TWO Huddersfield councillors have called for an assembly for Yorkshire in a new book.
Clr Peter McBride and Angela Ellam have written A Councillor View about their time on Kirklees Council.
The book describes their experiences as Labour councillors for Dalton.
The pair also make a number or recommendations to improve local government – including setting up a Yorkshire assembly.
Clr McBride said: “If you’re going to address the north-south divide, you need a voice for the north.
“We believe in regional government for Yorkshire – it has a bigger population than Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.”
Ms Ellam added: “Scotland has people looking after the interests of the people of Scotland but that body doesn’t exist in England.”
Clr McBride has been a councillor for nearly 40 years, having served on Huddersfield Borough Council from 1972 to 1974 and West Yorkshire County Council from 1981 to 1986.
The 71-year-old from Fixby has been a Kirklees councillor for Dalton for 18 years.
Clr McBride said the book traced the decline of local government in the last three decades.
He said: “We feel strongly that local government has been undermined in the last 25 years. The legacy of local government was formidable – it’s an integral part of government which should be restored to its former glory.”
Ms Ellam, 46, of Kirkburton, served as Labour councillor for Dalton from 2004 to 2008.
In the book she explains the demands of being a councillor.
Ms Ellam, who is a management consultant, said: “I left politics because I work and I didn’t have the time to commit to being a councillor.
“If you do the role properly it’s a huge commitment which is extremely difficult for younger people to fit in with their family and work commitments.”
A Councillor View includes both authors’ accounts of their time on Kirklees together.
Ms Ellam said: “We developed a community planning approach which was unique to Kirklees.
“We split the ward into areas that people could relate to – such as Waterloo, Kirkheaton and Rawthorpe – rather than the council boundary.
“We tried to identify what each area had and what its issues were.”
Ms Ellam believes a wide range of people will enjoy the book.
She said: “People who work in local government, councillor, academics and anyone who’s interested in Huddersfield and West Yorkshire will find the book interesting.”
A Councillor View is published by Grosvenor House and is available for £9.99 from www.amazon.co.uk.