Wakefield's MP calls for new devolved West Yorkshire authority to be headquartered in the city
Wakefield's former crown court building could be the home of the new West Yorkshire Authority, under plans unveiled on Wednesday.
The building, on Wood Street, is currently undergoing a £1m renovation, but Wakefield MP Imran Ahmad-Khan has suggested that it would be a perfect home for the new authority, once a mayor is elected next May.
Under plans revealed earlier this week, West Yorkshire is set to receive a £1.8bn devolution deal, which promises to drive up living standards, with a £317m investment in transport and the election of a West Yorkshire Mayor.
And Wakefield's MP wants to see the new authority headquartered in the city centre.
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He said: “I think now what we must do is ensure that Wakefield will become once again the home of West Yorkshire.
“I think the former crown court would lend itself particularly to the home of the mayor. The council have just finished sorting out the roof.
“It’s going to require work to make it right.
“I believe it could be made suitable, but if not, I’m sure Wakefield would be very, very proud to provide a home to the mayor in other locations.
“Wakefield is the proper home of any authority which wishes to represent West Yorkshire.”
Among others, Mr Khan thanked Wakefield Council leader Denise Jeffery and Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper for their support in ensuring that the deal did not become “Leeds-centric”.
He said: “There was a lot of talk about naming the region the Leeds City Region, which I fought strongly against.
“To me that would have acted as a siphon away from all the other towns and cities in West Yorkshire.”