One of the enduring questions in English cities policy these days is: what’s gone wrong in Yorkshire?
Earlier this year, after all, a number of metropolitan regions – those around Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool among them – all elected their first metro mayors. Yet neither of the conurbations in what was once the West Riding of Yorkshire – one centred on Leeds, the other centred on Sheffield – did the same. This is particularly surprising, since the Sheffield City Region deal was supposed to have been agreed ages ago.
So: what went wrong – and is it likely to go right any time soon? To discuss this, I’m joined by a man who knows more about devolution policy in god’s own country than anyone else on the planet, James Reed, the political editor of the Yorkshire Post. He tells a tale of power struggles, factionalism, back-stabbing and betrayal. It’s like Game of Thrones, only with more transport funding.