Follow the link below to see the proposed devolution deal document:
Consultation on the Sheffield City Region devolution deal ended at midnight on Friday 15 January 2016. A summary report of the consultation responses can be found by following the link below:
The Sheffield City Region (SCR) is one of those areas along with Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, the North East, West Midlands and Tees Valley areas, which has taken up this opportunity.
Devolution means we can have more control over things that we want for our towns and cities in this area and to decide at local level rather than in London what matters to us and our future.
This deal covers Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster, Barnsley, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, North East Derbyshire, Bolsover and Bassetlaw and has been worked up with local councils and business leaders. It will allow us to have more money and decision-making powers as well as greater control over job creation, skills and transport improvements, and increase the number of new businesses.
The leaders of Sheffield City Region will take control over the money available to invest in the local economy. Most of the things our economy needs – better transport, business growth, better housing and training – need funding committed to them for long periods to deliver results. Most of this money is currently controlled by central government and often hasn’t been guaranteed for the long-term and is not always spent on the things that matter most to places in Sheffield City Region.
As part of the Devolution Deal, the elected leaders of Sheffield City Region’s Combined Authority, working alongside representatives from the private sector, will have control of a £30million per year fund from Government committed for the next 30 years totalling £900million of guaranteed funding. We can use it to invest in the big projects and developments that take time to build or need money committing for a long period of time.
We will also keep the money raised from any growth in Business Rates over the coming years. This means that when businesses grow or new businesses come into Sheffield City Region, the money they pay in Business Rates will be spent on local services, more growth and more jobs in Sheffield City Region rather than going straight back to central government.
Other Government money given to Sheffield City Region (eg. for transport or housing) will be given to us in one budget so that we’re not told how to spend it by the different Government departments. We will also have greater control over the money Sheffield City Region gets from the European Union. This means we can invest the money we get from Government and the EU in the things that matter most to our local economy.
Sheffield City Region will fully control the money for all adult skills and training. This money is currently controlled by Government through the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Skills Funding Agency based on national skills policies.
This means that training for people aged over 19 in Sheffield City Region will be co-ordinated in Sheffield City Region based on the particular needs of our people that live and work here and the needs of local businesses. People in Sheffield City Region will be able to access the type of training they need to get jobs, further their careers and increase their incomes. Businesses will have access to the training programmes and people with the skills they need to grow their business and create more jobs.
As part of the proposed agreement, Sheffield City Region will also work with Government and local colleges to improve local education, skills and training for 16-18 year olds so that the skills and training available in SCR meets the needs of the local economy and local businesses. SCR will also improve local careers advice so that it better reflects the education, training and job opportunities available here.
When people are out of work, it is vital that they get the right support to get them back into employment. Many people who find themselves out of work get back into jobs quickly with support from Jobcentre Plus. Other people need more support which might mean re-training but it also might mean support with health problems which may be preventing them from working.
At the moment, employment support services are designed nationally by Government. The proposal means that Sheffield City Region will design local employment support with Government so that it meets the needs of people in Sheffield City Region. This will make sure that individuals get the right health, education and training support to get back into work.
The councils and businesses in Sheffield City Region will work together to create a single spatial plan for the City Region’s area. This means we will have a single approach across the city region to planning where we need things like new transport links, new housing and how we create places for businesses to grow and invest. Some of this will include co-ordinating the Local Plans of councils in Sheffield City Region.
This approach will give us a clear plan for the spatial growth of the City Region but also act as a prospectus of businesses upon which they can make decisions to grow, invest and create new jobs. It will not reduce or remove the planning powers of individual local councils.
We will also work with Government on creating a ‘Housing Investment Fund’ for Sheffield City Region. This will be a single fund so that we can work with house builders to build thousands more homes across the Sheffield City Region. By supporting big and small developers, this means we will be able to tackle some of the problems in Sheffield City Region which limit the amount of new housing that is built, including affordable housing.
Local economies all have different strengths and unique areas of expertise. We know that Sheffield City Region has real strengths in advanced manufacturing, engineering and logistics. These are not just important to the local economy, they are important to the national economy too.
New and existing businesses need support and advice that is tailored to their needs, helping them to grow, export the goods they produce, and create new higher skilled jobs. We are setting up business support tailored to our local economy’s needs and this section of the proposed Agreement means that we will have dedicated support for Sheffield City Region’s economy from Government’s trade and investment services, to put Sheffield City Region’s businesses on the map around the world.
The proposal supports the real areas of economic strength in Sheffield City Region, giving national recognition to the developing Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District in Sheffield/Rotherham and a National Institute for Infrastructure in Doncaster, both of which will bring economic growth and more jobs.
We will also work with Government to make ultrafast broadband more available in Sheffield City Region as part of the proposed agreement.
Transport is vital for local economies – it connects people to their jobs and to public services; it enables businesses to move and export their goods and services; and it connects economies to other economies (for example, Sheffield City Region to Leeds City Region or to London).
Sheffield City Region will have more power and control of money to create a better transport system for the area, connecting up the places in the City Region. This includes a transport budget which is ‘multi-year’; this means the funding will cover several years and allow us to spend it on big projects (such as roads or tram extensions) which take time to build.
We will also be able to ‘franchise’ local bus services. At the moment, the bus services in places outside of London are ‘deregulated’ which means private companies run local bus services and locally elected politicians have very little power to influence where buses run to and from. ‘Franchising’ means that the proposed elected mayor would be responsible for setting out the bus services that best meet the needs of local people and the economy. Bus companies would then provide services to meet the plan set out by the elected mayor. This will also include a London ‘oyster card’ style smart ticket which will mean that people will be able to use the same ticket between different buses, trams and trains.
A part of this proposed agreement is that the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority will adopt a model of a directly elected city region Mayor over the Combined Authority’s area with the first elections in May 2017. The existing Sheffield City Region Combined Authority will also be strengthened with additional powers. This takes the next step in transferring resources and powers from central Government to the Sheffield City Region. There is no intention to take existing powers from local authorities without agreement. The agreement will protect the integrity of local authorities in the Sheffield City Region.
The directly elected Mayor for Sheffield City Region Combined Authority will autonomously exercise new powers. The Mayor will chair the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, the members of which will serve as the Mayor’s Cabinet. The Mayor and the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority will be scrutinised and held to account by the SCR Overview and Scrutiny committee(s). The SCR Mayor will also be required to consult the SCR CA Cabinet on his/her strategies, which it may reject if two-thirds of the members agree to do so. The SCR Cabinet will also examine the Mayor’s spending plans and will be able to amend his/her plans, if two-thirds of the members who have been appointed by constituent councils agree to do so.
Proposals for decision by the Combined Authority may be put forward by the Mayor or any Cabinet Member. The Mayor will have one vote as will other voting members. Any questions that are to be decided by the Combined Authority are to be decided by a majority of the members present and voting, subject to that majority including the vote of the Mayor, unless otherwise set out in legislation, or specifically delegated through the Authority's Constitution.