Sam Clayden 15 February 2017

West Yorks leader calls for end to 'devolution deadlock'

Calls to reignite the Leeds City Region devolution proposals submitted almost 18 months ago have been made by chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Cllr Peter Box has written to communities secretary Sajid Javid demanding ‘clarity’ from ministers and claimed the region was ‘devolution ready’.

Cllr Box’s letter admitted the region would have to look at other deals on a larger footprint ‘including a Yorkshire deal’ if the Government did not back the proposals.

Cllr Box said: ‘Over the past 15 months or so, my fellow Yorkshire Council Leaders and I have submitted a succession of constructive proposals for achieving a meaningful local devolution deal.

‘Having had a deal on the table for some time, with little response from government, we now need straight answers from Ministers about what is or isn’t a viable solution to ending this devolution deadlock.’

The letter claimed a deal would pump £3.7bn additional GVA per annum, create a ‘NEET-free city region’ and deliver 37,500 extra jobs by 2036.

A source told The MJ the region is pessimistic about its chance of striking a devolution deal any time soon.

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