YP Letters: Time for Yorkshire to show some true leadership over devolution '“ or else

From: Brian Winterbottom, Netherton, Huddersfield.

Yorkshire's devolution push should draw inspiration from sports stars like Alistair and Jonny Brownlee.

IT is now abundantly clear that only the combined forces of this gem of a county of ours will achieve the devolution we so desperately need (The Yorkshire Post, February 27 and 28).

Getting the huge areas of Yorkshire to sing from the same song sheet will not be easy and I know from serving on many committees for over 50 years that big is rarely beautiful and a small group can often achieve more.

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It is clear, nevertheless, that for Yorkshire to pull itself up by the boot laces and see a drastic improvement in the quality of our lives we will need the combined talents of everyone in this great county. In virtually every area of infrastructure. Education and health we have fallen way behind those in the South and now is the time to speak with one voice and to refuse the crumbs from the Westminster table.

During my working life, I represented several high street top brands. They had spent many years and countless millions of pounds building a name that was instantly recognisable by the general public.

Looking back over the last 10 years or so, the Yorkshire brand has grown immensely.

In sport the brilliant coup of the opening stage of the Tour de France followed up by the Tour de Yorkshire. The exploits of the Brownlee brothers and many other sporting heroes have all been brilliant.

Within only half an hour of our doorstep lies the world renowned Yorkshire Sculpture Park and almost next door the Hepworth Wakefield. A little further east and the delights of York with it’s majestic Minster and superb Railway Museum.

Add to this our lovely countryside and coastal resorts and we are indeed blessed.

What a different story emerges, however, when we look at our infrastructure. Education and services. The state of our roads is appalling and gets worse with each winter.

After years of half promises, our roads to the coast are mostly single carriageway and it is beyond belief that the ever expanding and vibrant city of Leeds still lacks an integrated transport system.

For too long we have gone cap in hand to those with the purse strings in government and where are we as a result?

Be sure of one thing. The politicians who run the roost at Westminster will not wish to change the status quo and the power that goes with it.

Yorkshire at this moment is crying out for strong leadership. It is time for this wonderful county of ours to punch its weight.