YEP Says: Don’t let party politics destroy the Powerhouse

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THAT political pressure is growing for Yorkshire to strike a devolution deal before next week’s Budget,is inevitable.

It is nearly a year since Greater Manchester was awarded unprecedented powers which are already accelerating growth in the North West - and the indecision strengthens David Cameron’s belief that ours is a county at war with itself.

But deals struck in haste can come up at a price – the agreement for Sheffield and South Yorkshire is already beset by difficulty and loss of confidence.

Dave Green, the Labour leader of Bradford Council accuses Tory MPs of blocking a deal for West Yorkshire and the wider Leeds City Region. This process should not be about party politics – it should be about the greater good of the whole county. West Yorkshire would be a poorer place if businesses could not export goods via the Humber’s ports, or if the area was not surrounded by stunning countryside. Equally North and East Yorkshire’s prospects do depend in part on the ability of innovative cities, like Leeds, to harness new investment, and secure the necessary infrastructure improvements, so that this county can attract a new generation of entrepreneurs and wealth-creators. The sooner the political self-interest on both sides end, the greater the likelihood of an outcome which truly empowers Yorkshire once and for all.