Yorkshire devolution: Javid promises to “carefully consider” detailed plans

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid.  Photo credit should read: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid. Photo credit should read: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire
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Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid has promised to “carefully consider” detailed proposals for a Yorkshire-wide devolution deal submitted by the region’s council leaders.

Earlier this month, leaders of 18 local authorities submitted a 10-page document to the Government setting out what a One Yorkshire devolution deal might look like. It followed a meeting on February 27 where Mr Javid suggested that Ministers would not stand in the way of any One Yorkshire proposal that had widespread support.

The letter sent by Yorkshire’s leaders said: “We would wish to take up your offer for an urgent meeting to discuss the attached proposals with yourself and senior officials so that these can be taken forward swiftly.

“We believe that with your Government’s support we can seal an historic devolution agreement with the potential to double the size of our economy to the benefit of the people of Yorkshire and the wider country.”

Responding by letter yesterday, Mr Javid, inset, wrote: “Thank you, and the leaders and representatives of 18 local authorities in Yorkshire, for the letter submitted to me on devolution on 5 March. We will, of course, consider this carefully.

“I also appreciate the opportunity to discuss these issues with you on 27th February”.

All but two of Yorkshire’s 20 council leaders have backed a region-wide devolution deal, which would hand powers and funding from Whitehall to a single mayor for a region of 5.3m people.

These include Barnsley and Doncaster, who in September pulled out of a Sheffield City Region devolution deal, meaning a mayor elected for the area on May 3 will have virtually no powers or extra funding.