Council bosses in Yorkshire tonight increased pressure on Communities Secretary Sajid Javid to attend face-to-face talks to bring an end to the long-running devolution deadlock.
Leaders and chief executives agreed to put in an official request for a meeting with the Secretary of State in an effort to negotiate a deal with the Government.
It is hoped the move will provide some clarity as to what exactly is on the table when it comes to securing a vital devolution deal for the region.
Earlier this month, several North Yorkshire Conservative council leaders came forward and said it is time for councils in North, West and East Yorkshire to negotiate a devolution deal with the Government, in what has been dubbed a ‘Greater Yorkshire’ option.
Yesterday, after a meeting in York, 15 council representatives agreed to present Mr Javid with a case for a ‘One Yorkshire’ plan, a proposal for a single deal for the whole region. Harrogate council refused to back the proposal, while Ryedale had no political representative present.
The leader of North Yorkshire County Council Carl Les said: “I think what we are trying to do is assess what is possible and that is why leaders felt that they wanted a meeting with the Secretary of State. The Government has its own views.
We are all of an opinion that we have been talking about this for a number of years now, so it would be good to get on with it so we don’t fall behind other areas.Carl Les
“We have got to try and work out what is a Yorkshire solution. We are all of an opinion that we have been talking about this for a number of years now, so it would be good to get on with it so we don’t fall behind other areas.”
A statement issued after the meeting said: “At the Yorkshire Leaders Board today in York we as 15 representatives of local councils across Yorkshire agreed to request a meeting with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in order to understand the reasoning of the Government and present our compelling case for a ‘One Yorkshire’ devolution deal.
“This follows the All Party Parliamentary Group on the 18th October agreeing to assist in pressing the Secretary of State to accept and meet with Yorkshire leaders as a matter of urgency.”