In response to the devolution deal for Leeds City Region:
Cllr Stephen Baines, Leader of Calderdale Council said:
“This is a good deal for West Yorkshire, giving us the powers we need to boost economic growth and create new jobs in our region; tackle skills shortages and allow us to decide our transport strategy at a regional rather than national level.
“I would add, though, that although this is a significant step, I want it to go further. If we are prepared to change the way that the Combined Authority is controlled, by making it more accountable through the addition of an elected mayor, we would be given the greater powers which are now being enjoyed by the Combined Authority in Greater Manchester. This would bring even greater benefits to our region.”
Cllr Tim Swift, Deputy Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority said:
“I welcome the progress that has been made with the announcement of this deal, but regret that the offer from the government is not more substantial. We are ambitious for our region, which has so much potential, and it is disappointing that our powers have been limited. I feel that it is more about decentralisation rather than real devolution.”
Cllr Janet Battye, member of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority said:
“Whilst it’s good news that we now have more powers, there is still a long way to go. Ideally, I would like to see power devolved to local people so that they are involved in making decisions. Whilst it’s good to focus on economic investment and development, I think many people will only believe in it when they see things change as a result, for example with the electrification of the Calder Valley line, additional stations and new rolling stock.
“It’s still a case of ‘watch this space’ but, undoubtedly, together in West Yorkshire, we are stronger!”