Sheffield’s resounding ‘No’ to an elected mayor may not be the final answer, according to Lord Heseltine.
The former Deputy Prime Minister in John Major’s Cabinet said he was “deeply saddened” by the rejection of an elected mayor, adding: “This isn’t an argument that is going to go away. This is going to happen if we want to recreate dynamism and localism.”
Lord Heseltine suggested that electing a mayor would be the only was of breaking the “functional monopoly” which saw all the decisions taken in London.
“Two hundred years ago the people who built this city were buccaneers – entrepreneurs in the business of creating wealth and taking local decisions that reflected the interests of Sheffield,” he said.
However, that had gradually changed as the “dynamic of wealth creation was replaced by social consumption and the process was financed by central government and decided by central government.”
“Don’t think for a moment that you are making decisions about Sheffield and Sheffield industry. You are carrying out decisions made in London,” Lord Heseltine added.