Businesses pledge support for Leeds City Region devolution deal

Businesses pledge support for Leeds City Region devolution deal

Over 60 business leaders have signed an open letter to George Osborne calling for a devolution deal for the Leeds City Region.

The signatories include the Presidents of Leeds, Bradford and Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, the EEF, ASDA and Yorkshire Building Society.

A devolution deal will ensure that decisions on the issues that matter locally are made by people in the City Region who best understand them.

The letter says: “As northern business and education leaders, we have major concerns about the continued absence of a meaningful devolution deal for such a significant economic area with a core city at its heart.

“We believe that further delays in securing such a deal would be to the detriment of jobs, growth and business investment, not just in our region but across the North and beyond.”

It ends by confirming “the only pragmatic solution that could be implemented within a reasonable timescale is, in our view, a deal for the Leeds City Region, followed by others as soon as practicably possible.

“If more can be achieved, so much the better – but it does not make sense to delay progress in such a large part of the region.”

LEP chair, Roger Marsh OBE added: “If our region wants to see progress soon, the only immediate option is a Leeds City Region deal.

“The other proposed solutions are not workable, certainly not within the 2017 timescale that Manchester, Sheffield and others are working towards.

“We are supportive of other deals following as quickly as possible, with the appropriate collaborative links on issues such as culture, sport and tourism.

“However, if a City Region deal isn’t agreed swiftly, not only will the whole of Yorkshire continue to miss out, but also the North and the nation.

“Our message to the chancellor is simple - give us the tools and we can continue to deliver.”

The full letter to the chancellor with all business and education leaders’ signatories can be found on the LEP website.