Sheffield in line for package of powers

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Sheffield is well placed to be the next northern city after Manchester to win greater control over its destiny.

Sheffield City Region is one of just five ‘combined authorities’ nationally including Manchester, which is set to be handed a wide ranging powers as part of the Chancellor’s Northern Powerhouse plan to close the north-south divide.

Manchester is to get its own directly elected mayor with powers over transport, housing, planning and policing. The proposals also include devolving further powers to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority including over support for business growth, skills and help to join up health and social care budgets.

Sheffield City Region LEP Chairman, James Newman, said: “We welcome the announcement that Manchester has negotiated a package of additional powers for their city region.

“The Sheffield City Region is in talks with Government over how we can take more comprehensive control over some key funding and the ability to take decisions that matter to our economy.

“We will continue to work alongside Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle and Hull to ensure that the city regions of the North not only get the powers and funding needed to take control our own economic destinies, but also that Government delivers on its promises to invest in the infrastructure needed to transform the connections between our city regions.”

Chancellor George Osborne said he hoped Manchester would be the first of many big cities to take advantage of greater devolution of powers.

He added: “This is a massive moment for the North of England and our plan to build the Northern Powerhouse.

“I want to talk to other cities who are keen to follow Manchester’s lead - every city is different.”