The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu today celebrated Yorkshire Day by hosting an event to mark the launch of One Yorkshire, a not for profit organisation.
The Afternoon Tea event, organised by Robert Goodwill MP and John Grogan MP brought together councillors, MPs, peers, civic leaders, business people and supporters from across Yorkshire.
The Archbishop formally welcomed attendees saying: “This talk of One Yorkshire is a conversation that needs to happen – for the benefit of all the people of God’s own county!
“Think Yorkshire – a new thinktank dedicated to Yorkshire was launched by me on Friday 13 July. A board was selected and will meet in September for the first time. Those elected to the Board were:
Natalie Sykes – Regional Director, Institute of Directors
Nick Quinn – Public Affairs Manager, Yorkshire Building Society
Professor Glenn Burgess – Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Hull
Allison Page – Office Managing Partner (Leeds), DLA Piper
Andy Clarke – Public Affairs Adviser, ASDA
Phil Forster - Aviation Development & Corporate Affairs Manager, Leeds Bradford Airport
Matthew Howarth – Partner, Shoosmiths LLP
“In an age of populism and identity politics – here is a better way of bringing people together for the Common Good. Today we come together from different parts of Yorkshire, from different political parties, different ethnicities, different religious traditions – and we are all looking for the best for the whole community of Yorkshire.
“By getting together this way we can work towards a strong, prosperous, diverse and creative and open Yorkshire. A place of shared opportunity.
“The reality is that many decisions are best made locally. Devolving power means people are better served by faster, more contextually relevant decisions, with real local accountability.
“We had a supper here to discuss this with some Yorkshire leaders from politics, industry and other businesses a few months ago. There have been issues to work through and there still are. For instance, the two deals – the South Yorkshire one and the all Yorkshire one have seemed to be in competition. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In this railway county they could be two trains departing from the same station heading for the same destination – one the fast train, the other the slow train, but they both get there in the end. South Yorkshire may have started but a bigger train is coming.
“As Archbishop in all this I simply want to act as convenor, to make sure the necessary dialogue happens, for the sake of the common good. Let us listen, and let us speak. As my mother used to say – God has given you two ears, two eyes and one mouth – to be used in direct proportion.”
Representatives of a wide cross section of people and businesses from across the Yorkshire region attended the event at Bishopthorpe Palace today. One Yorkshire’s aim is to bring to fruition the plan backed by 18 Yorkshire Councils for One Yorkshire Devolution with an elected Mayor.
One Yorkshire’s priorities will be to:
1) Work closely with the Yorkshire Local Councils on the details and implementation of One Yorkshire Devolution
2) Organise events in Yorkshire and in Parliament to promote the case for Devolution
3) Establish a website, a social media presence and a Press strategy to promote ‘One Yorkshire’
4) Engage with all political parties, business, trade unions, the voluntary sector, faith groups, academia, youth and pensioner groups and civic society.