Election for Mayor of ‘Tees Valley’

South Yorkshire elected a Mayor in 2018 and the inaugural election for a Mayor of West Yorkshire is scheduled to take place in a couple of months’ time. But these are not the only parts of Yorkshire set to elect a Mayor on the 6th of May. Parts of Yorkshire such as Redcar, Saltburn, Middlesbrough, Thornaby, Ingleby Barwick and Yarm will all be electing a Mayor of ‘Tees Valley’ to manage powers delegated from Whitehall. Of course, not all of ‘Tees Valley’ is in Yorkshire, some parts are in County Durham, but all those parts situated south of the River Tees are very much in the county of the White Rose!

Having a legitimate interest in this election, then, we shall be writing to each candidate to ask specific questions on how their policies relate to the goals of YDM and to matters important to our Members, supporters and followers. We have today, written to the two candidates who have already been declared and shall write to any others as they are declared before the official candidate list is issued on the 8th of April.

All responses will be published as received along with a report on which candidates have not yet responded. The aim of this is to assist readers from the Yorkshire side of ‘Tees Valley’, Yorkshire folk living on the County Durham side and anyone else who may be interested in deciding who to vote for in the election and to apprise readers generally of how the eventual winner may influence devolution and environmental & economic development in Yorkshire during their term of office.

The specific questions asked are:

  1. What are your policies on transport infrastructure, particularly in respect of HS2, Beeching reversals and improved links across and within the North?
    • Where do you place these in order of importance to ‘levelling up the country’?
  1. What policies, other than the above, do you have to ‘level up the country’?
  1. Now that we have left the EU, do you believe the EU Regions the Government imposed on England, such as ‘North East’ and ‘Yorkshire and The Humber’, with which very few people identify, should be scrapped in favour of Traditional Counties, such as Yorkshire and County Durham (or clusters of Traditional Counties together)?
    • If not, why?
    • If so, what will you do toward achieving that?
  1. With a ‘North of Tyne’ Mayor representing the traditional county of Northumberland and a ‘South Yorkshire’ Mayor already existing with a West Yorkshire Mayor on the way, do you believe the River Tees should be the boundary between a united devolved Yorkshire and a united devolved County Durham?
    • If not, why?
    • If so:
      • What will you do toward achieving that?
      • With Yorkshire having a population and economy more like Scotland than like Manchester, should the powers and model of devolution for an All-Yorkshire government be more like Scotland’s (Parliament) than like Manchester’s (Mayor)?
      • And what powers and model of devolution should County Durham have?
  1. What are your policies on electoral reform and constitutional change?
  1. What are your policies in respect of energy, environment and planning?

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