We want to hear the opinions of the Yorkshire people on a variety of different regional, national and continent-wide decisions that affect each and every one of us in our day-to-day lives. This can range across any subject, such as business, politics, sports and more. With this in mind. we have set up this section to hold regular polls on a variety of topics, ranging from business, politics, the economy and more. So keep checking back and stay up-to-date on Twitter, where we will be posting regular updates on how each vote is progressing.
If you would like more information on our results for research purposes, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Yorkshire Day 2017, seventeen councils in Yorkshire said they want to unite behind a devolution deal for the first time and a “coalition of the willing” is being called for by several council leaders.
However, despite a range of proposals, councils have so far failed to agree on a united Yorkshire-wide deal.
Sheffield City Council, as well as other councils in South Yorkshire, have been working towards a separate government deal for the Sheffield City Region, but Doncaster and Barnsley councils recently stated that they were also looking at a complete Yorkshire devolution proposal instead.
What are your views on Yorkshire Devolution? Vote in our YEN research poll and share your opinions in the comment box below the poll.
For more information on Devolution, watch the Q&A session video from a recent YEN networking event, chaired by John Grogan (Keighley MP) and Gerry Sutcliffe (Former Bradford South MP)
Should Yorkshire Strive For Devolution?
Yes - One Yorkshire with the power to bring more benefits to the region (81%)
Yes - But we should have separate deals for the Leeds, Sheffield and Hull City Regions (11%)
No - Yorkshire wouldn't benefit from any sort of Devolution deal (7%)
After the snap election was called by Theresa May last month, the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, along with smaller parties such as the Greens, UKIP, and the Yorkshire Party will try to win seats across the Yorkshire region on June 8th.
Many questions have been asked as different parties rush forward with promises and pledges in their election manifesto, but which do you feel hold the interest of Yorkshire SMEs?
Which Party Do You Feel Holds The Interests Of SMEs In Yorkshire?
Just over a hundred years ago President McKinley introduced the McKinley Tariff Act of 1890 in order to protect U.S. manufacturing. The act raised duties on foreign goods, which made European goods less attractive to the U.S consumer. Although the Wilson Tariff Act of 1894 went some way to redressing the balance, President McKinley again raised duties in 1897 to a higher level than they were in 1890. The tariff system of the United States at the beginning of the 20th Century remained rigidly protective, with rates higher than those of even the most restrictive tariffs of European countries.
Already there are signs that the new President’s ‘America first’ and ‘buy American, hire American’ vision is echoing the McKinley Tariff Act with Trump threatening ‘big border taxes’ on major motor manufacturers if they make cars in Mexico and try to sell them in the United States. Although congress’s Paul Ryan is alleged to have said they would not be raising tariffs, Donald Trump as stated on more than one occasion that companies would face a 35 percent tariff if they ignored his demands.
It’s early days, but if Trump decides to implement those steep tariffs it could have a negative effect on Yorkshire and the UK’s export market.
Will Trump's 'America First' Policy Affect UK Trade & Exporting?
Back in October 2016, UK Prime Minister Theresa May stated that the UK will begin the formal Brexit negotiation process by the end of March 2017. The timing on triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty means the UK looks set to leave the EU by summer 2019.
Theresa May told the Tory Party conference that the government would strike a deal with the EU as an “independent, sovereign” UK. Voters had given their verdict “with emphatic clarity”, she said, and ministers had to “get on with the job”.
May also attacked those who “have still not accepted the result of the referendum”, adding: “It is up to the government not to question, quibble or backslide on what we have been instructed to do, but to get on with the job.”
She told delegates: “We are going to be a fully independent, sovereign country – a country that is no longer part of a political union with supranational institutions that can override national parliaments and courts. And that means we are going, once more, to have the freedom to make our own decisions on a whole host of different matters, from how we label our food to the way in which we choose to control immigration.”
Considering that we’re only a few months away from the promised trigger date, do you think the process to activate Article 50 will be begin in March 2017?
Will The Process To Trigger Article 50 Be Started in 2017?
Yes, Article 50 will be triggered in March 2017, as promised by Theresa May (42%)
No, Article 50 will not be activated until after 2017 (31%)
It'll be triggered in 2017, but not until later in the year (27%)
On November 2nd 2016, the UK Parliment released a report looking at the risk of flooding over this coming winter season. Several MPs from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee called for changes to flood management in the UK in order to tackle the rising risk to communities from climate change.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Chair, Neil Parish MP, said:
“Some five million people in England are at risk of flooding. Winter 2015-16 broke rainfall records. Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank disrupted communities across northern parts of the UK, with Desmond alone costing the UK more than £5 billion. Our proposals will deliver a far more holistic approach to flooding and water supply management, looking at catchments as a whole. Flood management must include much wider use of natural measures such as leaky dams, tree planting and improved soil management. And some areas of farmland should be used to store flood water.”
Considering the damage that many Yorkshire homes and businesses suffered last winter, has enough been done to prevent further flood damages?
Has Enough Been Done To Prevent A Repeat Of The 2015 Boxing Day Floods?
In May 2017 a number of areas will be electing a metro mayor for the first time, this includes city regions such as Liverpool, Greater Manchester, and in Yorkshire, the Sheffield City Region. Centre For Cities define a metro mayor as “the chair of a combined authority that has agreed to a Devolution Deal and is voted in by the electorate in the combined authority area. These combined authorities are made up of several local authorities.”
