MORE needs to be done to make the new West Yorkshire devolution deal more interesting to the public, as one Council boss pointed out the very word devolution causes many people to 'glaze over.'

In March the Government announced a £1.8 billion devolution deal for the region that will give local politicians access to huge funding pots for transport, infrastructure and skills schemes, move decision making from Westminster to locally, and see the creation of a West Yorkshire Mayor - due to be elected next May.

The announcement, in the March budget, was met with delight from local politicians from all parties who had spent years pushing for a deal - but met with a much more muted response from the public.

The deal includes funding for several major schemes, including works to Bradford Interchange, funding towards a mass transit system for the region, a park and ride in South Bradford, the pedestrianisation of streets in Bradford including Hall Ings and Market Street and control over the adult education budget for the region.

A public consultation on the devolution deal begins on Monday, and runs for eight weeks.

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At a meeting of West Yorkshire Combined Authority this morning, members acknowledged that devolution was an issue that many residents still needed to be convinced of before they saw it as anything more that a deal between "suits."

Councillor Stewart Golton (Lib Dem, Rothwell) said: "This deal is clear and accessible for people who get to know about it, but the key is getting them to know about it.

"It is important we allow people to see the facts of what is being proposed, rather before they see what some people may put forward in terms of being mischievous.

"When we say the word 'deal" some people read that as 'stitch up'

"We need to make sure people don't see this as an agreement between a set of suits in London and a set of suits in the town halls of West Yorkshire - it is actually something meaningful for the people of our sub-region."

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, chair of the Combined Authority and leader of Bradford Council, said: "The word devolution is quite off putting. People will glaze over when you mention it. It does sound quite technical, and the challenge is to make it sound more interesting.

"I tell people it is about powers and money that allow us to do more things locally that people want.

"We need to make it so every person in the region sees the benefit of it."

Roger Marsh, head of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said: "People need to get a sense of what's on offer, not what the minutiae of it deal is - that can be a turn off."

Cllr Hinchcliffe added: "You make a good point, people don't care about the minutiae, what's in section 3.2 or what scrutiny committees there will be - we need to let people know what the new opportunities are."

At a meeting of Bradford Council's Executive on Tuesday members were told that public consultations in other areas that have been handed devolved powers, such as Manchester, only attracted responses in the 'low hundreds.'