West Yorkshire devolution deal officially becomes law

West Yorkshire’s £1.8bn devolution deal has officially became law, after an order was today approved by Westminster.

Friday, 29th January 2021, 5:04 pm
Updated Friday, 29th January 2021, 5:07 pm

While an agreement had already been reached between regional leaders and Government, the deal was officially signed into law this afternoon by regional growth minister Luke Hall following approval from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

A vote to elect a regional mayor is now expected to take place this May, and is expected to see at least an additional £1.8bn of spending power on West Yorkshire’s public services over the next 30 years, as well as giving the region greater powers over transport and infrastructure decisions.

A joint statement from West Yorkshire’s five council leaders – Susan Hinchcliffe (Bradford), Tim Swift (Calderdale), Shabir Pandor (Kirklees), Judith Blake (Leeds) and Denise Jeffery (Wakefield) – said: “We are delighted that Parliament has agreed to turn our landmark £1.8bn devolution deal, the biggest of its kind, into law.

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West Yorkshire's leaders with Chancellor Rishi Sunak in 2020 - following the original agreement. (GETTY)

“Devolution will help unleash our region’s full potential and in doing so raise living standards for our communities and help us make a full contribution to the UK economy. It is a crucial step in ensuring that issues that really matter to the people of West Yorkshire are prioritised, including our recovery from COVID-19, through greater local investment and decision-making powers.

“The deal puts the people of West Yorkshire at the heart of devolution.

“We look forward to the election of the first Mayor for the region, and working with them to improve the lives of everyone in West Yorkshire.”

The devolution deal will will include a  £100m a year single investment fund for the whole of West Yorkshire, with the mayor and local council leaders deciding how this will be spent. 

The first West Yorkshire mayoral election is expected to take place in May 2021, alongside the local elections.