Hull and East Riding push on towards devolution
Hull City Council’s cabinet will be asked to endorse plans to formally pursue a devolution deal in tandem with the East Riding.
Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire Councils were named in the first wave of potential devolution deals when the Levelling Up White Paper was launched in February 2022.
The Minister for Levelling Up visited the region in March this year and has since written to the leaders of both councils with an invitation to enter negotiations for a devolution deal.
With York and North Yorkshire already heading down the road to devolution, this should be the last part of the region to tie up its deal.
Throughout the various changes in central government, the messaqe from Whitehall has remained consistent in that the mayoral model is looked on favourably.
The outcome of the deal would be a Combined Authority that acts as a strategic, standalone body, which would not replace either council.
Under the government’s devolution policy, there are three different levels that can be chosen.
- Level One: based on forming a joint committee and comes with very little in terms of powers and flexibilities.
- Level Two: a Combined Authority, including additional powers such as control over the adult education budget and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
- Level Three: an elected mayor is included, along with additional powers and funding, including an investment fund.
Hull City Council leader Cllr Mike Ross said: “It is widely accepted that there has been little, if any, progress in getting a devolution deal for the city which sets Hull back compared to many other cities of the same size across the country.
“The government is clear that to get the best possible deal on offer, the mayoral model is their preferred approach.
“While there is still a lot of work to do, agreeing to consider what Hull and the East Riding can get out of a mayoral deal does at least move the discussion on.
“Ultimately the best interests of the region will be a paramount in the consideration of any deal.”
The cabinet meeting will also be asked to approve a shared strategic skills hub for Hull and the East Riding, as the councils look to provide services beyond the ending of Local Enterprise Partnership funding next year.