A message from Councillor Judith Blake CBE, Leader of Leeds City Council and Tom Riordan CBE, Chief Executive, Leeds City Council

We hope you and your families are keeping well. It continues to be a challenging time for everyone, but the way the city has responded over recent months has been astonishing. We talk regularly about wanting Leeds to be a compassionate city, and we have certainly seen that in action. Thank you for everything you’re continuing to do.

While so much focus has shifted to Covid-19 related activity, in the background progress towards implementing the West Yorkshire devolution deal agreed in March has continued at pace. The deal, worth more than £1.8 billion, will see more decisions about the region taken here instead of London and more investment for the things that matter to local people.

In key areas for our future like transport, skills, the economy and climate change, responsibility will be transferred to people who know and understand our region, enabling us to move away from one-size-fits-all national approaches to deliver locally-focused decisions which will bring greater benefits for our communities and improve people’s quality of life.

In the current context, the deal will also provide more essential funding and powers to help our region recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is one of the primary reasons why progress continues to be made quickly to ensure we are ready for a mayoral election in May 2021 to unlock the full potential of the deal.

public consultation has now launched and will run until 19 July on the deal and proposals for a directly elected mayor. Please do take part and share your views as part of this. We would also appreciate you sharing this with your networks so we can get the broadest possible engagement from Leeds.

There are a number of ways to engage:

We would like to once again thank the many people who have been so supportive of our efforts to secure a devolution deal for Leeds and the region. We firmly believe the agreement in front of us will help to unlock the true potential of our city and region in the future.