Thursday, January 16, 2020

News: Councils reach a consensus over Sheffield City Region devolution


The Sheffield City Region (SCR) devolution deal has been agreed by the Mayor and the leaders of all four councils in South Yorkshire.

A joint statement on devolution from Mayor Dan Jarvis, Sheffield's Cllr. Julie Dore, Cllr. Sir Steve Houghton at Barnsley, Doncaster's Mayor Ros Jones and Cllr. Chris Read, the leader of Rotherham Council reads:

"We're pleased to announce that the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has confirmed he will be working with us to progress devolution.

"Subject to the Sheffield City Region devolution deal being advanced to a positive conclusion, he has also agreed to progress discussions on the role and functions of a Committee of Leaders from across Yorkshire, based on the existing Yorkshire Leaders Board. All South Yorkshire councils will have the opportunity to join any full Yorkshire devolution arrangement if they choose to do so.

"We will be considering a paper at the Mayoral Combined Authority meeting on Monday 27 January and, subject to final agreement at that meeting, we will be launching a public consultation on the proposals.

"This represents a significant step forward in securing additional powers and resources for our region."


A lack of consensus from the leaders has previously denied the SCR the chance to conclude a devolution deal with the Government.

The 2015 deal included a mayor with responsibility over the region's transport budget, strategic planning and skills funding. It also promised £30m a year for 30 years to invest in local strategic priorities.

A frustrated Cllr. Read said in 2018 that the 2015 deal was worth nearer to £75m a year. After this week's announcement he added: "It is good that we can now progress on South Yorkshire devolution, and a credit to all those involved. It is important that we now make quick progress to secure the funding that our communities need to create jobs and opportunities.

"Rotherham is one of the fastest growing economies in Yorkshire and devolution will accelerate that growth and support our aims to extend prosperity and opportunity, putting us alongside many other similar parts of the country who are already benefiting from devolution settlements."

Andrew Denniff, Chief Executive of Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber said: "Speaking on behalf of our members I welcome the efforts made by our politicians to achieve a devolution deal which will drive our region forward.

"The announcement made by Dan Jarvis today is something which we as a Chamber of Commerce welcome. We believe it will provide a genuine opportunity for our politicians to deliver positive change for South Yorkshire and one which will end the investment delay which was promised to the region several years ago.

"Having said this, our region must now play catch-up. We will continue to support the work being delivered by Dan Jarvis and his team, which will ultimately create a stronger South Yorkshire.

"Whilst this is clearly positive news for the Sheffield City Region, I would urge our politicians to continue to work collaboratively. There must not be any further delays in securing the investment promised to our region.

"After many years of uncertainty surrounding devolution, it is reassuring to see that our politicians have come together to produce a deal which will bring benefits to all parts of the local economy. We must now seize the opportunities that a devolution deal will bring and narrow the gap between the Sheffield City Region and other parts of the UK."

Images: SCR LEP


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