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Forum on the future governance of Yorkshire

July 31 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


The latest part of our Big Yorkshire Conversation project, in association with corporate members University of Hull, is an open forum on the options for the future governance of Yorkshire.

The perfect prelude to the Society’s official Yorkshire Day Civic Celebration being hosted by City of York Council on 1st August 2024, this important event is intended to influence and provide insight for all political parties and specially the new government following the coming General Election.

In April 2021, The Yorkshire Society launched its ‘Big Yorkshire Conversation’ in what we hoped would be the start of a wide-ranging discussion about the future of the region. Phase 1 featured a survey, the biggest of its kind, asked the people of Yorkshire to pause and think about Yorkshire’s image, identity and  sense of Yorkshireness. Carried out with the support of the University of Hull and reported widely on the BBC, the survey was a huge success with nearly 5000 respondents and some clear pointers as to how people think about Yorkshire’s brand, identity, place and future governance.

Request a free copy of the survey report.

Now, in the wake of the 50th anniversary of the 1974 Local Government Act, which had a huge impact on the governance of Yorkshire, The Big Yorkshire Conversation Phase 2 will build on the successful survey with a public forum and open discussion. Again in collaboration with University of Hull, and with a General Election looming, we want to give the Yorkshire public and opportunity to know what all the options are for the future success of the region so they can make informed decisions about them.

50 years after the abolition of the Ridings county councils, what does the future of Yorkshire look like now?

A panel of both cross-party and nonpolitical experts will each talk on how they see the future of governance of Yorkshire. The public audience will then have an opportunity to have their voices heard, ask questions and discuss all the options presented.

The Yorkshire Society hopes that by bringing all the options together for public scrutiny and debate, this could be a landmark event in the future governance of Yorkshire that allows a consensus to form which then influences political decisions.

“I congratulate you on your initiative which, instead of conceding to the conventions or to nostalgia, seeks candid self assessment and perceptions of the future. I hope that there will be much more of this in the English regions (and Wales and Scotland!) so that pride – which can be idle and introverted – gives way to potential…in any progress with meaningful devolution. By the way, I hope that you insist upon relevant and proportionate allocation of finance because otherwise the decentralization of power means obligations without effective authority to fulfill them. That weakens confidence in democracy rather than strengthening it, while “leveling up” is a costly and often wasteful political bidding game, not a strategy for advance on the scale or with the consistency that is now required in an over-centralized system”.
Kind regards
Neil Kinnock


Views from across the political spectrum will be heard, and a great many from the Yorkshire public too. Speakers confirmed so far are:

Cllr Stephen Houghton (Leader of the Council: Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council)

Lord Timothy Kirkhope (Joint Chair, One Yorkshire Committee)

Rachel Bice (CEO, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust)

Stewart Arnold (University of Hull)


Tempest Anderson Hall, York

Attached to the Yorkshire Museum, Tempest Anderson Hall, built in 1912, offers a 300 theatre style capacity auditorium making it an ideal venue for lectures, seminars, conferences, concerts, films and events. The Hall is fully equipped with AV equipment including a 3.5 x 7 metre projection screen.

If you have any questions or wish to reserve a seat, please write to contact@theyorkshiresociety.org



July 31
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


The Yorkshire Society


Tempest Anderson Hall
Museum Gardens
York, YO1 2FR
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