Category: Devolution

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Destination devolution

Jane Thomas

The pressures for greater local control are growing and cannot be ignored. Devolution may not be a destination, but for some it sure looks a better road to travel on than the current path offered by Westminster.

Has Robert Jenrick nothing better to do than fan up culture wars?

Alex Toal

Jenrick must have solved looming crises in housing, local government debt, and cladding, Alex Toal writes, given his obsession with statues. The minister has been borrowing tactics from one of his predecessors, Eric Pickles, in preventing communities in having a voice about their public space.

‘Levelling-up’ government guts Transport for the North

Jane Thomas

Sheffield campaigner Jane Thomas reacts to the news that Transport for the North’s budget has been cut by 40 percent, a harsh blow to dreams of levelling up the north. “If the government does not support this through proper funding of local authorities, and through deeper devolution, the levelling-up agenda will never happen.”

The SNP calls it right: “the emperor has no clothes”

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy writes on the SNP’s opposition to the government’s damaging Brexit deal: “The alignment of international events and incompetence of Westminster leadership is a conjunction of forces that the nationalists in Scotland could only ever have dreamt of”.

We can’t ignore our air pollution crisis any longer

Andrew Cooper

Air pollution is deadly. That is a fact we can’t hide from any longer. This week, a coroner ruled that dangerous levels of air pollution “made a material contribution” to the death of nine-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah in Central London. Before her death of a severe asthma attack in February 2013, Ella endured numerous seizures and […]

Arrest of Liverpool mayor: corruption, or something else?

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy looks at the news of Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson’s arrest. Anderson has been a prominent critic of the government, continuing in Liverpool’s long tradition of being a centre of resistance. McCarthy looks at the complicated dynamics of corruption in the city, and what Anderson’s potential resignation might mean.

Fears for tiers

Jane Thomas

Jane Thomas breaks down the announcement of Tier 3 for much of Yorkshire, and the impending chaos of the UK’s departure from the transition period. Will there be a national lockdown to help ease the congestion at ports on New Year’s Day? We’ll have to wait and see.

Interview with: Hugh Goulbourne – lawyer and activist running for nomination to be Labour Party candidate for West Yorkshire Mayor

Alex Toal

Alex interviews Hugh Goulbourne, one of three candidates shortlisted to be Labour’s nominee for West Yorkshire mayor. Goulbourne has an experience in grassroots activism and business leadership, and has worked on a number of mayoral campaigns before his own. His plans for the region include a cycle superhighway, citizens assemblies, and an authority-wide transport app.

Devolution dilemma in North Yorkshire

Charlie McCarthy

The government’s plan for new unitary authorities is causing division in North Yorkshire, where no agreement has yet been reached on how this will look. Various proposals have been submitted, with NYCC and York City Council agreeing on one structure, while the shire councils mostly agree on another.

Researching the Northern Research Group (part 2)

Alex Toal

Alex Toal looks at the reasons behind the formation of the Northern Research Group. Is this about protecting the seats of its members, about boosting the levelling up agenda, or about control of the Conservative Party?

Regional roundup: Saturday 14 November

Alex Toal

The Northern Research Group makes its Westminster debut On Wednesday, members of the Northern Research Group took part in a Westminster hall debate called by Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis to quiz the government (represented by exchequer secretary to the Treasury Kemi Badenoch) over economic support for the North. NRG chair Jake Berry followed […]

Researching the Northern Research Group (part 1)

Alex Toal

The Tory party of late seems to have descended into multiple competing and overlapping factions, including the Common Sense Group, the Covid Recovery Group, and the Northern Research Group. Here, Alex Toal takes a look at the NRG, asking – who are they, what do they believe in, and why have they come together? This […]

Interview with: Councillor Andrew Cooper – Green candidate for West Yorkshire mayor

Alex Toal

The appearance of being ‘relatable’ has always been important in politics. The pub trip photo-op has become a staple of electoral campaigning, and candidates can be savaged for their apparent detachment from reality. Long after their disappearance from frontline politics, people still remember Ed Miliband as the sandwich-mangler, and Theresa May as the wheat-field sprinter. […]

Regional roundup: Friday 6 November

Alex Toal

Local leaders react to second lockdown On Thursday, the entirety of England entered national lockdown, with stay-at-home orders issued and non-essential businesses closed. As Yorkshire becomes the focal point of the second wave of Covid-19, hospitals have been struggling, with Doncaster public health director Dr Rupert Suckling announcing that the city had more hospitalised patients than […]

Regional round-up: Friday 23 October

Alex Toal

Tiers for fears This week was marked by an escalation in coronavirus measures as South Yorkshire was put into Tier 3, starting from Saturday. As cases rise across the region, York public health director Sharon Stolz had to deny that any move to Tier 3 was imminent in the city, and talks continue between West […]

Has the North finally found its voice?

Stephanie Riches

Over the last two weeks, we have seen nothing short of heroic efforts from northern metro mayors in the fight against an unfair deal for northern citizens as Tier 3 lockdown begins to be imposed across the North. The mayoral roles, which up until now have not provided any significant kick back to central government, […]

Regional round-up: Friday 16 October

Alex Toal

Here’s a roundup of some of the top stories from Yorkshire this week. Covid catch-up The news that dominated the region this week was, of course, the pandemic. Tier 2 restrictions were implemented in South and West Yorkshire from Wednesday, and extended to York from Saturday. The news was unsurprising to many, with significant outbreaks […]

Our future: transport

Hugh Goulbourne

Hugh Goulbourne is seeking nomination to be the Labour Party’s candidate for the West Yorkshire mayoral election. West Yorkshire cannot wait for Westminster any longer; our mayor must do things differently! As the government dithers and delays further on plans to extend HS2 to Leeds, it is critical that leaders in Yorkshire are not distracted […]

The scale of our national agony in 2020 needs a radical vision

John Harris

On 1 October, the UK2070 Commission published its latest report, ‘Go Big Go Local; a new deal for levelling up the UK’. We can compare the ambitions of this report with the speech of the prime minister at the virtual Conservative Party conference and whether the government shares to any extent at all the idea […]

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