Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has been urged to pledge greater devolution for West Yorkshire in his Autumn statement, enabling the region to “realise its full potential.”
With just a month remaining until the Government announces its economic plans, Mayor Tracy Brabin has presented a set of suggestions to the Chancellor. These proposals aim to support her “transformative ambitions to grow West Yorkshire, and the North.”
These suggestions encompass the need for a unified funding arrangement for the region. This would facilitate coordinated decisions regarding transportation, skills, and employment, thereby avoiding time-consuming competitive bidding processes that divert resources from crucial priorities.
The Mayor advocates for West Yorkshire Combined Authority to swiftly follow the example of Greater Manchester and Birmingham, which were granted “Trailblazer” devolution deals in March. Both she and the Combined Authority are committed to adhering to rigorous governance and scrutiny procedures in exchange for increased powers and funding.
Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin said: “Devolution is working for West Yorkshire and we are serious about going faster and further to bring about even more benefits for the region.
“We have a proven track record of delivery — demonstrating that we’re ready for a Trailblazer devolution deal, to help grow our economy and improve lives.
“We need the Government to meet our ambition and are urging the Chancellor to provide the necessary powers and investment to help us build a West Yorkshire that works for all.”
The letter also emphasises the need for additional assurances regarding fairness in local government funding, the West Yorkshire Mass Transit system, complete devolution of skills and career funding, and the provision of long-term, adaptable devolved funding to assist the region in achieving its goal of becoming Net Zero carbon by 2038.