William Eichler 10 May 2019

Whitehall approves South Yorkshire devolution deal

The Government has approved the South Yorkshire devolution deal, which will see £900m invested in the region.

The leaders of Rotherham, Doncaster, Barnsley MBCs, Sheffield City Council, and the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority agreed to the deal in March after four years of deadlock.

The offer, which was temporarily halted in 2017 after Barnsley and Doncaster MBCs demanded one deal for the whole of Yorkshire, includes £900m in investment over a 30-year period.

The deal will also mean more local control over policy areas such as transport, housing and skills.

Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry said: ‘The completion of the Sheffield City Region deal and delivering its benefits, including £900m of investment funding, to local people remains a priority.

‘The Government is ready to progress this deal along the lines proposed by local leaders and recognising the strength of the Yorkshire identity, to consider a localist approach to devolution elsewhere across Yorkshire.’

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, described the decision as ‘a positive’ and an ‘important step’ in the devolution process.

However, he warned that this was just the beginning. ‘Devolution is a process,’ he said, ‘not an event.’

‘The secretary of ctate’s letter provides the basis for further dialogue, with leaders locally and nationally and the opportunity to make further progress,’ he continued.

‘Pragmatism, compromise, and a commitment to do the best for the people we represent will continue to be required on all sides.’

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