Breakthrough in devolution for Sheffield City Region

The long-awaited devolution deal in Sheffield City Region could finally be agreed.

Monday, 25th March 2019, 11:39 am
Updated Monday, 25th March 2019, 11:43 am
Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis MP

SCR Mayor Dan Jarvis and the four leaders of South Yorkshire’s local authorities say they have “reached a consensus” on the way forward for devolution in the region.

Ten months after being elected as the region’s first Metro Mayor, Mr Jarvis has sent a “breakthrough letter” to Secretary of State James Brokenshire today, asking for powers and resources to be unlocked.

It is on the understanding that each authority is able to move to other devolution arrangements, should they wish to do so, in 2022 – the end of Mr Jarvis’ current term of office.

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In the letter, Mr Jarvis and Council Leaders Julie Dore, Sir Steve Houghton, Ros Jones and Chris Read say that they have had “productive conversations”, and set out plans as to how, together with Government, devolution can now move forward while also furthering the future devolution ambitions of individual authorities.

Mr Jarvis said: “This is an important day for our region. After months of negotiations, I’m delighted to have brokered  a joint devolution position with all of South Yorkshire’s leaders, that I believe will enable us to access the powers and resources that our region needs to continue its economic transformation.

“It is a pragmatic solution that enables first and foremost, the unlocking of the Sheffield City Region deal, whilst also supporting wider Yorkshire devolution ambitions.

“It is a solution that gives effect to the mandate upon which I was elected, is in line with the community polls held by Barnsley and Doncaster, and accords with the Government’s own stated position regarding the next steps for devolution.”

The next step will be for the Government to respond to this joint letter.

Mr Jarvis added: “It is now for Government to work constructively with us to agree our plan and release the powers and money that the Sheffield City Region needs.”