Labour MPs in the Sheffield City Region have rejected calls for a pan-Yorkshire devolution deal, despite a one-year delay to a proposed mayoral election for the city region.
Last week shadow minister Jon Trickett suggested that a directly-elected mayor should run a single devolved region covering the whole of Yorkshire and the Humber.
Clive Betts MP
However, speaking on behalf of six Labour MPs in the Sheffield City Region, Clive Betts MP said: ‘The particular model of devolution which the Government is offering is fundamentally about economic regeneration in recognised travel-to-work areas and the associated policies related to skills and housing.
‘It is not about regional devolution of the type and nature represented by the sort of Yorkshire regional government suggested 15 years ago. Neither is it about the recreation of a regional development agency.
‘Neither are we in the business of providing solutions to the devolution challenges of North and West Yorkshire to the detriment of the opportunities for the people and economy of Sheffield, Rotherham, Bassetlaw, Chesterfield, and North Derbyshire.'
Mr Betts said he and his colleagues would be ‘seeking ministerial assurances that any proposals for the rest of Yorkshire will not prejudice further consultations on a restructured Sheffield City Region proposal'.
The six MPs are backing existing devolution plans for the city region despite last week’s announcement from the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority that it was now working towards a mayoral election in May 2018, rather than this May, as previously planned.
The delay follows last month’s successful High Court challenge from Derbyshire County Council over the combined authority’s public consultation on its plans.
The combined authority said the decision to postpone the election followed advice from officers is that it was no longer possible to achieve an election in May 2017 due to the time needed to carry out the additional consultation required.