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Government rejects ‘One Yorkshire’ devolution deal

Yorkshire Flag Image copyright PA
Image caption The plan would have seen transport, education and other issues run by an elected mayor

A single devolution deal for Yorkshire has been rejected by the government.

The proposal would have seen some powers given to the county by central government under the control of an elected mayor.

A “One Yorkshire” plan was backed by 18 out of the region’s 20 local councils, with Sheffield and Rotherham opting for a separate South Yorkshire solution.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said the plan did “not meet our devolution criteria”.

The bid called on the government to devolve responsibility and funding for matters including transport budgets, franchised bus services and adult skills funding, and create a Yorkshire Combined Authority.

In a letter sent to council leaders, Mr Brokenshire said he was “prepared to begin discussions about a different, localist approach to devolution in Yorkshire”.

‘Massive snub’

“We know there is local appetite for other devolution elsewhere in Yorkshire, with representations having been made previously by the Leeds City Region, York and North Yorkshire and the Humber Estuary,” he wrote.

The Labour MP for Keighley, John Grogan described the decision as “a massive snub”.

“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,” he said.

A deal for the Sheffield City Region was agreed in 2015 and Labour’s Dan Jarvis was elected mayor in May 2018.

But despite voters in Barnsley and Doncaster taking part in the mayoral election, the two councils were among those supporting the “One Yorkshire” bid.

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