Council leaders in Hull and the East Riding submit £1.6bn devolution proposal to Government

Council leaders in Hull and the East Riding have submitted a bid for a proposed devolution deal to the Government worth £1.6bn.

Hull City Council leader Steve Brady yesterday confirmed a submission had been sent, but said he was not expecting much movement before the Spring as the Government continued to tackle coronavirus.

Coun Brady said: “What the Government is saying is that for the next few months they are concentrating on Covid and they will not be talking on devolution until early next year.”

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He said it was “disappointing” and that leaders had not heard from Communities Minister Luke Hall since he took over from Simon Clarke, who resigned in September.

Hull City Council leader Steve Brady. Photo: JPI Media

A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesman said: “We’re committed to levelling up all areas of the country and empowering our regions by devolving money, resources and control away from Westminster. We’ll set out our detailed plans in the Local Recovery and Devolution White Paper in due course.

“We’ve been having conversations with a number of areas, including Hull and East Riding, about their devolution ambitions. Hull and East Riding have now submitted a devolution proposal, which is being carefully considered."

Devolution deals have now been signed in South and West Yorkshire. But earlier in the year leaders in northern Lincolnshire rejected proposals to join a cross-Humber devolution deal spanning the estuary, putting negotiations back with the region.

Before stepping down Mr Clarke had said a cross-Humber deal would have been the “optimum outcome” but he said “we cannot compel local authorities to join a geography and have reluctantly recognised that northern Lincolnshire leaders and MPs consider that their future lies with Lincolnshire”.

But he added: “Once local authorities and partners are able to engage, we want to give priority to negotiating a Hull and East Riding devolution deal.”

Hull West and Hessle Labour MP Emma Hardy has repeatedly spoken of a fear of Hull being left behind while devolution deals unlocking new powers and funding are signed across the rest of Yorkshire.

Leaders in North Yorkshire are still negotiating with Government over any future deal, and local authorities have been invited to submit outline proposals for local government reorganisation to the Government by November 9 and more detailed plans by December 9, before consultation in February.