“We have always maintained that the Leeds City Region provides the best basis for devolution by driving growth in the fastest and fairest way and making sure everyone benefits.
“It is vital that we are in a position to shape our own destiny and make the decisions here that affect everyone across our City Region.
“Nine out of ten decisions about Leeds City Region are taken outside of the area. This highly centralised system has led to gross unfairness. It is completely unacceptable for example that transport spending is 7 times higher in London at £1,900 per head than in Yorkshire where it is just £250 per head.
“We believe in a devolution process that is based around economic issues that boost our economy including investment, transport and skills. We have put forward proposals, including the acceptance of an elected mayor, to achieve that aim. However, our ambition has so far been thwarted by a lack of agreement from Government. We are determined Leeds City Region cannot be left behind because of this.
“In this situation we are willing to consider other options for devolution but these must be based on what is best placed to deliver economic growth and provide real identity and purpose. A Yorkshire deal underpinned by the existing combined authorities is one of these options that could unlock our Leeds City Region deal, along with those of our colleagues in Sheffield City Region, and the North and East of Yorkshire.
“We are meeting with colleagues across Yorkshire to explore these options so that we get a strong workable economic partnership for the Leeds City region, which delivers the best deal for Yorkshire.”
Cllr Judith Blake – Leader Leeds City Council
Cllr Peter Box – Leader Wakefield Council
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe – Leader of City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
Cllr David Sheard – Leader of Kirklees Council
Cllr Tim Swift – Leader of Calderdale Council