'One Yorkshire' council leaders submit £3.75bn devolution bid

image copyrightPA
image captionThe bid has been backed by all but two of Yorkshire's 20 councils

Details of a proposed £3.75bn devolution deal have been submitted to the government by the leaders of 18 of Yorkshire's 20 councils.

The 'One Yorkshire' bid outlines plans for a £125m-a-year, 30-year-deal and a directly elected "Mayor for Yorkshire" to be voted in to power by 2020.

The 10-page document has been submitted to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for consideration.

A government spokesman said it "welcomed discussions" on the proposal.

In a letter to Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid the leaders asked for an "urgent meeting to discuss the proposals" in order to take them forward "swiftly".

The letter said: "We believe that with your government's support we can seal an historic devolution agreement with the potential to double the size of our economy to the benefit of the people of Yorkshire and the wider country."

It was signed by the leaders of all of Yorkshire's local authorities except Sheffield and Rotherham councils.

image copyrightPA
image captionThe bid outlines plans for a Mayor of Yorkshire and a newly created Yorkshire Combined Authority

The bid calls on the government to devolve responsibility for matters including transport budgets, franchised bus services and adult skills funding, and create a Yorkshire Combined Authority.

It also proposes creating a £500m Housing Investment Fund, new compulsory purchase order powers and allowing the mayor to impose supplementary business rates to fund infrastructure projects.

The bid marks the latest stage in Yorkshire's protracted efforts to secure devolution.

A deal for the Sheffield City Region was agreed in 2015 and mayoral elections are due to take place in May at a cost of £1.9m, but the leaders of Barnsley and Doncaster Councils are among those supporting the One Yorkshire bid.

They have previously called for the forthcoming election to be postponed or for the mayoral term to be limited to two years.

On receipt of the proposal, the government said: "We have always said that we would welcome discussions on any widely supported proposal for a greater Yorkshire devolution deal provided the Sheffield City Region deal was not threatened and the proposal clearly relates to a sensible economic geography.

"Parliament has already legislated in part for the Sheffield City region deal including legislating for the election of a South Yorkshire Mayor in May 2018 for a four-year term."

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