From Yorkshire Post, 18th July 2017
Written by James Reed, Political Editor
ILKLEY'S MP John Grogan has stepped in to a row over redundancy pay at an Ilkley care home.Mr Grogan visited Hollycroft Care Home in Hebers Ghyll Drive after its closure was announced in June. During that visit Mr Grogan said AN MP has called for a “deep breath” to be taken over the issue of Yorkshire devolution after a minister suggested the south of the region should be grateful for the powers and money it has been promised. Keighley MP John Grogan urged council leaders, MPs and ministers to return to the issue with “open minds” after the summer and held out hope that a single deal to given Yorkshire more control over its own affairs could yet be struck.
He was speaking after Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry told MPs it was time for people in South Yorkshire to “learn to take yes for an answer” and press ahead with their existing devolution deal.
The Government has expressed frustration at the failure to implement the Sheffield City Region deal first agreed in 2015 which included £30m a year in extra funding and the creation of an elected mayor for the area.
Chesterfield and Bassetlaw have withdrawn and any move to press ahead with a revised deal covering just the four South Yorkshire councils was put on hold at a meeting on Monday.
Doncaster and Barnsley are keen to explore alternative options including striking a deal for the whole of Yorkshire.
Mr Berry has rejected that idea and insisted the current deal must go ahead and other parts of Yorkshire put forward separate proposals.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Berry said: “As a proud Lancastrian, it is not for me, nor is it for Government, to tell Yorkshire what devolution deal it should have.
“However, I gently point out that in 2015, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield asked for powers from the Government and we gave them to them; they asked for new money from the Government and we gave it to them and they asked to have an election next May and we gave it to them.
“When will the people of South Yorkshire learn to take yes for an answer?”
Mr Berry was responding to Mr Grogan’s suggestion that the minister had been “not entirely wise” to reject the case for a Yorkshire-wide devolution deal during a visit to Leeds last week.
Mr Grogan, who was previously the MP for Selby and was re-elected to the Commons in June, told The Yorkshire Post: “Clearly South Yorkshire devolution is not going to proceed as planned.
“I think over the summer holidays everybody needs to take a deep breath and come back with an open mind.
“From my few weeks back in Westminster it is already clear to me that Yorkshire is in danger of missing out big time to those areas which already have a devolution deal.
“ I am an eternal optimist and I think it is still possible to get cross party agreement to proceed on a county-wide basis.”
Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, Merseyside and Tees Valley are among the areas which elected mayors in May as part of devolution deals giving them more money and decision-making powers in areas such as business support, skills and transport.