I am a member of the Yorkshire Party. The Yorkshire Party was created prior to the EU elections in 2014 and is a party striving for real devolution for Yorkshire. Yorkshire has a population greater than Scotland, an economy twice the size of Wales, an area greater than London but has the powers of none of these devolved regions.
It is a party that is neither left nor right and is purely interested in making the great county of Yorkshire the best it can possibly be for ALL the people who live in Yorkshire. We do NOT want independence but we do want a fair deal for the people of Yorkshire. We are pragmatic on Brexit – not taking a view one way or the other as a party, but as members we have our own views. As a party we seek powers to develop the economy and prosperity of Yorkshire within the UK whether it stays within or outside the EU.
The UK is one of the most centralised democratic countries in the World. Important decisions about Yorkshire are not made in Yorkshire but in Westminster and Whitehall. If we want to build a relief road to divert traffic from an area of housing, we have to go, cap in hand, to Whitehall to ask for money to build it. Surely decisions like this ought to be made closer to where the effects are being felt? To demonstrate how uneven the infrastructure playing field is, for every £1 spent in Yorkshire, £9 gets spent in London. No wonder their public transport system is streets ahead of ours.
Education is another area where local decision and regional fairness are important. Currently some of the lowest funded authorities in England are in Yorkshire. In some authorities per pupil funding is around £4200 per year. In London it is well in excess of £6000 per pupil. Even considering the cost of living effects in the capital, how can it be justified that a child in London is worth almost £2000 per year more than a child in Yorkshire? We need fairer funding and a school improvement programme designed by and tailored for Yorkshire.
All of this and much more can be achieved with real devolution. We live in a top down country when we need bottom up solutions.
If you are interested in reading more about the Yorkshire Party please look at our main website www.yorkshireparty.org.uk