A Leeds City Region-based
devolution bid covering the West Yorkshire districts of Bradford, Calderdale,
Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield plus the North Yorkshire districts of Craven,
Harrogate, Selby and the City of York was submitted today (Friday 4 September).
After consulting with Leeds City Region council leaders,West Yorkshire's Council leaders have submitted 27
devolution ‘asks’ focusing on transport, housing, business support, public
service reform skills and new fiscal powers to generate investment for major
infrastructure projects designed transform the City Region’s economy.
The leaders are convinced that there
is a compelling case for devolving to Leeds City Region. They say it reflects
the government’s creation of city region-based Local Enterprise Partnerships.
Leeds City Region has the UK’s
largest city region economy outside London, with an economic output of £57.7bn.
Over 92% of its 2.8m population work within its area and over 50,000 people
commute between the areas of Craven, Harrogate, Selby and York and West Yorkshire.
The public and private sector in
the Leeds City Region already have a long history of working together and last
year’s £1.6 billion Growth Deal secured last year through LEP is already
creating significant growth and jobs. The leaders also see the City Region as a
strong voice in their proposal for a ‘Council for the North’ which would see formal
links established with Sheffield, Manchester, the North East, Merseyside, the
East Riding and Humberside.
By submitting their bid, the
council leaders have acknowledged that government will insist on an elected
metro-mayor. However they remain adamant they will only agree to a mayor and
the costs of introducing one if the powers and funding on offer from government
match their substantial ambition for the city region’s economy, infrastructure,
jobs and housing.
West Yorkshire Leaders' Leeds City Region submission letter and Devolution Asks (.pdf file 409kb - opens in new window)
Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Chair, Roger Marsh OBE, welcomes the submission (opens in new window).