Tuesday, December 16, 2014

News: SCR devolution deal in detail

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More details have emerged of the "devolution deal" agreed between the Government and the leaders of the Sheffield city region (SCR), and there's no mention of an elected mayor.

Signed late last week, the deal shifts power from Whitehall to the city region's Combined Authority, giving local leaders greater influence over skills, transport, housing and business support. The combined authority is the legal body brings together the nine local authorities that comprise the SCR (Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, Doncaster, North East Derbyshire, Rotherham and Sheffield). The Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), a collaboration between businesses and the local authorities, provides the focus for economic development in the city region.

Whilst not coming up with any new money, the devolution deal builds on the city deal signed in 2012 and growth deal secured earlier this year. Details of what the latest deal includes are featured on Rothbiz today: Skills and Employment; Business Support; Transport; Housing.

James Newman, chairman of Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (pictured, second left), said: "The Devolution Deal transfers a number of powers and policy levers from Government to our City Region. These powers will enable the Sheffield City Region to make a greater contribution to the UK economy and act as a core part of the Northern Powerhouse.

"The deal we've negotiated puts our City Region firmly in the driving seat when it comes to influencing key decisions about our City Region that improve skills, create housing and transform transport in the Region and grow local businesses. This builds on our "Growth Deal," which secured £320m of funding from Government earlier this year.

"Devolving powers from Government is a long process and one in which Sheffield City Region is at the forefront, alongside Leeds and Manchester. Government clearly recognises the importance of the Sheffield City Region as part of the North's future as a global economic powerhouse. This deal also marks an important step toward achieving the City Region’s ten year plan to create 70,000 new private sector jobs and 6,000 new businesses.

"This deal has been made possible because of the close and successful  working relationship between our private sector-led Local Enterprise Partnership and our Combined Authority, which has brought together local political Leaders and business leaders to make better local decisions about our local economy. This is only the first stage in the "devolution journey" and as we have already proved, as a City Region, that we can create growth and new jobs when given the opportunity by Government in previous deals we have done with them, we are confident that this deal will lead to even more and wider powers and funding decisions being transferred to the City Region."

Further powers and funding that could be devolved to Sheffield City Region over time include greater control over the levers of local growth and public services, as well as fiscal powers, such as a payment by results mechanism.

Sheffield City Region LEP website

Images: Sheffield City Region LEP

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