Letter: Devolution - Let’s not be hasty on joining Leeds

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Coun Mackenzie is absolutely right we should not rush into a deal with Leeds and the West Yorkshire Leeds City region. Harrogate has more in common with North and East Yorkshire (YNYER) and should wait their devolution proposals which are due shortly.

Being a small fish in a big pond (LCR £60bn) may raise more finance but what influence would we have on where and what it is spent on. Being more influential in YNYER (£20bn) we would better serve our local needs and those of the county.

A large socialist West Yorkshire (LCR) is more likely to loose control of grandiose projects remote to Harrogate than a more conservative North and East Yorkshire.

Harrogate would have to contribute to the consequential debts and overspend arising from such failure and loss of control.

Some months ago Richard Cooper promised public consultation when the various devolution options were available. I am not aware of any recent consultation.

Let’s not be hasty. There is a trade of between maximising finance and retaining local control and influence.

Paul and Pauline Ashfield

Harrogate