Leeds nostalgia: June 1970: Yorkshire says ‘no’ to Government plan to turn them into ‘metropolitan areas’

22 may 2001. Aeriel pics for Leeds Utd story.
Thorpe Park showing the M1/A63 interchange.
22 may 2001. Aeriel pics for Leeds Utd story. Thorpe Park showing the M1/A63 interchange.
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Yorkshire’s ‘big six’ county boroughs hit out at Government plans to turn them into metropolitan districts.

The six: Leeds, Bradford, Dewsbury, Halifax, Huddersfield and Wakefield, slammed the White Paper proposals as “an unnecessary and misconceived device.”

The major towns of the so-called West Yorkshire conurbation instead favoured the Maud Report’s plan to create unitary authorities instead. The report even had a section entitled ‘Why West Yorkshire is Not Metropolitan’, together with an eight point argument explaining why.

In relation to Leeds, it added: “No metropolitan area has a city the size of Bradford just a few miles away.”

The White Paper suggested the West Yorkshire Metropolitan area would be split into five districts based on Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield and ‘mid-Yorkshire’.

Alderman Frank Marshall, Conservative leader of Leeds City Council, said: “This the six county boroughs find totally unacceptable and will urge the desirability of re-opening the question.” All leaders agreed the plan would create districts which were “too large for some and too small for others” and would create “an inefficient planning system”.

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