Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield City Region: Elected mayor 'not a done deal'

Sheffield skyline Image copyright PA
Image caption Political leaders signed a devolution agreement with former chancellor George Osborne in 2015

Plans for a directly elected mayor in South Yorkshire are "not a done deal" and could be dropped from the regions proposed devolution agreement.

Sheffield City Region (SCR) signed a deal in 2015 paving the way for a mayor with certain devolved powers.

However, SCR chair Sir Steve Houghton said it wanted clarity on whether installing a mayor was necessary.

Former chancellor George Osborne, who signed the deal, had previously said elected mayors were key to devolution.

Under the proposed SCR devolution deal the mayor would take responsibility for major roads, public transport, skills for employment and major planning and investment projects.

'Significant concerns'

Speaking after the SCR agreed to submit its consultation responses to Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid, Sir Steve said: "The elected mayor is not yet a done deal.

"We are seeking clarity from government on whether this is still needed as there are still significant concerns around the mayoral model amongst a number of city region authorities.

"We won't make the final decision to go ahead unless we are absolutely sure that this is best possible outcome for our residents and that there are no other options open to us.

"Any decision on the mayor and any election timetable is therefore subject to these considerations."

He also said that, following consultation, there was public support for Chesterfield and Bassetlaw, two of the nine local authorities which make up the SCR, becoming "constituent members" alongside Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham.

If the two authorities do become constituent members they would take part in any future mayoral elections.

Last month Derbyshire County Council said it was seeking a judicial review of the consultation.

The SCR said however the legal action would not impact on the devolution timetable.

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