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26.03.19

South Yorkshire leaders make breakthrough in £30m devolution deal

The four South Yorkshire council leaders and mayor Dan Jarvis have announced a “breakthrough” in the stalled devolution deal for Sheffield City Region.

After “years of impasse” the local leaders have “reached a consensus” and agreed a deal worth around £30m a year in extra funding that will see extra powers devolved to the region.

Dan Jarvis announced that a breakthrough letter had been sent to communities secretary James Brokenshire asking for the powers and resources to be unlocked.

The announcement comes more than three years after an initial deal was agreed, with Theresa May recently urging the city region’s mayor to leave behind failed proposals for a One Yorkshire arrangement and agree the deal for South Yorkshire.

In the letter, Jarvis and councillors Julie Dore, Sir Steve Houghton, Chris Read and mayor Ros Jones said they have had “productive conversations.”

They agree that Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, and Sheffield Combined Authority should remain in its current form until 2022, the end of Jarvis’s current term of office, but that each authority should be free to move to other devolution agreements past this point if they so wish.

Mayor Jarvis called is an “important day for our region” and called it a “pragmatic solution” that enables the unlocking of the Sheffield City Region deal whilst also supporting wider Yorkshire devolution ambitions.

He said: “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 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.”

He said it was now up to the government to respond and work constructively to agree the plan.

Danny Lawson/PA Archive/PA Images

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Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >