Latest Public Sector News

02.11.17

Yorkshire councils consider opening poll on South Yorkshire devo deal

Doncaster and Barnsley Metropolitan Borough councils may put the question of devolution in the region to a public vote.

The decision to join either the Sheffield City Region or the wider Yorkshire agreement could go to a community poll if the councils agree.

The devolution deal in Yorkshire has divided local councils with some opting to join a south Sheffield plan, while both Doncaster and Barnsley have indicated support for a countywide agreement.

Although the leaders of both councils have made clear they would prefer a Yorkshire agreement, each has said a public consultation would be an effective method of making the choice.

“Devolution is a major decision that affects us for the next 30 years,” explained Cllr Sir Steve Houghton, leader of Barnsley Council. “The debate has been going on for many months and it’s clear that there are different perspectives across the city region and a difference of opinion with central government.

“While this decision is not legally binding on the council, I want to give the residents of Barnsley an opportunity to have their say on what would be a generation changing decision on devolution.

“If the proposal for a community poll is approved at full council on 9 November we will do our best to respect the outcome and do all we can to make sure that it’s achieved.”

The community poll would be a public consultation where people who are registered to vote would be asked a proposed single question of which arrangement they would ultimately prefer each council to be part of.

Doncaster’s mayor, Ros Jones, commented: “I have made it plain that I personally believe a wider Yorkshire deal is the better solution for Doncaster, its people, communities and businesses however I want local people to have their say on what would be a generation changing decision on devolution.

“This is one of the biggest questions Doncaster has faced and I want the voice of local people to be heard. This is why council will be asked to support holding a community poll.”

Top image: Tupungato

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