Cuts Watch #54: Yorkshire RDA faces 16% cut
Yorkshire Forward, the RDA for Yorkshire and the Humber region, is awaiting a decision on whether £44m will be cut from its budget. Leadership of the region’s carbon capture & storage project is at risk, and meanwhile, the Government has also put a hold on major transport schemes across the region.
Projects hit include improvements to, and openings of, railway stations in West Yorkshire, road improvements, Leeds Trolleybus and York’s park and ride scheme. The Government has also announced more than £50m of cuts from local authority budgets across the region.
The RDA has presented options to Government which reflect budget cuts of up to £44m, from a current budget of £277m. If the full 16% cut takes place, approximately 7,000 jobs which would have been created as a result of this funding, would then be at risk. The Department for Transport has accepted that the Leeds NGT (New Generation Transport) scheme alone would help to create 4,000 new jobs locally and generate a £160m a year boost for the City Region’s economy.
At risk is the RDA’s groundbreaking regional carbon capture and storage project, supported by business, local authorities and trade unions. At a speech on 28 May 2010, David Cameron commented, “Let’s make Humberside lead the world in carbon capture and storage.” This will be more difficult if the region loses its RDA. According to the Carbon Capture Journal, the Yorkshire Foward CCS project will tackle the 60 million tonnes of CO2 in the region from heavy emitters through CCS, which would turn the region from being one of the highest per capita emitters in the UK to one of the lowest. Hopefully, this will remain a priority for the RDA or any replacement body when BIS actually decides.