Liberal Democrats debate Devolution for Yorkshire

A motion at the Liberal Democrat’s spring conference proposes a radical devolution of power away from Westminster. Under the plans English regions would get similar powers to those of the Scottish and Welsh assemblies, including powers over Education, Health and Agriculture.

Yorkshire, which has roughly the same population as Scotland, would be offered the chance to take control of such powers instead of having them controlled from London. The proposal will be debated at the Liberal Democrat spring conference, which will take place in York on the 7th-9th of March.

LibDem PPC for Calder Valley, Alisdair Calder McGregor said “These proposals offer English regions real power to shape their own destiny without Westminster interference. This is good for the regions, as people will have more direct say in how their local area is run, and good for the UK as a whole, as it means Westminster can concentrate on national issues like Defence and Foreign Affairs”.

As well as increased autonomy for regions like Yorkshire, the Liberal Democrats are proposing powers being handed back to local authorities, including financial freedom, removal of the powers of central government ministers to overrule, and powers over council tax and business rates.

The Liberal Democrat proposals also include the abolition of the House of Lords, a move to fairer “STV” voting for local authorities (the system currently used in Scotland), and changes to the way European elections are run so that people vote for candidates rather than political parties.