YEP Says, May 9: Time for Leeds to be given powers to compete with capital

Leeds should be handed greater powers from Whitehall.
Leeds should be handed greater powers from Whitehall.
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Regions should be handed opportunity to turn investment and into jobs and growth.

FOREIGN investors snapping up multi-million pound homes and disproportionate spending on key services leaves London and the South East in prime position to benefit from the economic recovery.

The same, however, can’t be said of cities like Leeds. While things are starting to look up, it’s tempting to wonder how much better they could be if more powers were moved out of Westminster.

That’s exactly what leaders of some of England’s largest councils are proposing, with calls for the Government to pave the way for greater regional devolution.

With the jury still out on whether HS2 will deliver the jobs and wealth it’s hoped or merely accelerate their migration southwards, the task of rebalancing the economy is one the Government seems determined to shirk.

But the HS2 project is already showing how different authorities outside London can work together for their mutual benefit. It’s time trust was shown in the ability of politicians in the regions to take central investment and turn it into jobs and growth.

Far from narrowing the North-South divide, all the signs are that it is widening under this coalition.

If city regions such as ours are to counter the clout wielded by London and the South East then it’s essential that they are given comparable political and economic powers to deliver a more balanced Britain.

Welcome sentence for teacher Twitter troll

AMID the grief surrounding the fatal stabbing of teacher Ann Maguire, Twitter troll Robert Riley bragged to his followers that he wouldn’t just have killed Mrs Maguire but “all the b*****d teachers” at Corpus Christi College in Leeds.

Despite an online backlash, Riley, from Wales, revelled in his new found notoriety, boasting that he had the “biggest gob this side of the River Severn”.

But he wasn’t laughing yesterday when he was jailed for eight weeks.

Let’s hope his sentence sends out a message to all those who think a tragedy of unimaginable horror is a chance to spread their hate-filled views.

PICTURED: Dramatic images of spectacular lightning over Leeds