West Yorkshire Joint Authority – where is York’s money going?

The first meeting of the Joint Authorities investment committee takes place next week. Although an agenda has been published for the meeting which will take place in Leeds, we doubt if many York residents know of its existence.

We believe that the York Council should publicise details of this organisations meetings in the same way that it does its own

closed doorsThe committee will for example discuss a Strategic Economic Plan

Residents, looking for an assurance that the money being invested by York in the regional transport fund will bring early benefits to York, will be disappointed. A report makes little reference to York concentrating on West Yorkshire projects.

A further report on the introduction of superfast Broadband access to York says,

In York the situation is slightly different in that the current programme is being delivered by North Yorkshire County Council by its wholly owned company NYNET which has ownership of the delivery contract with BDUK. The NYNET contract together with BT’s own commercial investment is forecast to achieve 96% coverage in York by the end of 2014. However, as set out below, the proposal going forward is for York to be part of a joint new programme in collaboration with West Yorkshire”

The report is largely opaque failing to identify communities which do have superfast broadband access and the timetable for those that will be added over the coming months (and years).

With York lagging behind the rest of the Leeds City Region in gaining access to 4G mobile phone networks, there will be a fear that the City will not get value for money from its broadband budget.

All the members of this committee are Labour. York is represented by Cllr “Leftie” Levene, the well known Republican, who allegedly needs a Sat. Nav. to find the bathroom.

Meanwhile there has been some speculation in the media that York’s bid for the HS2 rail college could be  unsuccessful with others in the “Leeds City Region” touting for the project. The Joint Authority has not discussed the issue although its transport chair issued a media release in April