Devolution: Yorkshire

Part of Adjournment (February, Easter, May Day and Whitsun) – in the House of Commons at 9:04 pm on 10th October 2017.

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Photo of Jake Berry Jake Berry The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 9:04 pm, 10th October 2017

I will not take the hon. Gentleman’s intervention.

Let me turn to devolution in the rest of Yorkshire. We welcome the discussions that have taken place over the summer, with talks having restarted after a significant period of stalemate. It is absolutely clear that there is no agreement around what has been referred to as the One Yorkshire deal. A report in Sheffield’s The Star yesterday confirmed that 11 of the 20 councils in Yorkshire support this proposal. York, Hambleton, Harrogate, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, Ryedale and Wakefield have said that they will not proceed with it. Although some elements of the media may choose to ignore that inconvenient truth, it is simply not the case that the coalition of the willing has had or does have wide support for its proposal.

As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State made clear in his letter dated 15 September, he is happy to meet leaders to discuss a Greater Yorkshire deal, which could be an exciting and groundbreaking devolution deal, passing real power and real influence from the people in London back to the people of Greater Yorkshire. He has also confirmed that a Greater Yorkshire deal should not and cannot include any of the South Yorkshire boroughs. That is because to do so would undermine fundamentally the position of good faith that underpins both the Sheffield city region deal and all devolution deals that the Government seek to negotiate.