The Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake has called on local residents and businesses in the city to give their views on the devolution debate.
Together with other local authorities in the region, Leeds is currently in talks with the government over a deal which would see resources and decision-making powers move away from Whitehall to more local control.
The areas being discussed include transport, housing and planning, regeneration, employment and skills, business growth and investment and public service reform. The full list of 27 ‘asks’ which the local authorities have put forward can be seen at http://www.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/News/Articles/Devo-Asks/
In return for granting devolution over such areas, the government has indicated it would like the new powers to be overseen by a directly-elected mayor.
Along with 10 other major English cities, Leeds carried out a referendum on introducing a directly-elected city mayor in 2012, with the result seeing the proposal rejected by 63.3 per cent of participating voters. This new model, however, would see the introduction of a ‘metro’ mayor responsible for a wider region than just Leeds covering several local authority areas, or alternatively covering all of Yorkshire.
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said:
“We are keen to hear from as many people as possible what they think about this debate. There is a clear potential to make a major difference to people’s lives by taking more direct control of decisions and resources, but the debate and negotiations are ongoing so it would be very useful to hear views on what we are asking for at this stage.”
Devolution for Leeds is being led by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which brings together the councils of Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Wakefield and York working with business through the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Views on devolution and the elected mayor debate can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
For media enquiries please contact:
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel: 0113 395 0244