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Business leaders call for Leeds City Region considerations in 2016 budget

Credit: Press Association

Business and education leaders in West Yorkshire have called on Chancellor George Osborne to push for a devolution deal for the Leeds City Region in his budget.

Representatives of more than 60 businesses signed an open letter to Mr Osborne saying such a deal was the "missing piece in its Northern Powerhouse project".

As the UK's largest functional economic area outside London and the South East, the Leeds City Region is clearly central to your vision of an economically successful and globally competitive Northern Powerhouse being fulfilled.

As northern business and education leaders, we have major concerns about the continued absence of a meaningful devolution deal for such a significant economic area with a core city at its heart.

We believe that further delays in securing such a deal would be to the detriment of jobs, growth and business investment, not just in our region but across the north and beyond.

– Letter to George Osborne

The Leeds City Region move comes as Sheffield prepares to sign off its devolution deal for the Sheffield City Region later this week.

Devolution proposals for Yorkshire more generally have been plagued by a plethora of competing proposals.

Last year, Prime Minister David Cameron was overheard joking that Yorkshire folk hate each other after six different bids for devolution were submitted from councils across the county, some overlapping.

The letter to the Chancellor from those backing the Leeds City Region has been signed by representatives of Asda and the Yorkshire Building Society as well as the presidents of Leeds, Bradford and Mid Yorkshire Chambers of Commerce.

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