THE YORKSHIRE Party is criticising the proposed West Yorkshire Devolution Deal’s “undemocratic voting rules and woeful lack of funding”.

The party is calling for OneYorkshire devolution, and says if Mayoral elections go ahead it will campaign on a platform of fighting for ‘real devolution’.

Leader, Bob Buxton, said: “We’re disappointed that the people of Yorkshire have never been given the option of OneYorkshire devolution. Ninety per cent of councils in Yorkshire supported OneYorkshire devolution but their opinion has been ignored and public opinion has never been sought.”

Dr Buxton, who lives in Rawdon, added: “The West Yorkshire deal acknowledges that Yorkshire needs more powers over transport than are proposed, so why not deliver these powers? Instead, Westminster is giving us HS2 rather than Hull-Liverpool and sufficient local railways.”

The Yorkshire Party’s response to the consultation, which closes on July 19, criticises the level of funding.

“The Deal claims the West Yorkshire Investment Fund will ‘deliver a programme of transformational long-term investment’, however, Government will only provide £38 million per year for the Fund. That works out to about £16 per person,” it says.

The Mayor will have tax raising powers, which the party fears will lead to West Yorkshire residents paying higher taxes “to compensate for underfunding from central Government and decades of underinvestment”.

Dr Buxton said the proposed “over-complicated and inconsistent voting rules”, could lead to deadlock on the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. He said he Mayor would be chairman of the WYCA and would be responsible for proposing the Spatial Development Strategy - but this would require the unanimous support from the five council leaders.

Dr Buxton said: “A OneYorkshire Parliamentary model, with simple majority voting, would avoid these pitfalls. It would also give the people of Yorkshire the power to decide Yorkshire’s future.”