From The Independent, 11th October 2017
Written by Lucy Pasha-Robinson
An MP pushing for Yorkshire to become a "country within a country" has appealed to the Archbishop of York to help end a stalemate plaguing the devolution process. John Grogan told a parliamentary debate he had written to John Sentamu and asked him to intervene and assist the 17 Yorkshire councils who are calling for the region to receive devolved powers.
The "One Yorkshire" deal would see the region come together under one mayor, with control over transport, education, and business rates.
Mr Grogan, the MP for Keighley, said the plan would create the second most powerful mayor in the UK after London's Sadiq Khan and put Yorkshire on the Northern Powerhouse map.
"Here in Yorkshire we feel we've got a population of five million, about as big as Scotland, a £100bn economy, a big strong identity," he said. "But we're losing out on investment and so on because we haven't got devolution."
But his plans were left dead in the water when Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry said it was "absolutely clear" there was no collective agreement on the proposal.
Mr Berry said the Government would not consider a Yorkshire-wide devolution deal, adding that the Conservative Party was in the process of selecting a candidate for the Sheffield City mayoral election in May.
In response, Mr Grogan said he had written to the Archbishop of York "asking him to consider calling a meeting of all those involved in the devolution process to try and make some progress, which the people of Yorkshire sorely need."
Five devolution bids from across Yorkshire have been submitted to the Government for consideration since September 2015.
The One Yorkshire deal - the sixth proposal to be presented - was put forward in August 2017.
Just one of the deals has been approved by the Government - the Sheffield City Region deal - but it collapsed in September when Barnsley and Doncaster council leaders voted against the plan in favour of the "One Yorkshire" deal.