councils – are throwing a dark cloud over the future of our region’s reputation and economy.
Those of us who take note of local politics can see that the standard of leadership at both these unitary auwthorities can only lead to East Yorkshire becoming the forgotten land when it comes to Government funding.
At Hull, the recently empowered Lib Dems promise to tackle the City’s massive traffic congestion problems – but what else?
What about the shocking state of housing, unemployment, poor education et al.
In the East Riding, the situation is no better.
For more than a year, Coun Jonathan Owen has hung on to his leader’s role by the skin of his teeth as his ruling Conservative Group continues to be split down the middle.
He might have the support of his Cabinet members but half of his group secretly oppose him.
The vexed question of devolution, a possible merging of effort between East Riding and Hull, has yet again stalled.
Senior officers at East Riding of Yorkshire Council are leaving in their droves for pastures new, staff shortages are reported in most key areas; the council’s reserves are shrinking at an alarming rate; morale is said to be at an all-time low; public services are beginning to suffer and there are allegations of bullying.
The result of this constant squabbling at both centres of local power means new strategies, new ideas, new projects needed to improve the quality of life in this region are not forthcoming and until Owen and Hull’s Mike Ross can come up with a devolution deal, much-needed Government funding will remain firmly under Westminster’s lock and key.
Our neighbouring councils must learn to work together but before that can happen their own elected members must learn to do the same.
Hopefully, Hull’s Lib Dems will find their feet, but in May 2023 electors go to the polls across the East Riding and many are already predicting a catastrophic outcome for the Tories.
Perhaps this new look Hull City Council, coupled with a likely hung East Riding Council will bring prosperity back to our region.
Let’s hope so!