Bid to revive forum to amplify Yorkshire’s voice in Parliament

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The Yorkshire Society and the One Yorkshire Committee are to propose reviving the Yorkshire and Humber Grand Committee in the House of Commons on 1 August – Yorkshire Day.

Grand committees are a parliamentary forum for all the MPs who represent a particular nation or region within the UK to meet and consider matters that relate to that nation or region.

Their meetings can involve debates on topics of interest or bills, questions to ministers, ministerial statements, and half-hour adjournment debates.

Regional Grand Committees for England were established for the first time under Gordon Brown’s premiership in November 2008.

The Yorkshire and Humber Grand Committee met once in October 2009 in Barnsley Town Hall.

But the standing orders in the House of Commons that set up these committees expired in April 2010 and the Coalition Government did not seek to re-establish them.

John Grogan, who is vice president of The Yorkshire Society and co-chair of the One Yorkshire Committee said: “What is missing now within our Parliament is a forum for Yorkshire’s MPs to specifically highlight opportunities and challenges facing the whole of God’s Own County regardless of party.”

Lord Kirkhope, co-chair of the One Yorkshire Committee and Conservative Peer, said: “Yorkshire’s population is very similar to that of Scotland and the revival of the Grand Committee for Yorkshire and the Humber would concentrate the minds of Ministers on the need to deliver on the promise of levelling up in England’s largest county.”

Philip Bell, CEO of The Yorkshire Society, said: “I would hope that the Yorkshire and Humber Grand Committee would meet in the region alternating between some of our finest city and town halls.

“Their debates would help better inform our population of five million people about current issues facing the county.”

Halifax MP Holly Lynch added: “Yorkshire and the Humber MPs are always keen to find ways of coming together to promote our region and shout about what we do so well, whilst finding ways to fight for what we need.

“I’d be keen to see the return of a Yorkshire and Humber Grand Committee to ensure we continue to amplify our voices in Parliament.”

The Yorkshire Society says it will now be writing to all the 54 MPs in the region, asking them to support the revival of the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Grand Committee.