Minister spits in Yorkshire’s face on devolution


James Brokenshire, the Communities Secretary has written to Yorkshire’s council leaders and MPs today (February 13) to tell them Yorkshire won’t be allowed to work together to improve our schools, roads and hospitals.

“Despite 18 of Yorkshire’s 20 council leaders, the Yorkshire Party, businesses and civic leaders all backing the One Yorkshire plan, a London MP has decided to ban Yorkshire from working as one,” Yorkshire Party Deputy Leader Chris Whitwood has told members.

“Instead, he is insisting that Yorkshire be split up into ‘Sheffield City Region’, ‘Leeds City Region’ and maybe even ‘Humberside’.

“This is a disgrace. Mr Brokenshire has no mandate to overrule the wishes of Yorkshire people. But this is what he has done.

“By allowing Mr Brokenshire to do this, the Government, and the Tory Party, are spitting in the face of every person in Yorkshire.

“We in the Yorkshire Party are disgusted that the Government has made this decision. But we aren’t surprised. It’s clear the Westminster Government is scared of anything that might give real power to Yorkshire, so people would start to see what a bad job the Government was doing of running the North.”

In a letter to Party members calling for more cash support, Chris writes: “We will be campaigning hard against this appalling decision in the days and weeks ahead. But to campaign, we need as much money as possible. Money buys us Facebook adverts. Money buys us leaflets.”

Chris Whitwood: “Appalled”

Reporting the story, The Yorkshire Post quoted Liberal Democrat peer Lord Wallace of Saltaire as saying: “This is a huge disappointment. David Cameron criticised Yorkshire Councils for their inability to agree on devolution.

“Now that there is a wide consensus, across local authorities, political parties, employers associations and trade unions, the government won’t listen. The Conservatives pledged that devolution would come from the bottom up; but in Yorkshire they want to impose from Westminster down.”

And it quoted Keighley MP John Grogan: “A more shameless example of Whitehall knows best would be hard to find. The Government is basically proposing the Balkanisation of Yorkshire and the creation of competing fiefdoms with all the duplication and waste of resources that will bring.”

Read the full Yorkshire Post report at https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/one-yorkshire-deal-rejected-by-government-as-james-brokenshire-claims-plan-does-not-meet-devolution-criteria-1-9590771

Under a CityMetric headline that reads “James Brokenshire’s rejection of the One Yorkshire devolution deal absolutely stinks of partisanship”, John Elledge, editor of the New Statesman magazine’s internet arm, writes: “Today’s news is a reminder, nonetheless, that this government’s abject cynicism and complete inability to do anything without a partisan lens extends far, far beyond Brexit.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One thought on “Minister spits in Yorkshire’s face on devolution”

X