YP Letters: One Yorkshire makes sense, but not one mayor

From: Sir Peter Newsam, Church Lane, Thornton le Dale.

Will Yorkshire devolution be reconciled in 2018?
Will Yorkshire devolution be reconciled in 2018?

THAT the whole of Yorkshire should be included in any devolution process makes good sense. Such a region would have a population and economic strength similar to Scotland’s.

To insist on a single mayor for Yorkshire is as absurd as suggesting one for Scotland. Mayors can function effectively in city regions. They cannot be made to work in a region that includes large swathes of countryside. In such areas, it is for locally elected councillors to put members forward to serve on some form of regional council.

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When the issue of devolution was examined by the Royal Commission in 1969, it was recognised that no form of devolution would work well unless its council was responsible for raising a substantial proportion of the money for services it provides.

Genuine devolution requires locally elected people to have some responsibility for the financial consequences of their decisions. Relying on handouts from Whitehall departments is devolved administration, not devolved government.

Yorkshire should be responsible for education. The mismanagement of the Wakefield City Academies Trust would not have occurred if oversight had been managed by councillors.