Yorkshire’s road to devolution has been long and rocky, but there is every reason to believe that, at last, a workable solution is in sight that brings the enticing prospect of greater powers and more funding much closer.
The local authorities that make up the “Coalition of the Willing” have not only reaffirmed their commitment to a devolution deal for the whole of Yorkshire, but have taken the positive step of instructing officers to start work on the practical steps to make that happen.
That is heartening news after years of infighting and disagreements, and, crucially, sends a message to the Government that those rivalries have been set aside and this region’s focus is now on getting a devolution deal that will benefit everybody in Yorkshire, irrespective of where they live.
Readers of The Yorkshire Post are well-versed in this region’s long struggle to secure a devolution deal. The merits of the region speaking with a single clear voice in its dealings with the Government have long been apparent, and there are now firm grounds to be hopeful that Yorkshire is finally on the way to the greater control over its fortunes already enjoyed by the likes of Manchester and the West Midlands.
The Government has repeatedly urged Yorkshire to get its act together on devolution. Now it has done exactly that, and ministers should not raise any objections.
What is needed from the Government now is a show of support for the one Yorkshire plan that mirrors the spirit of co-operation shown by local authorities which have set aside disagreements for the benefit of everybody.