If Yorkshire Post readers want their MPs to represent their local and regional interests in London, they shouldn’t complain about the cost of regular train journeys between their constituencies and Parliament (The Yorkshire Post, February 8).
I am not claiming expenses for the cost of my weekly trip which must be well over £2000 a year.
But I enjoy the conversations I have in and around Bradford, which offer a different perspective to those of my colleagues who live in and around London, and I consider that to be an important part of my role as representing Yorkshire’s interests – as do my fellow Lords from the Conservative and Labor parties, with whom I work on regional issues.
The English government is absurdly too centralized. The detailed decisions that were made by local authorities half a century ago, or by the West Riding County Council, are now made by
Ministers in London – often with little or no knowledge of Yorkshire. The ministerial announcement a few weeks ago that the integrated railway strategy would now “electrify the railway line of
Leeds to Bradford’ was a classic London mistake; I informed a surprised Lords Minister that there were in fact two lines between Leeds and Bradford, and one had been electrified for decades.
The damp squib of the Leveling Up white paper, with no new money set aside to reduce England’s gaping regional inequalities, shows how important it is to have strong, well-informed voices in Westminster for Yorkshire. We need our MPs walking around the county every weekend, so they can tell our very southern-oriented government that our voices matter too.