Yorkshire: Devolution - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:45 pm on 12th February 2019.

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Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 2:45 pm, 12th February 2019

My Lords, I first thank the noble Lord for his comments, but on simply ruling it out he will be aware that copious documents have gone forward from the Yorkshire leaders. Some 100 pages of complex analytical documents on this have been studied, so it is not the sort of capricious decision he was perhaps suggesting. A lot of thought has gone into this. If he looks at the other metro mayors, he will see that they represent much smaller, more appropriate, cohesive economic regions—around the West Midlands, Manchester and Liverpool—than a county. Also, historically Yorkshire has never been a single devolved entity in its administration. As the noble Lord will know, it was split into ridings, for example, so perhaps the Government’s thinking is much more reflective of the economic units that used to be in place in Yorkshire.