Unlike Jake Berry who cannot bring himself, for whatever reason, to recognise the potential of the One Yorkshire devolution model, and is intent on pressing ahead with the election of a mayor in Sheffield City Region who will have limited powers and even less public support, Ms Fairbairn does.
Addressing the CBI’s Yorkshire and Humber annual dinner, she spoke for the majority when she said this region has “fallen behind the pace” and the lack of progress on this side of the Pennines “risks creating gaps in the Northern Powerhouse”.
If she, and the recently forged coalition of the willing, can see the scale of the opportunity, why can’t Mr Berry? Didn’t he hear Theresa May at last week’s party conference when she committed herself, and her government, to the Northern Powerhouse?
More pertinently, Ms Fairbairn challenged businesses to step up to the plate after calling for “a willingness and openness in government to finish what has been started”.
Though the issues are political, and complex, devolution is about the future of business – and how areas outside of London can best prosper in a global economy.And, while this newspaper applauds those local leaders trying to convince the Government to embrace the most dynamic devolution deal of all, they can only get so far – perhaps it now falls to Yorkshire’s top bosses to tell Mr Berry why his stance is so misguided.