COUNCIL leaders today effectively scrapped the Sheffield City Region devolution deal.
The decision led to acrimony as today’s meeting broke up with the leaders of Barnsley and Sheffield councils in what appeared to be a heated exchange.
Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore also clashed with Doncaster Council chief executive Jo Miller.
Moments earlier, Barnsley and Doncaster had defied last-minute pressure from the Government and voted against plans to press ahead with the next stage of the deal in readiness for the election of a Sheffield City Region mayor in May.
The pair both voiced their continued support for the idea of an alternative wider One Yorkshire deal in partnership with 15 other Yorkshire councils despite two previous backers, Harrogate and North Yorkshire, expressing doubts over the weekend.
Analysis: Fate of Sheffield City Region deal is the only certainty
ANY LINGERING doubts over the future of the Sheffield City Region devolution deal have been removed but plenty of questions remain over what follows.
The obvious hostility between key figures in South Yorkshire’s councils demonstrated at today’s meeting showed why the deal has been doomed for months.
However, in the short term they will have to find a way to continue to work together as members of the existing Sheffield City Region Combined Authority which has a vital role in the local economy with or without devolution.
They will also have to negotiate with the government to scrap the now meaningless mayoral election scheduled for May.
SCR denied devolution deal
A lack of consensus from the leaders of South Yorkshire’s four councils has denied the Sheffield city region (SCR) the chance to conclude a devolution deal with the Government that promised £900m and extra powers.
The leaders met this week and were recommended to approve work to continue to see through the devolution deal with the Government, but based on South Yorkshire only.
However, this option could only be taken forward with the approval of all South Yorkshire councils, and when Barnsley and Doncaster confirmed that they don’t wish to proceed, it left the prospect of an election for a city region mayor that would have relatively few new powers.