UNITED 4de­vo­lu­tion

Halifax Courier - - Yourcourier -

thor­ity, said: “With 95 per cent of de­ci­sions that af­fect our cit­i­zens be­ing taken out­side our lo­cal ar­eas, the case for de­vo­lu­tion is unar­guable.

“We are con­fi­dent that by se­cur­ing a com­pre­hen­sive de­vo­lu­tion deal, we can do bet­ter than White­hall, grow­ing our econ­omy and ad­dress­ing the is­sues of pro­duc­tiv­ity fac­ing the UK econ­omy.”

But the pro­pos­als have been met with a cau­tious re­sponse from coun­cil lead­ers in North York­shire who were hop­ing for a deal that ex­tended across York­shire.

Harrogate Coun­cil leader Richard Cooper con­firmed the au­thor­ity had re­ceived West York­shire’s in­vi­ta­tion.

He said: “We are look­ing at all op­tions. Our pre­ferred op­tion is still a much wider York­shire model which we think has the brand and in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion that will serve the peo­ple of York­shire much bet­ter.

“We are ex­am­in­ing the op­tions and in due course the full coun­cil will have a free vote.”

Richard Foster, leader of Craven Dis­trict Coun­cil, said: “I still would pre­fer the greater York­shire model but I un­der­stand the rea­son be­hind this bid. For Craven to sign up to any­thing I would need the back­ing of the Full Coun­cil. North York­shire would also have to pass our strate­gic trans­port func­tion to the Leeds City re­gion. With­out their will­ing­ness to do this then we will strug­gle to join this.

York Coun­cil leader Chris Stew­ard also con­firmed the in­vi­ta­tion had been re­ceived.

If the four North York­shire author­i­ties re­ject the pro­pos­als, a West York­shire plan will be sub­mit­ted to the Gov­ern­ment.

Hal­i­fax MP Holly Lynch said: “The bound­aries for a de­volved area need to make ge­o­graph­i­cal sense. I can see the ad­van­tages to in­clud­ing ar­eas of North York­shire but the big­ger the area, the harder it could be­come to es­tab­lish pri­or­i­ties and keep the is­sues that mat- ter to Calderdale high up on the agenda.

“I will be work­ing with Calderdale coun­cil and my col­leagues in Westminster to make sure that we cap­i­talise on the op­por­tu­ni­ties that de­vo­lu­tion might bring, but will not let the Gov­ern­ment get away with us­ing de­vo­lu­tion as a means of ‘pass­ing the buck’ for all the cuts com­ing our way.”

Paul Ro­gan, chair of UKIP Calder Val­ley branch, said res­i­dents out­side of Leeds do not feel part of the Leeds re­gion

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