Doncaster mayor gets 'compromise' on devolution deal council has campaigned for
Signing the South Yorkshire devolution deal while being able to lobby for a wider Yorkshire arrangement is the ‘compromise’ Doncaster Council has been campaigning for, mayor Ros Jones has said.
The mayor told councillors she welcomed the Sheffield City Region deal finally signed being by all parties following years of deadlock.
The deal is worth £900 million over 30 years with powers over transport, strategic planning and skills.
Doncaster, along with Barnsley, initially put the brakes on the South Yorkshire deal in order to lobby for a Yorkshire arrangement in 2017 which is backed by 19 out of 21 local authority leaders.
The Government has now agreed both councils could leave and join another deal if the Yorkshire proposal is finalised in future. Sheffield and Rotherham, who back the South Yorkshire deal, will not lose any powers or per head funding in return.
Mayor Jones reiterated that Doncaster residents voted ‘overwhelmingly’ in favour of a future Yorkshire deal. A community referendum found 85 per cent people opted to back a county-wide arrangement from a 20 per cent turn out.
She told councillors: “Pursuing a Yorkshire-wide deal is still very much our intention and we welcome the agreement from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to work with us to progress our ambition for this while still allowing the South Yorkshire deal to progress - unlocking a significant opportunity and investment for Doncaster and the region.
“Discussions have taken place between South Yorkshire and the Government and an agreement has been reached that Government continue work with Yorkshire councils to establish a Yorkshire committee on the basis the South Yorkshire deal is brought to a positive conclusion with Barnsley and Doncaster having the option to join another deal at a later date.
“After discussions with other South Yorkshire leaders, councils will now consult on the proposals.
“This is the compromise that I and Barnsley Council leader Steve Houghton have been campaigning for. Government is now allowing us to continue to progress oue one Yorkshire proposals while accessing the funds and powers that were originally promised.”