Local political and business leaders start negotiations for deal over economic powers and funding

Published 4th September 2015 at 2:13pm

Sheffield City Region’s political and business leaders will be submitting an ambitious set of proposals which, if successful, will keep Sheffield City Region at the head of the pack nationally by securing a ground breaking second devolution deal with government.

The proposals, to be submitted in time for the Chancellor’s 4th September deadline, mark the next step in securing a significant transfer of funding and powers to the City Region and helping to enable delivery of Sheffield City Region’s plans to create 70,000 jobs, increase house building and support the creation of 6,000 new businesses over the next ten years.

The proposals are explicitly focused on the issues that businesses and local leaders identify as being crucial to speeding up economic growth in Sheffield City Region. The proposals include:

  1. Securing a stable, long term financial settlement – that puts Sheffield City Region in control of economic development finances and enables local leaders to invest in projects that matter to people and businesses locally.
  2. Powers and funding to enable more young people to secure jobs in local businesses and to support more businesses to invest in the training that will make them more productive.
  3. Transport – ensuring that local leaders have the powers and funding over our transport network to enable better connectivity internally in the Sheffield City Region and is also better connected to other Northern cities like Leeds and Manchester.
  4. Housing – by improving the use of publicly owned assets, and strengthening funding and planning powers available locally we can double our housing delivery to 7,000 homes per year.
  5. Advanced manufacturing and innovation – investment in a world leading area for innovation, advanced manufacturing and business growth.
  6. Greater accountability of national programmes to Sheffield City Region – including the ability to challenge government departments and agencies and ensure national programmes meet local ambitions and expectations.

The government has made it clear that in return for further devolution, any deal will include the creation of an elected mayor. If these proposals are accepted then Sheffield City Region will work with the government to ensure that any new governance arrangements work with the recently created Combined Authority.

Sir Councillor Houghton, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, said: “Following conversations we’ve been having locally and with government, we will submit an initial deal proposal on 4 September, which will form a strong basis for future ongoing negotiations. We’re looking for a significant deal with government, which will bring the best possible benefits for local residents and businesses. For local leaders to reach a deal with government, the size of the prize will have to be great enough to satisfy the huge ambitions of our local partners and local business community.”

James Newman, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “Private sector leaders in Sheffield City Region are united and are working closely with our public sector colleagues to negotiate a significant deal with government, which reflects the scale of our ambitions. If agreement can be reached, the deal will focus on enabling us to speed up the delivery of our Growth Plan by taking greater control over economic strategy, which includes more committed longer term funding for skills, business growth and infrastructure.”

For the latest information about the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority and LEP visit www.sheffieldcityregion.org.uk

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