Eric Pickles and Bob Kerslake reunite to consider Yorkshire's influence in Westminster

Yorkshire-born former Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles and the man who served as his Permanent Secretary, Lord Kerslake, are to be reunited for a think-tank event considering how much influence Yorkshire has in Westminster.

Conservative Lord Pickles, who was born in Keighley and is the former leader of Bradford council, will speak at the online seminar organised by Policy Yorkshire and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire next Wednesday (September 9).

He will be joined by Lord Bob Kerslake, the former chief executive of Sheffield City Council and Head of the Civil Service who served as Permanent Secretary Department for Communities and Local Government when Lord Pickles was a Minister there.

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The two men and the online audience will consider the amount of money spent per head in Yorkshire compared with other parts of the county, given that the region has a population larger than Scotland and an economy bigger than Wales.

It has three of the ten largest cities in the UK in Leeds, Sheffield and Bradford and yet public spending per head of population in Yorkshire and the Humber is much less than London and comparable northern regions.

The event will consider whether Yorkshire has been under-sold at the national level and, if so, what are the reasons for this and how can it strengthen its position.

As devolution deals are agreed for South and West Yorkshire and are planned for the remaining sub-regions, the event will consider how Yorkshire should ensure it has a strong and clear voice in Westminster.

Former Bradford council leader and Local Governmentr Secretary Lord Pickles. Pic: PA

The speakers will be joined by Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council and Nigel Wilson, Chair of Homes for the North, who are sponsoring the event.