But will Metro Mayors be a positive step towards greater devolution deals in Yorkshire?
Are Metro Mayors Essential To Yorkshire Devolution Deals?
For more information on devolution in Yorkshire, Gerry Sutcliffe (Former Bradford MP) spoke about the subject at our August 2016 networking event at the Brew Haus.
Celebrated on August 1st for over 40 years, Yorkshire Day is dedicated to embrace everything in ‘God’s Own County’ of Yorkshire. The date was chosen to commemorate the Battle of Minden and is also the anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire. An act that was led by the Hull-born MP, William Wilberforce.
In recent years the celebration has boomed in popularity due to coverage in local and national media, as well as the widespread influence of social media. Other places in the UK already have dedicated bank holidays that are only celebrated in certain regions, such as St. Patrick’s Day only celebrated as an official public holiday in Ireland and Northern Ireland. With this in mind, should Yorkshire campaign to have our day officially recognised as a public bank holiday for people and businesses in the region?
Should 'Yorkshire Day' Become An Official Region-Wide Bank Holiday?
Yes - I'd be chuffed to bits if Yorkshire Day became an official holiday (67%)
No - Don't be daft! What's next? People getting 'Lancashire Day' off too? (33%)
After the results were announced after June’s referendum, David Cameron stepped down as the UK Prime Minister and left many to wonder who’ll take over in his place. Several Tory MPs have already declared their interest in becoming the next Conservative leader – at which point they will also automatically become the next Prime Minister.
From the initial list of candidates, two Tory MPs will be put forward as choices for UK leadership. So, who do you think will be chosen as the next leader of the UK?
Editor’s Note: We’re aware that Boris Johnson has announced he won’t standing as a candidate, but given his track record, there’s always a chance that’s he’ll reverse his decision and run.
In July 2015, the standard salary of a UK MP rose from £67,060 to £74,000. This 10% pay rise was approved despite Downing Street and a succession of MPs saying it was “not appropriate”. Then in February 2016, it rose again by £962 (1.3%) despite MPs voting for public sector pay rises to be capped at 1% until 2019.
With two payrises in the last 12 months, should the MP wage bill be allowed to keep increasing? And should this decision be placed in the hands of the very MPs who it benefits the most?
Should MPs Have The Power To Vote For Their Own Wage Rises?
With the EU referendum less than 2 months away, campaigns for leaving, and campaigns for staying with the EU are ramping up their efforts. Many factors will be affecting people’s decision on June 23rd, but would opting for “Brexit” damage the UK’s economy?
Earlier this year, YEN ran a poll to gauge the general consensus of the people of Yorkshire. The results were close, split 41%, 38% and 21% between staying, leaving and being undecided respectively. These views were from several months ago before the referendum date was announced, has your opinion changed now?
Would Brexit Benefit Or Cripple The UK Economy?
Stronger Out - The UK economy would be stronger if we left (55%)
Stronger In - We need to stay with the EU to move forward (45%)
From 1948 to 1997, British Rail was solely responsible for the state railways of Britain, transforming a collection of exhausted, post-war steam operators into the modern network we know today. Then, between 1994 and 1997, British Rail was privatised, as track and infrastructure passed to Railtrack in 1994 and, later, passenger services were franchised in 25 blocks to private-sector operators. Freight services were sold outright. Overall, ownership and operation of the network became highly fragmented, as operations were split between more than 100 companies.
With annual ticket price increases, especially in the South of England, is it time for the government to step in and retake control of the rail system to better manage development and prices?
Should The Government Renationalise The Railways?
Give It Back To The People - Renationalisation would benefit the public (59%)
Can't Trust 'Em - Private companies will run the rail system better than any government body (41%)
Earlier this year, the UK was hit by a series of continual and unrelenting storms that flooded many parts of the country. Even regions that aren’t normally affected by flooding, such as Yorkshire. Storms Desmond and Eva devastated over 15,000 UK homes alone and David Cameron resorted to calling in members of the armed forces to help distribute sandbags to the local residents and businesses.
With many insurance companies refusing to offer flooding insurance, or pricing it so unreasonably high no one can afford cover, questions have been asked over who should be accountable for helping to get families back to their homes and businesses running again after severe flooding.
Who should be responsible for aiding residents and businesses after flood damage?
Funds should be sent from Central Government (52%)
Local Councils should pay the cost (33%)
It's the responsibility of the individual/company (15%)
The new UK Living Wage was one of the most talked about points of George Osborne’s 2015 summer budget. It’s set to take effect in April of this year at £7.20 per hour, but is promised to rise to £9 per hour by the end of the decade. However, this substantial rise in the Living Wage only apply to people aged over 25. Cabinet Office minister Matthew Hancock said that workers under 25 don’t deserve the new living wage because they are “not as productive” as older workers, do you agree with his assessment?
After the Scottish referendum, many in Yorkshire called for more powers and representation in the North of England. Yorkshire First, a political party focused on this goal, formed in 2014 with the aim to establish a Yorkshire Parliament within the UK, similar to the Scotland and Wales. So with a larger population than Scotland and an economy twice as big as Wales’, should Yorkshire become independent?
There has been a debate recently about whether Yorkshire should have one unified elected mayor, similar to London. Currently, there are six cities with elected mayors in Yorkshire; Bradford, Doncaster, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield, York, but should this change?