Business Monthly: Region’s leaders are conflicted

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No public debate and no decision.

Sheffield City Region LEP has consistently avoided the HS2 station debate - partly because it is so conflicted.

The business - and particularly the council - chiefs who lead the regeneration body are at loggerheads over Meadowhall or Victoria, despite the overwhelming economic evidence from HS2 Ltd.

Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham councils support Meadowhall.

Sheffield, and all five authorities outside South Yorkshire, are understood to support Victoria. Although the lack of debate means this is not official.

The Combined Authority - the public sector arm of the LEP - represents the entire region.

But its chair, Sir Stephen Houghton, is also the leader of Barnsley Council and supports Meadowhall.

He said: “We agreed as leaders that councils would make their own representations to Sir David Higgins. Wherever it is, we will support it.”

The LEP’s official statement on HS2 says it wants maximum economic benefit for the city region and for it to be “fully integrated” in HS3.

A spokesman added: “The LEP board fully backs Government plans for a new high speed rail network.

“The Government’s decision to locate a station in Sheffield City Region recognises its importance to UK growth .