A Yorkshire Parliament is essential to allow Yorkshire to unlock its huge potential. Yorkshire has no voice, no central administration and no authority capable of delivering the projects and functions necessary to allow the county to thrive. Local authorities to not have the wherewithal to deliver and the inept, dysfunctional central government seems incapable. A directly elected Yorkshire Parliament could and should fulfil these roles.
A directly elected Yorkshire Parliament would have the mandate to get the job of “transforming the county into one of economic and social prosperity and inclusion, and ecological sustainability by empowering people of every level of society and every background to participate fully in decisions affecting both their immediate communities’ and the county’s future” done. It would have defined authorities and responsibilities, be accountable, accessible and inclusive. No other form of devolved authority comes anywhere close in terms of clarity of roles, responsibilities, lines of authority, visibility, accessibility and inclusion
A Yorkshire Parliament will have overall responsibility for all public services delivered within the region based around the concept of subsidiarity, whereby responsibility and authority for actual delivery is delegated to the lowest level capable of delivering the service effectively. This means that the parliament should have control over the finances, expertise and other resources necessary for service delivery. The parliament would only have responsibility for Yorkshire so it could concentrate all its efforts and resources on Yorkshire issues and solving Yorkshire’s problems. Currently, access to resources at this level is only available, as far as Yorkshire is concerned, at central government and EU levels.
No. The streamlined nature of the Yorkshire Parliament governing structure should result in no overall increase in civil servants or bureaucracy, though it is possible that some contractors doing government jobs for quangos and on behalf of Westminster could be re-classified as employees of the regional government. There may also be some increases in frontline local authority staff and healthcare workers to replace some essential roles that may have been axed in the name of austerity.
The exact cost will vary depending on any settlement terms with the national government, but the money will have to be generated from the parliament’s own resources. Under a Yorkshire Parliament, Yorkshire will have to pay its own way. The parliament will be tasked with creating a prosperous Yorkshire so any increases in spending should be derived from increased economic activity that it is able to generate.
Yes. The rights of people to have a say in the county’s affairs and those of their local communities will be written into the constitution and governance arrangements for the region.
No. The governance arrangements will be based around the concept of subsidiarity, whereby responsibility for actual delivery is delegated to the lowest level capable of delivering the service effectively so some functions may be centralised, but local authorities may be given additional responsibilities. Most of the powers of the parliament will come from central government.
No. The Yorkshire Parliament and all associated governance arrangements will be designed to operate specifically within a UK framework.