September 26: Yorkshire-wide body is best means of serving our interests

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From: Michael McGowan, Former Labour MEP or Leeds, Town Street, Chapel Allerton, Leeds.

IT is now a matter of urgency that Yorkshire gets its act together – despite the lack of solidarity from the Sheffield City Region – in order to grasp the historic opportunities of devolution to Yorkshire.

Unfortunately the competing bids from different parts of the region lack ambition and could result in a fragmented county dominated by parochial and tribal rivalry which would seriously damage the economic development of the Yorkshire region and its influence and reputation.

Those leading the devolution negotiations should heed the wise words of the former chair of Northern Foods, Lord Chris Haskins, whose business and industrial experience is second to none, and who is as clear as a bell in calling for a Yorkshire -wide body as the best means of serving the interests of the region in Europe and globally.

The EU Commission operates on the basis of a “Europe of the regions” and despite the names of the great cities of Leeds and Sheffield they will never have the same clout in Europe as one single voice speaking on behalf of the whole Yorkshire region.

And it is important not to underestimate the brand name of “Yorkshire” which is every bit as distinctive and potentially influential in Europe as the names of Bavaria and Catalonia.

It’s time to put historical tribalism between localities and political parties aside, to reject a fragmented and divisive region, and for Yorkshire to unite and speak with one voice if we are to build a more prosperous and vibrant region and be taken seriously within the UK, in Europe, and internationally.

From: Otto Inglis, Inveralmond Grove, Edinburgh.

I CANNOT get excited by the deal that the Chancellor, George Osborne, has signed to bring Chinese investment to two Yorkshire property developments (The Yorkshire Post, September 23). This investment and those from the Gulf Arabs among others which preceded it are symptoms of Britain’s economic weakness.

If our economy was was healthy, we would be seeing much more investment in research, manufacturing and related activities. This is the type of investment that has lead to Germany economically dominating the EU. This Chinese investment is really no different from when a player in the board game Monopoly buys a property and charges rent. It may amuse, but it won’t make us any richer.