YORKSHIRE voters go to the polls this year to decide whether they want the county to have its own parliament.
And the news that the Yorkshire and the Humber area will hold a referendum on elected regional government has been welcomed by campaigners.
They expect the region to hold the referendum in October.
That means the first elected assembly could be running by 2006.
On behalf of the Campaign for Yorkshire, Jane Thomas said of the referendum: "It will allow people the opportunity to start thinking about the issues that matter - transport, housing, the environment - and how these can work better for them."
Organisers of the campaign said the poll would be a historic and important moment in the nation's political life.
"The regional divide is growing," added Ms Thomas. "You don't have to be a statistician to work out that the South-East is prospering while there are many parts of the North largely forgotten.
"You only have to look at the differentials in the property market, in the level of skills or the amount that the Government invests in research and development up here to see that we are getting a raw deal."
Supporters of the regional vote say a new elected assembly will help the region and country as a whole.