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As blindingly obvious statements go, this is up there! ‘English devolution is once more on the political agenda’

December 30, 2014

Lord Haskins writes in the Yorkshire Post that English devolution is once more on the political agenda. His acute observation cannot be faulted, nor his point that ‘Yorkshire, with a population of 5.3 million, also has a strong popular identity’. However, he lets himself down in his call for  federation of Yorkshire LEPs. He talks about this body demonstrating ‘competency and accountability’, but then nowhere goes on to explain how this is to be achieved. The history of the RDA in Yorkshire(which Haskins seems to want to recreate) was never one of accountability hence its unpopularity with Conservative politicians amongst others. He is dismissive of regional assemblies (and this from the man who Chaired the hapless ‘yes4Yorkshire’ campaign in 2004) not appreciating that the accountability for the LEPs he is seeking would be created in a single stroke with the setting up of such a body. In short, an interesting analysis but does little to further the devolution debate in Yorkshire.

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