EVEN though John Prescott said earlier this week that both he, and Tony Blair, “belong to the past”, he remains a passionate advocate for Yorkshire and, in particular, Hull where he made his name.
The former Deputy Prime Minister deserves credit for making a persuasive case in the House of Lords for a bespoke industrial strategy to be drawn up for the Humber Estuary to rival the investment being poured into areas like the Tees Valley.
Green energy is transforming the fortunes of Hull, and the surrounding area, and there’s clearly potential to create even more jobs and investment on the back of the Siemens wind turbine plant which was opened by the Queen last month.
The challenge is whether Hull and the East Riding should have their own political arrangements – or come under the auspices of the One Yorkshire umbrella which advocates a single mayor for the whole county.
In today’s edition of The Yorkshire Post, Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis makes a very commendable case for the whole of Yorkshire joining forces to enable this county to become a national – and international – economic powerhouse.
Not only does his vision and ambition have the potential to end Yorkshire’s devolution deadlock if heeded, but his argument is, in many respects, re-enforced by Lord Prescott’s case for the Humber.
Given that issues like access to the Humber ports, and energy policy, do affect the whole region, it’s all the more reason, as a mini-referendum begins in Barnsley and Doncaster on devolution, for this county to finally make the most of its collective strengths.