Local MP Calls for North and East Yorkshire “Counterbalance” for Rival West and South Yorkshire Combined Authorities
10:53am 23rd March 2014
York Outer MP Julian Sturdy is calling for the creation of a third combined authority in Yorkshire to encompass North Yorkshire and the East Riding, with York at its centre, to compete with the newly established West and South Yorkshire rivals.
The MP welcomed the creation of combined authorities, a new legal structure whereby several local authorities can take on transport and economic powers from central government.
However, the Yorkshire MP questioned the role of York. He said “I am not yet convinced that York’s destiny lies with the West Yorkshire combined authority.
“Ultimately, it seems to me that we need not only a West Yorkshire combined authority, but a North and East Yorkshire combined authority, to act as an essential counterbalance and to support the rural surroundings that York sits at the centre of—geographically, culturally and economically.
“In essence, York is the heartbeat of that rural hinterland of North Yorkshire, and removing it could have far-reaching economic consequences.”
In a rare display of cross party unity, the Leeds MP and Shadow Cabinet Member John Healey MP praised Mr Sturdy’s intervention.
Mr Healey said “I am really pleased by the active involvement of the hon. Members for York Outer and for Skipton and Ripon in the debate and by the arguments that they have made.
“That signifies to me that there is a good Conservative case, and good Conservative support, for the innovation and wealth creation potential of areas outside London and the south-east.”
Mr Sturdy explained that he would now be meeting with leading regional figures to discuss the possible creation of a North and East Yorkshire combined authority.
He added: “There is clearly scope for North Yorkshire, York and the East Riding to work together more effectively to share the potential rewards of our world class agricultural technology sectors.
“Such collaboration would also ensure the joined up protection of our greenbelt and share the burden of maintaining our large, predominately rural transport networks for the benefit of local residents across the three local authority areas”.
To read the debate in full visit the following link: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/commons/todays-commons-debates/read/unkown/652/
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