Council leaders discuss devolution at Bishop Burton College.

Students quiz leaders about devolution as consultation enters final week

With only one week to go in the Hull and East Yorkshire devolution consultation, council leaders have been talking to young people at Bishop Burton College about what devolution could mean for their future.

Students were invited to meet Councillor Anne Handley, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Councillor Mike Ross, leader of Hull City Council, and East Riding devolution manager Robert Sager yesterday, at one of the final devolution engagement events.

Thousands of people have had their say on the devolution proposal and there is still time to take part in the public consultation before it closes on Tuesday 27 February.

Dozens of 16+ and degree-level students came along to the Bishop’s Table café to sit and chat about the Hull and East Yorkshire devolution proposal, including what it could do for education and skills provision in the region, among many other potential benefits.

Bill Meredith, chief executive and principal of Bishop Burton College, said devolution of the adult education budget was one of the key benefits of the devolution deal, meaning a devolved authority would be much better able to target the region’s skills gaps.

He said: “One of the things provided under this new legislation would be control of the adult education budget, which would mean we could spend it exactly where it’s needed, on the skills gaps and skill shortages in this area.”

Cllr Ross said one of the main subjects that came up when talking to students was transport in the region and what a devolved authority could do to improve it.

He said: “It was really noticeable how many of them raised the poor transport links in the area and that is one of the things that’s very much at the forefront of what this devolution deal could offer the region: potential improvements to transport, connections moving in and moving out of this region.

Cllr Handley said she hoped one of the benefits of devolution would be that more young people would remain in the region to live and work instead of moving elsewhere.

“We’ve got fantastic educational facilities in the East Riding and we have some wonderful achievements,” she said. “However, many young people go off and find jobs elsewhere. I don’t want to stop anybody from going anywhere, but I’d like to keep them here with us.”

The students were all given information to take away and encouraged to have their say before the consultation closes on Tuesday 27 February.

IMAGE: Bill Meredith, chief executive and principal of Bishop Burton College.

Mr Meredith said it was important for students to get involved with political decision-making. “At the end of the day, it’s all about their future,” he said.

Both leaders said they were pleased with the way the people of Hull and East Yorkshire had engaged during the eight-week consultation.

Cllr Ross said: “There are now just a few days to get your responses in and I’d encourage people to go to, fill in the survey, give us your views, because we want to hear from you.”

Cllr Handley added: “If anyone still doesn’t know, if anyone has missed out, please have a look at our website and please, please have your say.”

To see the list of remaining engagement events, find out more about devolution and complete the consultation survey, visit or the links below:

Cllr Mark Ieronimo meets bus passengers
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