Remarks yesterday by Chancellor Philip Hammond and his deputy Liz Truss make clear momentum is continuing to build behind the idea backed by 18 of 20 Yorkshire councils that would at long last provide the region with vital extra powers and funding to invest in areas in desperate need of attention such as transport infrastructure.
On a visit to Bradford Mr Hammond said positive talks to find a way forward that would bring One Yorkshire to fruition while not undermining the existing Sheffield City Region plan are progressing. His deputy Ms Truss then went further as she spoke to The Yorkshire Post following a business roundtable meeting in York by disclosing the Treasury is “ready to help” with cash if an agreement can be reached. Discussing how devolution may offer the chance to finally sort out issues like Leeds’ transport network after years of false dawns, she said: “I would like to see those decisions being taken by local people, rather than us sitting in Whitehall and saying this is what you want. It’s got to be people who are working in the city, running businesses in the city, living in the city, who have the say.”
There are challenges ahead, not least with ensuring the Government does not use devolution as an excuse to abdicate its responsibilities when it comes to providing adequate levels of funding to the region, but the considerable efforts made in recent years on securing the best possible deal for Yorkshire may soon be paying dividends.