Doncaster is to be part of a £900 million devolution deal as Chancellor George Osborne moves forward with plans to create the second ‘northern powerhouse’.
An in-principle deal has been struck with Chancellor George Osborne which will result in national powers and control over funding being transferred from national Government departments to the Sheffield City Region.
The deal requires support from each of the nine local councils involved – Doncaster, Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales and North East Derbyshire.
As part of the deal a Sheffield City Region Mayor is set to be elected for the first time in 2017 by voters across the nine local authority areas.
Doncaster’s elected mayor Ros Jones said: “Devolution is coming to the North and it’s about getting the best possible deal for Doncaster to drive economic growth and job creation. We have negotiated hard to shape the proposal and secure commitments from the Government which would bring major benefits for Doncaster and the wider Sheffield City Region. Doncaster would become the home of a proposed National Institute for Infrastructure, which will address the UK’s skills shortage providing the engineers needed to deliver the national infrastructure plan.
“Aligned with our new National College for High Speed Rail, this would deliver immense economic benefits for Doncaster and the Sheffield City Region bringing swathes of new investment and significant numbers of new high quality jobs.”
But former Mayor of Doncaster Peter Davies branded plans for a directly elected mayor as ‘absolutely ludicrous’.
He said: “The Government has already asked people in South Yorkshire about directly elected mayors – only Doncaster wanted one, and so they are going against the votes of the people with this.”