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24 September 2014
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The 'No' campaign gets going
Ballot Box
How would you vote?

A campaign has been set up to encourage the 'No' vote in the referendum on Regional Assemblies.

In this article John Watson, the chairman of 'Yorkshire Says No', outlines the groups position.

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The Government announced earlier this summer that three Regions (the North East, the North West and Yorkshire & Humber) would be holding referendums in the Autumn of 2004 asking the question "Are you in favour of an elected Regional Assembly for this Region".

A new organisation to be called "Yorkshire Says No" believes that these new Assemblies would be expensive to run, would have very little executive power and would slow down existing decision-making processes.

The Chairman of Yorkshire Says No is John Watson and he is now in the process of putting together a team of activists which will form the core of the campaign.

In due course Yorkshire Says No intends to apply for funding available through the Electoral Commission which will be available for the last few weeks before the referendum date.

According to Yorkshire Says No, the new Assembly would have around 30 elected members, called MYAs, and would cost around £25 million per year in administration.

It would be able to place a precept on Council Tax and these could be expected to rise by at least £25 per year.

The powers of the new body, however, would be very limited and it would account for less than 2% of public expenditure in the Region.

As proposed the Assembly would have responsibility for economic development, regional planning, skills and some housing finance.

Even in these areas of responsibility, however, it would not do the job itself but would use existing agencies, such as Yorkshire Forward, for the purpose.

Over other fields the Assembly would have no actual power at all but would be expected to "co-ordinate" the activities of the existing bodies and Local Authorities.

According to John Watson this is not the way to go about things.

"What people want is more teachers, more policemen and more nurses. This Assembly will provide not one extra teacher, policeman or nurse - but it will provide 30 extra politicians."

If you disagree with John's position why not have your say, fill in the form below.

Steve Johnson
yorkshire is a region of the UK just like scotland so it should a devolved parliament like scotland i'm not english i'm british and from the yorkshire region of the UK.

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