A DIRECTLY elected mayor for Greater Yorkshire could still be on the horizon after Conservative council bosses and MPs pulled together a last-minute devolution bid.

Three different proposals for York were made in time for the Government's deadline at midnight on Friday night, and the region's politicians are now waiting to see which of the proposals gets ministers' backing.

Cllr Chris Steward, leader of City of York Council, said: “Devolution is a great opportunity for York but equally it is something we must get right in terms of achieving the maximum potential for our local economy while ensuring the governance is right."

All the bids ask for increased powers over transport, housing, training and skills, and EU funding.

A Greater Yorkshire proposal emerged earlier in the week, with boundaries that would encompass North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, the East Riding, Hull and York. A "statement of intent" sent to the Department for Communities and Local Government shows that the Yorkshire politicians masterminding the bid want their powers to cover policing, and integrated health and social care funding.

The proposal appears to have support from Conservative leaders from York and North Yorkshire, as well Conservative group leaders on various West Yorkshire councils and both Conservative and Labour MPs.

The situation is complicated by three other ideas which cover the same parts of Yorkshire. South Yorkshire has already made its own plans public.

The first full bid is centred on the Leeds City Region (LCR) geography and would encompass the five councils of West Yorkshire as well as York, Selby, Hambleton and Craven.

A second full bid would see York team up with North Yorkshire and the East Riding (YNYER), while a fourth submission has been made by Hull City Council supporting the Greater Yorkshire deal, or if that fails making a case for Hull to be included in the LCR deal.

Both "Greater Yorkshire" proposals are at an earlier stage than the full bids without formally agreed geographies.

Officials at City of York Council have confirmed that the authority has expressed interest in both the LCR and YNYER bids, and the Greater Yorkshire proposals.

York council leader Chris Steward said negotiations will continue over the powers and funding the government will be prepared to devolve.

"I think the Government will focus on the big cities and areas with agreed geography first. When you look at Lord O'Neill's background, that's in big city development. The Government has also said that agreed geographies are preferable."

He added: "We are still exploring all the options. There will be various conversations taking place from now on, but it's about getting the best deal for York."

York's Lib Dem deputy council leader Keith Aspden added: “As a joint administration we are committed to making sure that any new devolution plans put in place have public backing, deliver the best deal for York and are fully accountable to residents.”

Any decision for York to join a new devolution deal would have to be ratified by full meeting of the council, officials confirmed, but with a decision now in ministers' hands no indications have been given on when the next choices will be made.