Time for flexibility on One Yorkshire
Isn’t it about time the government showed a little bit more flexibility when it comes to talking about the proposed One Yorkshire devolution deal?
As this newspaper has reported over the summer, the government is insisting that the previously agreed (and more limited) Sheffield City Region deal is fully implemented before they will entertain talks over a wider Yorkshire plan. This is despite 18 of the region’s 20 council leaders signing the One Yorkshire proposal.
The IoD has thrown its weight behind One Yorkshire as we believe we cannot continue as a divided region. We must collaborate. One Yorkshire is the best way to unlock much needed investment in connectivity and skills that will help regional businesses to create jobs and prosperity.
I asked Sue Harris, Director of Walker Morris LLP and IoD Ambassador, for her views. She said the business community is generally supportive of devolution because it allows Yorkshire to shape and manage its own future and to ensure that the businesses and professions in the region are not disadvantaged.
It is frustrating that key government ministers have been unprepared to meet our regional leaders to discuss One Yorkshire. After all, this is a clear step forward to the creation of a Northern Powerhouse that lives up to its name.
But knowing the key players behind One Yorkshire as I do, they are not going to stop banging the drum. I have a feeling this will be a long game. The distraction of Brexit doesn’t help, of course, but once the Sheffield deal is fully implemented, we need to once again turn up the volume.
This month, the IoD has also been continuing its long-running campaign to champion the mental health in the workplace. Thankfully, this is a conversation that proving more fruitful.
Prince William has launched a new initiative alongside charities Mind and Heads Together targeted specifically at the workplace. The IoD is one of 11 official partners of the campaign.
A survey of 44,000 people carried out by Mind, published this month, found that poor mental health affects half of all employees.
The 'Mental Health at Work' scheme aims to provide a gateway to mental health resources for employers, to enable them to provide support when problems occur. Many employers view mental health as a priority, but often don't know where to start.
This is often the case with SMEs, which can lack the resources of larger corporate organisations to address this critical issue.
Here in Yorkshire, we are hosting a Masterclass from the brilliant Zainah Khan of Chakra Corporate Mental Strength on 10 October as part of our IoD Open House – an afternoon of top speakers and networking to be held at our Cloth Hall Court headquarters in Leeds.
Zainah will explore the ‘inner critic’ who damages our sense of self-worth and productivity. Listening to this voice can erode our self-esteem and leave us feeling helpless and low in positive energy.
We have a complimentary place available for one Yorkshire Post reader. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest.
The IoD’s mental health campaign is called ‘a little more conversation’. So let’s keep talking!
Natalie Sykes, Regional Director, Institute of Directors