City Region deal approved

Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley
Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley

Doncaster councillors have unanimously backed a £900 million devolution deal to join Sheffield City Region.

The move came at a full meeting of the council on Tuesday.

The scheme will see an elected mayor take responsibility for transport budgets and strategic planning and have access to £900m of government money over the next 30 years.

The city region is comprised of the nine local authority areas of Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, Doncaster, North East Derbyshire, Rotherham and Sheffield.

The major benefits negotiated for Doncaster include a new National Institute for Infrastructure, Construction and Engineering to be built in Doncaster - building on the new National College for High Speed Rail.

Doncaster councillors formally approved the deal that will see the creation of a directly-elected Mayor.

It is envisaged that a Sheffield City Region mayor will be elected in 2017 if the proposal is rubber stamped by all relevant local authorities.

A report discussed at Tuesday’s meeting said: “The deal will help the City Region deliver its ambition to create 70,000 additional jobs and 6,000 new businesses in the next ten years, provide better alignment between post 19 training and education and the economy and see the establishment of a National Institute for Infrastructure in Doncaster.

“All of this combined, along with capital infrastructure investment provide the foundation of opportunity for all residents in Doncaster.”

Speaking at an overview and scrutiny meeting Mayor Ros Jone said the deal was the only way of ensuring continued economic growth for the borough.

She added: “I think it is the right thing to do for Doncaster. It’s the only way we’re going to grow our borough.

“It’s the only area where funding is going to come in. “It’s the only show in town on the table, and the only way of growing our borough.

“We’ve got the backing of the town’s businesses, and I think it’s the right thing for the people of Doncaster.”