I can today inform the House that the Government have reached an agreement on devolution with the Sheffield city region, which will transfer powers over economic growth to local control.
The deal will give the Sheffield city region LEP and combined authority more control over the key levers of economic growth and job creation, while also strengthening local governance and giving businesses a bigger say in key decisions. The deal covers skills, employment, business support, transport and housing, areas which have been identified by Sheffield city region.
Sheffield city region will assume greater control over skills and business support spending in their area, working closely with the Government. These changes will make the skills and business support systems more responsive to employer demand in the Sheffield city region, and help accelerate growth.
The Government will work closely with Sheffield city region on public transport, aiming to improve bus, tram and train services and moving towards smart, integrated ticketing across the transport network. The Government will also work in partnership with Sheffield city region to dispose of public sector assets in a way that supports economic growth and achieves best value for the public purse.
This deal also lays the foundations for the Government and Sheffield city region to continue working together on further devolution, while also strengthening the city region’s governance and capacity to deliver. As part of this, Sheffield city region will consider different options for improving local governance and accountability, including the possibility of a directly elected mayor. Any further agreements will be subject to further discussions at local and national level.