Liberal Democrat concerns about lack of democracy in Yorkshire Devolution plans


Local Liberal Democrats are expressing serious concerns about the plans for devolution in Yorkshire and the way that decisions are being taken about them.

Cllr James Baker (Liberal Democrat, Warley), a member of the Combined Authority’s Scrutiny Committee, is worried by the lack of openness in concluding the shape for the future arrangements for the Region.

“Yorkshire’s economy is about the same size as Scotland’s” he says. “So, as Liberal Democrats, we want to see Yorkshire get the same level of devolved powers as Scotland, and the establishment of our own Regional Parliament, made up of representatives from across Yorkshire elected in a fair and proportional manner.

“Although there have been discussions and proposals around for some months now, the final shape of the arrangements for regional government in Yorkshire seem to have been pulled together to satisfy the Chancellor of Exchequer’s demand for an elected Mayor. The real danger is that this will be a Labour Mayor of Leeds able to dictate what happens across large parts of Yorkshire, including Calderdale. This simply won’t be right for us here and we believe that local people have more right to shape their own future” said Cllr Baker.

Calderdale Lib Dems call for a Yorkshire Parliament



Calderdale Liberal Democrats are proposing that a Yorkshire Parliament be established to replace Police & Crime Commissioners and regional quangos such as the City Regions and Combined Authorities.

They argue that the current structures of regional government being established such as the Leeds City Region, the Sheffield City Region and West Yorkshire Combined Authority are undemocratic quangos. The complaint is that the politicians who sit on these bodies are appointed there by other politicians rather than being directly elected by the people they are meant to represent.

Liberal Democrat Councillor James Baker said “John Locke, one of the fathers of classical liberalism, famously said civil government requires the consent of those which are governed to govern. At no point in time did we consent to be governed by regional quangos full of well-paid bureaucrats, and politicians who were appointed there by other politicians. As a democrat I believe all levels of government must be held directly accountable to the people they represent.”

In comparison to the new City Regions and Combined Authorities Yorkshire forms a single recognisable region, with a common culture, dialect, and identity which is one of the strongest in the UK with the population and GDP being roughly equivalent to that of Scotland.

Calderdale Liberal Democrats are taking their proposal to the Liberal Democrats regional Yorkshire & Humber conference taking place on 1st November. If the motion is passed and accepted it will become the policy of regional party to support this move.

Alisdair Calder McGregor the Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Calder Valley said:

“A Parliament for Yorkshire is a no-brainer. Yorkshire has a proud identity, its own dialect, and as many people and as strong an economy as Scotland.

The Tories’ idea of English Votes for English Laws isn’t good enough, because it leaves those votes still taking place in Westminster, and Labour’s idea that they can ignore this entire issue is utterly misguided.

The Scottish referendum has finally exposed that Yorkshire gets a raw deal because of being run from London. It’s time for Yorkshire to run its own affairs. I am proud to champion the long-standing Liberal Policy of local rule.

Let’s cut the shadowy bureaucracies and remote Westminster parliament down to size, and have Yorkshire run for Yorkshire, by Yorkshire and from Yorkshire!”

Calderdale Liberal Democrats motion to Yorkshire conference