Questions on Sheffield devolution deemed ‘not urgent business’

ChamberAGM - Coun Colin Ross
ChamberAGM - Coun Colin Ross
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Questions posed about devolution to Sheffield Council’s leader were not answered in a full meeting - because they were deemed to be ‘not urgent business.’

The questions relating to Sheffield City Region’s in principle devolution deal - for £900m over 30 years, more powers from Whitehall and a directly elected mayor - were submitted by opposition Liberal Democrat councillors but not accepted.

One question was to ask leader Coun Julie Dore if the region had been ‘sold short’ by agreeing to a directly elected mayor last week when councils across the country will be able to retain all of their business rates in future regardless of whether they have a mayor.

But deputy Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Coun Denise Fox, said the questions were not related to urgent business.

She said that was because the devolution proposals were still subject to consultation and to agreement by the full council.

“There will be a number of other opportunities to raise the issues in the questions in future”, she added.

She said a precedent could be set if the questions were answered.

Coun Colin Ross, opposition leader, said the decision was ‘outrageous.’