TIME isn’t on the side of those who advocate the emerging ‘White Rose’ devolution bid which would see councils from across West, North and East Yorkshire join forces to champion the future economic growth of this region.
For, while this approach was given impetus by David Cameron’s unguarded comments about civic relations in this county, it’s clear the five West Yorkshire authorities – Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield – are becoming increasingly impatient and would prefer to make their own arrangements; desiring a devolution deal of their own while promising to work with neighbouring authorities – Selby, Harrogate, York and Craven – on cross-border issues like transport.
If they manage this, as appears increasingly likely, it will be too late for those politicians and business leaders who believe the region needs to present an united front if it is to secure much-needed investment from the private sector and countries like China which is increasingly integral to the success, or otherwise, of George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse agenda.
However, with cynics suggesting that leaders at the five Labour-run councils in West Yorkshire do not want to work with those rural councils which are predominantly led by the Tories, it is important to remember that political parochialism must not stand in the way of the county’s greater good.
It should be incumbent upon West Yorkshire’s rulers to demonstrate that this approach is in the best interests of all.
Thief who got the shock of his life
We’re almost tempted to feel a bit sorry for the thief who tried to burgle a house in Leeds only to find himself confronted by the occupiers - Leeds Rhinos forwards Stevie Ward and Mitch Achurch.
“I think he must have got a bit of a shock...he scarpered pretty quickly,” Ward tells the YEP today. We bet he did.
Yes. We almost feel sorry for the lad. Almost, but not quite.