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There is no vehicle for testing public opinion on devolution George!

August 26, 2015

The Yorkshire Post has been making a laudable attempt to initiate a debate about Yorkshire devolution. The paper has carried a series of well written pieces from different viewpoints and is hosting a debate in a couple of weeks time (17th September in Leeds. Contact Jayne.lownsbrough@jpress.co.uk to register). This is in stark contrast to the almost complete lack of public consultation and engagement from local council leaders who are the forefront of the devolution discussions. It was somewhat ironic that George Osborne, on his visit to Yorkshire yesterday, was reported as saying: “I want to hear what local councils, local people think.” We don’t know what he is expecting but we can tell him that local people are not engaged in the process at all. There is no vehicle for testing public opinion.

The real debate at the moment has to be around whether two city regions strike out alone or whether the devolution settlement is a Yorkshire wide one. YDM is of the opinion – naturally enough – that Yorkshire as a whole should be the basis for devolution. The Yorkshire Post’s Tom Richmond captures our feelings precisely in his piece yesterday.

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