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Yet another option for governance as a Hull MP calls for a Minister for Yorkshire

January 17, 2014

In light of the Government’s announcement to appoint a Minister for Portsmouth, Hull Labour MP, Diana Johnson, is calling for a Minister for Yorkshire or at least for the North. Her interview with ITV Calendar News can be seen here. I suspect her comments might be somewhat throwaway but nevertheless she thus adds another option for governance in the region to the existing por-pourri of other ideas. Yorkshire did have its own Minister for a while under the last Labour government: a position held firstly by Caroline Flint until 2008 and then by Rosie Winterton until the end of the mandate. In essence they were ‘facilitators’ at a regional level, liaising with different departments but of course could not make decisions on their own. In the absence of any other form of regional accountability it had its uses but it was no substitute for real power exercised at a local level away from the grip of Whitehall.

Diana Johnson is right to recognise that things need to be done differently in Yorkshire. God knows at YDM we have been saying that for long enough but the merits of her idea need to be considered in the wider context of what is the nest way to deliver economic, social and environmental progress for Yorkshire. That is why YDM has started to engage with local authority leaders in the region about having a discussion on just this issue. This will be the start of the process to engage the Yorkshire folk more widely in considering the myriad of ideas on how we might do things differently here.




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