YP Letters: Let Yorkshire set priorities for its success

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From: Richard Wright, Executive Director, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce.

WE welcome the positive things the CBI is saying about Sheffield and the wider city region (The Yorkshire Post, June 8 and 9).

It’s not often we get the recognition for what we are achieving from other areas or organisations but all of us who live here understand the hard work that has gone into delivering growth and investment, and the momentum we have built up.

When CBI president Paul Drechsler talks about faster transport links bringing better productivity to Leeds, he needs to understand it also has the same effect on Sheffield. We should also recognise though the absolute need for better connectivity between Sheffield and the wider city region – and between Leeds and its city region – if we are really going to deliver the full potential from investments like HS2 and HS3.

With respect to the Industrial Strategy, his call for a long-term approach is absolutely right. Sheffield Chamber’s response to the Green Paper was very much along those lines except that we called for cross government departmental, and cross-party agreement to underpin this.

We all have experience of great plans and strategies coming to a halt because the Treasury or somebody else doesn’t agree, or a change in Government causes a total U-turn. We also cautioned against an Industrial Strategy picking sector winners.

The job of Government is to create the ground on which we succeed through things like a good educational and skills, good access to finance, and a competitive tax and regulatory system.

Leave the task of focusing on priorities to the devolved bodies like LEPs. Our focus is likely to be different to Leeds or Manchester – and it should be, because national ‘one size fits all’ strategies do not work.

From: Lionel Pyrah, Cambridge Street, Normanton.

IN a recent interview (The Yorkshire Post, June 1), Jonathan Oxley of the Institute of Directors said the new Government needs to “set the conditions for economic growth in Yorkshire and the Humber, the wider Northern Powerhouse and other UK regions’”

Of course, he is right; sustained regional growth and improved infrastructure in this part of the world is essential for the prosperity of its population.

However, the Yorkshire and the Humber chairman also added that Westminster should establish a “clearer framework for devolved government generally, including the mayoral role”.

In my view, this is the wrong option for Yorkshire as a whole and a move which I believe would lead to administrative chaos and economic disaster, and should be resisted at all costs.

A devolved Yorkshire would simply be too remote and unmanageable – and should not be a ‘very special case’ as Mr Oxley would have it.

The former metropolitan counties of Greater Manchester, West Midlands and Merseyside for example, have, over several years, developed into ‘city regions’ and will eventually become cities in their own right.

Such an outcome awaits Leeds and Sheffield if the nettles are grasped after the dithering has ceased.

Although these are embryonic days, it would be better surely to follow a system on the lines of the successful London model than rely on Government handouts.

From: Edward Grainger, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough.

GP Taylor’s contribution (The Yorkshire Post, May 31), highlighting just what a raw deal Yorkshire gets from Westminster governments, was quite revealing. The article should be compulsory reading for newly-appointed Ministers.

Who better to present the case for a complete re-think than our very own Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, who continues to demonstrate in so many ways that he has his finger on the pulse of the Broad Acres?

When he speaks, he does so with great authority and conviction that politicians will sit up and take notice at long last.

Gratitude of a nation

From: AW Clarke, Wold Croft, Sutton on Derwent.

I AM aware that many people dislike Michael Gove, especially the teaching profession – but then it is difficult to name any Secretary of State for Education who has not incurred their wrath.

I feel it is unjust for people to make nasty comments without making clear their justification for such remarks.

My feeling regarding Mr Gove is that the country owes him a great debt of gratitude for saving us from the possibility of being faced with Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.

Though Mr Johnson adds significantly to the gaiety of the nation, his displays of incoherence, on occasion, since being appointed Foreign Secretary must leave both our friends and enemies confused.

From: Tim Mickleburgh, Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.

THE most disappointing aspect of the election campaign was the sheer vindictiveness of the personal attacks on Labour’s leader Jeremy Corbyn. By all means attack his policies, but giving the impression he was virtually a terrorist (as some Tory tabloids did) was beyond the pale. Led by social media, I’m afraid that’s the way the world is going.

From: Nick Martinek, Briarlyn Road, Huddersfield.

THE phrase commonly heard during the election campaign by the establishment parties is that they want “the best deal possible on Brexit”.

Even taken literally, it misses the point. The principle, established by the EU referendum, is that the UK decided to be independent.

Independence is not negotiable. Deals come after independence.

Once that is openly stated and acknowledged all the rest falls into place.