MPs to discuss giving Yorkshire more regional powers

Yorkshire's farming industry is worth £2.2bn
Yorkshire's farming industry is worth £2.2bn

Yorkshire could move a step closer to grabbing more regional powers as MPs prepare to discuss the issue this week.

Yorkshire could get a powerful elected mayor like London and Greater Manchester under plans for a regional devolution.

Efforts to previously achieve devolution for Yorkshire, which has an annual GDP of £110bn-a-year, have been stalled by political conflicts.

A cabinet made up of council leaders would oversee the region under the hypothetical split - with full control of an annual budget of £100m.

A debate will also be held in the House of Commons this week, which has been tabled by Labour MP John Grogan.

The Yorkshire economy is larger than eleven EU states: Hungary, Slovakia, tax haven Luxembourg, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Cyprus and Malta.

Sensitive areas

In terms of agriculture, the biggest contributors to the value of Yorkshire's £2.2bn farming output are pigs for meat (£257 million), wheat (£253 million), poultry (£227 million) and milk (£200 million), together account for 43% of the total output.

Predominant farm types in the Yorkshire and the Humber region in 2015 were cereals (33% of farmed area) and grazing livestock (30% of farmed area).

Yorkshire includes sensitive upland areas, most notably in the Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors - areas of national protections.

Indeed, the farming industry in the Dales has been described as a “critical industry” by local farm leaders.

Yorkshire will soon become one of the best places in Europe for pig research, thanks to significant investment from the University of Leeds and the government.