PROSPECTS for a May election of a new metro-mayor for South Yorkshire are receding after a judge raised concerns over the Sheffield City Region devolution deal.
Expectations are growing that the planned election of the mayor, a key element of the deal covering South Yorkshire, Chesterfield and Bassetlaw, will be delayed for at least a year.
The delay could provide a new opportunity to negotiate a broader devolution deal with the Government covering the whole of Yorkshire under a single elected mayor.
Judgement in devolution legal challenge
The election of a city region mayor for Sheffield city region (SCR) in May 2017 looks unlikely as the whole process could be delayed by months following a judgement in the High Court over the lawfulness of the consultation.
In August, Derbyshire County Council mounted a legal challenge against the consultation regarding the creation of the Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority (CA).
The High Court heard the argument that the consultation “was so fair it was unlawful” as it did not include a specific question regarding Chesterfield, currently a non-constituent member, who, like Bassetlaw, signalled their intention to join the Combined Authority.
Sheffield City Region devolution survey unlawful, High Court rules
A consultation on whether Chesterfield should be part of the Sheffield City Region was unlawful and unfair, the High Court has ruled.
Only residents in the city region were consulted during the public devolution survey between 1 July to 12 August.
Derbyshire County Council said 6,900 town residents opposed the plans. It took legal action in September.
After the ruling, Justice Ouseley said “something had gone seriously and significantly wrong”.