Monday, March 5, 2018

News: £1.9m set aside for SCR Mayoral election


The Combined Authority (CA) in the Sheffield city region (SCR) has set aside £1.9m from its stretched budget for the upcoming Mayoral election.

As a proposed devolution deal stumbles, a Mayoral Combined Authority is still set to be created, building on the 2013 agreement which saw the nine local authorities that comprise the city region create a new legal body with responsibility for transport, economic development and regeneration.

Orders went through Parliament but a mayoral election was delayed following a legal challenge over the consultation brought by Derbyshire County Council. Chesterfield and Bassetlaw Councils withdrew their applications to be full members of the Combined Authority.

Whilst a lack of consensus from the leaders of South Yorkshire's four councils denied the SCR the chance to conclude a devolution deal with the Government, an election is still due to take place on May 3.

Barnsley and Doncaster have focused on a potential "One Yorkshire" devolution solution and a "two tier" solution has been mooted to avoid a costly election. It would involve the SCR deal being concluded and then authorities being "allowed" to join a wider Yorkshire authority at a later date.


In setting its budget for 2018/19, the CA has included £1.885m for running the election. It includes costs of £273,000 for an election booklet containing candidate information which is required to be distributed to each elector.

With the devolution deal with the Government, the mayor would have responsibility over the region's transport budget, strategic planning and skills funding. It also promises £30m a year for 30 years to invest in local strategic priorities.

Without the deal, the Mayor will be a member, and chair, of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority and will have certain public transport powers relating to how buses may operate in the future. The term is four years.

The overall budget for 2018/19 does not include any of the first £30m. The CA will need circa £7.3m of resources for the year and around £1.9m of the required funding will be drawn down from the CA's limited revenue reserves.

Cllr. Chris Read, the leader of Rotherham Council, is the current chair of the CA. He reiterated in January that "Rotherham's position remains that we believe the Sheffield City Region Deal is our best opportunity to draw down funding and decision making to strengthen our local economy, and we have not yet seen any counter proposal which we believe would bring the same level of benefit to our borough."

Sheffield city region website

Images: SCR


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