Share your thoughts on devolution
Council leader David Sheard is asking for your views on devolution and lobbying the government for more decision making powers for the region.
Along with other councils in West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the Leeds City Region, we are in discussions with government over a deal to move resources and decision making from central government in London to more local control.
But haven’t we already put our bid in?
We are part of a bid that has been submitted to government, but its not the only bid that has been put in. The final decision doesn’t need to be made until the Government come back to us with their offer. Cllr Sheard wants to make sure he knows what you think before we have to make that decision.
What are the big questions?
Key to the proposals is which areas would be included in the agreement (the footprint of the new decision-making body) and whether an elected Mayor would be acceptable to members of the public as part of the deal – this is something Yorkshire people have said no to in the past.
Cllr Sheard said:
“The Combined Authority, which covers Kirklees, Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale and Wakefield, as well as York has been the footprint which has formed the discussions until now. Crucially, the views of business are represented there through the LEP membership of the Authority.
“We need to consider whether that is the right area to take the increased decision making powers and resources to achieve our ambitions, or whether the other Leeds City Region areas of Craven, Harrogate and Selby are included.
“There is also a lobby for a whole Yorkshire bid. I am interested in receiving more views as we move to a decision. We will submit the bid as a Combined Authority in the next few days, but we do not have to make a decision until we see what comes back to the table from government.”
“We are keen to hear from as many people as possible what they think about this debate. There is a huge opportunity to take more direct control of decisions and resources and that should mean that we take better decisions that meet our ambitions for our own futures.”
What powers might the region get through devolution?
Areas being discussed for the devolution agreement include:
- housing and planning
- employment and skills
- business growth and investment
- public service reform
Councils in the West Yorkshire Combined Authority have put forward a list of 27 devolution requests of the government.
Get involved with the devolution discussion
Following a discussion at full council on Wednesday 2nd September, we’ve created a poll to collect the views of local people: