Green Party representatives from the Yorkshire and Humber region will today be at the Yorkshire Day (August 1st) launch of One Yorkshire at Bishopthorpe Palace hosted by His Grace the Archbishop of York.
Former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, who lives in Sheffield, will be attending with local York Party representative Tom Franklin.
Bennett said: “Genuine devolution, of power and resources, lies at the heart of Green political philosophy. Power in the UK is highly concentrated in Westminster, with greatly damaging effects to our body politic.
“The desire expressed by many voters in the 2016 Brexit referendum to ‘take back control’ was understandable and right, but rather than the lack of control being a result of membership of the European Union, one of our chief problems lies in that lack of local power and autonomy, which Yorkshire devolution would address.
“The Green Party, however, differs from other members of the One Yorkshire coalition in supporting not one single individual as a focus of devolution, but rather a powerful regional assembly, on a model resembling that of the Welsh Assembly.
“The campaign group It’s Our City in Sheffield has rightly identified the ‘strong leader’ model – the basis of the single elected mayor – as being incompatible with the political culture of the city. That’s also true of Yorkshire more broadly. With its diverse political cultures and views, the people of Yorkshire would be far better represented by a range of parties and individuals than could ever be achieved by a single person. We’ve seen with the recent case study of London mayor Boris Johnson – with his infamous buses and garden bridge — how a focus on an individual can be damaging and undemocratic.”
Franklin added: “The event today will send a strong message to London: Yorkshire is a county with a strong identity. It has about the population of Scotland, it needs to have the opportunity to make cohesive, coordinated plans for public transport, education and other key areas. Its people need to have the structure to work together for the common good, making decisions locally on matters crucial to their lives.”