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06.03.18

New One Yorkshire devo deal put forward by all but two authorities

A majority of councils have backed a new One Yorkshire agreement today, which would see the issue of devolution dealt with in the county after a long and difficult process.

In total, 18 out of 20 authorities have put their names to the deal, with only Sheffield City Council and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council withholding their backing.

The plans were given a huge boost in January this year when the leader of Wakefield Council committed to the deal for the first time.

The decision followed communities and housing secretary Sajid Javid’s announcement of a potential compromise which would allow Barnsley and Doncaster MBCs to join, in an effort to resolve the longstanding deadlock.

As part of the bid, the One Yorkshire councils are seeking devolved control over transport funding, bus franchising and a supplementary business rate scheme.

In a letter to Javid, the 18 representatives said: “Responding to your call for a detailed and concrete proposal, we are writing as the leaders and representatives of the 18 local authorities in Yorkshire, with that detailed and concrete plan which we have been working on for several months.

“We believe that with your government's support we can seal an historic devolution agreement with the potential to double the size of our economy to the benefit of the people of Yorkshire and the wider country.”

In addition to powers over transport and business rates, the bid also suggests that the councils are given control of development and planning on key sites, as well as a 30-year investment fund that could be worth up to £3.75bn – in line with similar funds given to other devolved bodies.

The authorities are also asking for a £500m housing fund and power over adult skills funding and integrated business and export support.

Top image: Owen Humphreys PA Archive

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