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Train Operating Companies: Yorkshire — [Dame Cheryl Gillan in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:47 am on 19th December 2018.

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Photo of Kevin Hollinrake Kevin Hollinrake Conservative, Thirsk and Malton 9:47 am, 19th December 2018

That is a very interesting point. I am sure, Dame Cheryl, that you have your own view on it, which you might wish to express. At the very least, I would like to see Northern Powerhouse Rail, High Speed 3 or Crossrail for the North—whatever we want to call out—delivered at the same time. That is far more important than the north-south journeys.

The critical thing for me is to connect the cities, which gives opportunities to rural areas as well, and the key issue is devolution. The money and the powers should be devolved up to the north, so we do not have to come to Whitehall to ask for the money or to discuss where it should be spent—we should get the money in a long-term settlement. Devolution is key. It is great to see one of the current Mayors here, Dan Jarvis, who is trying to work through the Sheffield devolution deal, which is very welcome. I think that devolution to the cities across Yorkshire—rather than to the wider county—is far more workable, and I am sure the hon. Gentleman will make a great job of the devolution deal he has on his table.

I am absolutely determined, as many here today are, to make sure we get a step change in investment, and to solve the shorter-term problems that the hon. Member for Dewsbury pointed to in her very compelling speech.