We could ‘reconsider’ stance on One Yorkshire devolution deal

Doncaster Chamber chief Dan Fell
Doncaster Chamber chief Dan Fell
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The chief executive of Doncaster Chamber has said he would reconsider his support for a One Yorkshire devolution deal if nothing had changed in a year’s time.

Dan Fell said he believed a Yorkshire-wide arrangement was still the best option and government could still be persuaded to drop its opposition to the deal.

But pragmatism might eventually make him reconsider his stance.

He said: “Doncaster Chamber, along with a number of other leading business organisations, local authorities, MPs and notable stakeholders such as the Yorkshire Post believes that a One Yorkshire devolution deal is the best option for the region and a prize worth fighting for.

“The government has a record of flip-flopping and there is no reason why it can’t be persuaded to change its stance on this issue if key partners keep the pressure on and demonstrate why a truly regional deal works best for business.

“In the hypothetical scenario that things have not moved on in a year’s time, pragmatism might force a reconsideration of this stance. However, in that eventuality government would need to explain why it has been so dismissive of the self-same bottom up approach it has been advocating in relation to devolution and industrial strategy and ignored the wishes of so many in the region.”

His comments came after Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry this week again said government would not allow any South Yorkshire council to join a county-wide deal.

The Sheffield City Region deal had been legislated for after being ratified three times by all four South Yorkshire councils.

Barnsley and Doncaster subsequently backed out to join a One Yorkshire group of 17 councils.

Nine Conservative leaders are now believed to be wavering and could instead support a ‘rest of Yorkshire’ deal.