Laura Sharman 15 December 2014

Sheffield signs devolution deal

Sheffield has secured a deal with the Government to transfer more powers over transport, housing and economic growth to the council.

The city devolution deal, the second to be agreed in England, will shift power from Whitehall to the combined authorities in the region. This will include responsibility for the majority of the adult skills budget, greater control over transport schemes and greater power to decide which assets to sell for development.

Deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, said the deal will give council leaders the ‘clout’ to push forward local plans.

He said: ‘Putting the people of Sheffield in control of our city’s destiny will ensure local plans are in line with what local people want. From transforming travel across the city, to improving access to skills training, the deal will mean changes in the city are shaped by those who live there.

‘Gone are the days of central government controlling all local decisions, and I’m proud to be at the forefront of these forward-thinking changes that see cities like Sheffield able to grow as they see fit.’

Cllr Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield City Council, said: ‘We welcome this next stage in the devolution of power to Sheffield, giving the city region more control over the vital areas of skills, housing, transport, and business support – a step towards allowing Sheffield to shape its own future and to fulfil its huge potential.’

However, she added they would continue to lobby government for greater fiscal freedoms.

The devolved powers include:

  • Control over the majority of the skills budget for the area
  • The power to introduce ‘oyster-style’ travel cards
  • Making more decisions about preparation for HS2
  • The move towards a more devolved model of business support
  • Faster access to funding to speed up developments
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