Devolution: Yorkshire

Part of Adjournment (February, Easter, May Day and Whitsun) – in the House of Commons at 8:45 pm on 10th October 2017.

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Photo of John Grogan John Grogan Labour, Keighley 8:45 pm, 10th October 2017

I am afraid so, Minister, as one day you might find out.

I returned to my former constituency to knock on doors in Heslington in support of a former council colleague. I wondered whether the resident at the first door I knocked on might recognise me. He opened the door, gave me one look and said, “The return of the living dead.” I want to be as frank as that former constituent in my comments to the House this evening, but I also want to suggest a way forward and possible compromises and conciliation. I will also speak about the Sheffield city region deal, much diminished though it now is.

Let me start by examining a proposal that has been signed by 17 Labour and Conservative councils—when last I checked, not one had withdrawn its name. They are proposing a single mayor and a single combined authority for the areas they represent, which is perfectly in line with the current law, as the Minister has agreed in a parliamentary answer. I want to consider not what might happen in future Parliaments, but what we can achieve in this Parliament, because, representing God’s own county, we all have a responsibility to do that.