England

Leeds City Region signs for more power

Eleven Yorkshire councils have signed plans for the Leeds City Region to be handed more powers from Whitehall over decision-making and spending.

The signing took take place in London and finalised the City Deal announced in July.

It aims to make 25,000 new jobs in the "medium term" and 15,000 apprenticeship places in the next four years.

The region could now control its "destiny" said Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council.

Councillor Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council and chairman of the Leeds City Region, said: "The best way for regions to develop and grow is to give local people in these areas more control and the decision-making ability to make a real difference."

The deal will help six main areas - skills, transport, investment, trade, planning and low-carbon, according to the city region.

Access to training

It said the deal would try to ensure there would be no young people not in education, employment or training in the city region.

An apprenticeship academy for 14 to 24 year olds would be created in Leeds and young people and employers across the city region would get access to training.

The city region would establish a £1bn transport fund to invest in public transport and the highways network and an investment fund of £400m to be created by pooling local and government resources.

The Leeds City Region Partnership brings together the 11 local authorities of Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield, York, and North Yorkshire County Council.

The region covers three million people with a workforce of 1.5 million, 106,000 businesses and an economy worth £53bn per year, according to the partnership.

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