Hull council leader Steve Brady says 'progress being made' over Yorkshire devolution deal

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 20 Mar 2017

City council leader Steve Brady says there is a "new realism" among his counterparts over a Yorkshire devolution deal.

The region has yet to unite behind a bid to secure new powers and funding from Whitehall.

The stalemate has led to fears that Yorkshire is being left behind compared to places like Manchester where a London-style elected mayor will be in charge from next year.

Both Hull and East Riding councils have been lobbying for a deal covering the greater Yorkshire area but have faced opposition from authorities in other parts the region, notably west Yorkshire.

However last week 22 council leaders from across the region met in York to discuss how a new joint approach could work.

Cllr Brady, who attended the meeting, said: "I would say there was a very welcome change in the atmosphere.

"I think there is a new realism over the way forward and a general acceptance that one mayor and one combined authority is the right model.

"I do think we have got more chance now of getting an agreement on this than we have had at any time over the last 18 months to two years.

"There is a lot more work needed to be done but progress is being made."

Speaking at a full council meeting, Cllr Brady said it was important to move forward together and end competition between different city-regions.

"You are never going get anywhere with any government by being antagonistic. We have got to try to work together," he said.

"I am not saying there will be difficulties but I would like to see a deal coming together this year.

"We need to making our own decisions and making them much faster rather than waiting for a civil servant in London deciding who gets what.

"It would mean a lot of consultation and if one council voted against it the whole thing would collapse but that is one of the challenges we have to overcome."

Cllr Brady said his one concern was the government's devolution agenda being sidetracked by Brexit.

"Theirs minds might be on other things. The European question is going to be huge."

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