MENU Unleashing Yorkshire’s Potential Through Devolution

Why Yorkshire

In respect of area, population and economy, the traditional county of Yorkshire compares with those parts of the UK that have already been granted devolution, as follows:

Only Scotland and Wales covers a larger area - 

Only London has a larger population –

Only London and Scotland have a larger economy -

These statistics show that, on each basis, Yorkshire is better qualified to be a devolved entity than most of the parts of the UK that have already been granted devolution.  Like Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Cornwall, Yorkshire also qualifies on the basis of being a recognised cultural region with a unique heritage and strong identity.  In fact, of all the bases on which parts of the UK have qualified for devolution, there are none on which Yorkshire does not qualify.

Whilst it is clear that the traditional county of Yorkshire qualifies to be an integral devolved entity, here are some reasons why we believe it should become one:

  • Decisions affecting Yorkshire would be made locally rather than having to rely on distant politicians in central government.Thereby:

    • Decisions would be made by people who understand the needs of Yorkshire best.

    • Decisions would be reached more frequently and actions implemented sooner.

    • Yorkshire’s economic, social and environmental potential would be realized more rapidly and effectively.

  • Once Yorkshire has become a devolved entity, it will be in a position to negotiate more powers in more matters away from central government by which Yorkshire can achieve even greater benefit

  • As a devolved entity, Yorkshire would benefit from being able to negotiate better procurement deals, attract more inward investment and capitalize fully on the ‘Yorkshire’ brand resulting in job creation, economic growth and increased profitability.

  • As a devolved entity, Yorkshire should be in a position to use more of the revenues from its taxation and natural resources on regional infrastructure and public service projects so that more of the money raised in Yorkshire stays in Yorkshire.

  • Granting devolution to an integral Yorkshire will respect the heritage of Yorkshire, recognise the Yorkshire identity and satisfy the need to belong (to Yorkshire). This will motivate the Yorkshire people to achieve for their county and therefore for the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and the whole UK.Devolving to false regions and fragmenting Yorkshire will fail to capitalize on that motivation and actually demotivate people by being seen as a threat to their heritage, identity and need to belong.The undoubted success of the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in 2014 and the determination to make it happen at all is testament to how Yorkshire is motivated when acting in the name of their county.

  • An All-Yorkshire settlement is widely supported amongst conservative Cllrs, MPs and MEPs whilst Yorkshire-wide/regional devolution is party policy of the Lib Dems, The Greens and Yorkshire First and even Labour MPs, such as Jon Trickett, and Labour Cllrs from outside S Yorks & W Yorks, such as Stephen Brady, leader of Hull, have voiced support for Yorkshire-wide devolution.It is generally only Labour councillors of South Yorks & West Yorks that oppose it!Should the few determine the future of the many?

  • Unlike a fragmented Yorkshire, a united Yorkshire would provide ready-made cohesion across the region and therefore be better placed to make Yorkshire and the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ successful.

  • Greater benefit would be gained from the synergy of needing the management structure and assets of only one authority to deliver infrastructure and public service requirements throughout Yorkshire than would be achieved by needing the management structures and assets of several authorities.

  • Greater benefit would also be gained by a united Yorkshire because, unlike a fragmented Yorkshire, there would be no need to rely on collaboration agreements with other authorities in Yorkshire to deliver pan-Yorkshire projects. Thereby increasing efficiency, effectiveness and speed of delivery.

  • The diverse economy of a united Yorkshire would offer greater protection against adverse market forces than would the economies of individual parts of a fragmented Yorkshire which rely on much fewer market sectors.

We believe that devolution on a Yorkshire-wide basis gives the right balance between decentralisation and functionality so that Yorkshire can prosper as an entity itself whilst making significant contribution to the success of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and the UK in general.