One Voice for Yorkshire
Yorkshire needs a voice. We need a body or someone to speak up for the county as a whole, to speak for the people and to represent their interests. Without a strong voice there cannot be proper representation for Yorkshire at the regional level. We will not be able to take full advantage of being Yorkshire men and women. We will not be able to take full advantage of the Yorkshire brand. We will not be able to take advantage of all the opportunities offered by a regional tier of government, for example, regional transport, housing, health, economic and education strategies. We will not be able to take full advantages of all the synergies offered by such regional strategies and we will not be able to take advantage of all the economic opportunities that could be offered up by a dynamic regional government.
Yorkshire needs to be able to speak with one voice so that the county can be seen as a unified entity. Look at the bickering between local authority leaders over the current meagre devolution offerings. Because we do not speak with one voice, our local authorities are acting in, what they perceive, as their own interests which may be totally at odds with those of neighbouring communities. So city regions would like powers devolved to them rather than the county as a whole whilst at the same time offering to take on some of the best of what is left. None of these areas has the scope or scale to act as a region and clearly cannot act for the region as a whole. As a region we need to be taken seriously and this bickering between local authority leaders is projecting exactly the wrong kind of image. Such immature behaviour does not instil confidence in the authorities concerned and certainly does not raise the profile of the region.
A strong united Yorkshire speaking with one voice should have an assured future. A group of fragmented local authorities without the vision to see what is in front of them will remain a group of fragmented local authorities. In looking at the best form of regional government, our detractors need to ask themselves why it is that Scotland and Wales are represented by their respective legislatures and not, for example, by Glasgow or Swansea. Sometimes the logical choice is the best choice and that logical choice just could be a Yorkshire Parliament.
A united Yorkshire administration would allow us to do away with a great many of the quangos created by central government and would allow us to take advantage of the economies of scale offered by the size of the region whilst maintaining and enhancing, where appropriate, local accountability.
Yorkshire needs to speak with one voice to preserve the integrity of the county, to stand up for the rights and interests of the people and to protect our future. Yorkshire needs to speak with one voice to promote our region and our values within the UK, within Europe and throughout the world. Yorkshire needs to speak with one voice to establish itself as a force to be reckoned with and to be respected. The Yorkshire Devolution Movement is campaigning for that voice!