Trickett backs 'irresistible' case for devolution and a Yorkshire mayor
Shadow Cabinet minister Jon Trickett will call for a “single elected voice for Yorkshire” alongside a new Council of the North and a Bank of the North.
Mr Trickett, the Shadow Lord President of the Council and Hemsworth MP, will defend Labour’s record on devolution in Government but admit “we didn’t go anywhere near far enough” as he declares the case for moving power from London “irresistible”.
His intervention today, in a speech to Labour council leaders and union officials, comes after West Yorkshire council leaders were joined by Barnsley and Doncaster in declaring their interest in exploring the Yorkshire mayor idea.
Barnsley and Doncaster are already signed up to the Sheffield City Region devolution deal, agreed with then chancellor George Osborne, to transfer powers to South Yorkshire, Chesterfield and Bassetlaw and create an elected mayor for the area.
But following a legal challenge and tensions among South Yorkshire councils, it was confirmed yesterday that the Sheffield City Region mayor election will be postponed until next year.
The Yorkshire Post revealed earlier this week that a plan had been drawn up that would create a single mayor for the whole of Yorkshire working with the existing combined authorities made up of council leaders in West and South Yorkshire and the creation of a third.
Mr Trickett, a former leader of Leeds City Council, will argue the vote to leave the European Union showed how many people felepolitics is not working for them.
He will say: “Quitting Brussels on its own won’t give us the control over our communities which people want. We will need bigger change than that.
“Brexit gives us the opportunity to rethink how we can run our country. It’s a moment of opportunity for the North.
“An opportunity for Yorkshire.”
He will stop short of endorsing a particular devolution plan but will make clear he favours one mayor for the whole region.
“Here in Yorkshire we need to create a political structure which will allow us to realise our enormous potential.
“A political structure based on a belief in our people and our county.
“This is the case for devolution. It is irresistible,” he will say.
Calling for a “single elected voice for Yorkshire”, Mr Trickett will say: “The solution must be rooted in Yorkshire soil, breathe Yorkshire air and speak with a Yorkshire accent.”
The Archbishop of York yesterday suggested Britain’s exit from the European Union could lead to
Dr John Sentamu said: “We need a more diverse economy that draws on the skills of the northern people.
“If Brexit prompts a shift in that direction, it may just have been worth the uncertainty we are currently experiencing.”