Government urged to ‘sort it out’ over devolution delays amid fears Leeds and West Yorkshire could be disadvantaged

Gerald Jennings, president of Leeds Chamber of Commerce. Picture by James Hardisty.
Gerald Jennings, president of Leeds Chamber of Commerce. Picture by James Hardisty.
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A Yorkshire business leader has warned politicians that “the clock is ticking” on a possible devolution deal for Leeds.

Gerald Jennings, president of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce, has spoken out about the lack of progress by the Government in handing over powers that he believes would greatly benefit the region.

Speaking at the Leeds Chamber’s annual dinner at the city’s Royal Armouries Museum tonight, he reiterated the desire of the business community to be given control over “significant infrastructure funds” and to be issued a clearer approach to workforce development and business support.

Mr Jennings said: “I understand there is much sensitivity, in particular over the geography to which these powers should be devolved; however, it is disappointing to see discussions have become overtly political in nature.

“My message to the politicians is to sort it out and ensure this region is not disadvantaged – and the clock is ticking.”

His comments come around seven weeks before Chancellor George Osborne delivers his Budget, which suggests decisions will have to be made soon on the make up of any devolution collective locally.

As yet it is still unclear as to which bits of West, North and East Yorkshire will team up with each other to assume devolved powers.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, right, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

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