South Yorkshire has missed out on millions in government funding, as shown by the 2017 Budget released yesterday by Chancellor Philip Hammond. The region’s lack of a metro mayor made it ineligible for a £900m government grant as well as a part of the £1.7bn Transforming Cities fund.
South Yorkshire will now be forced to bid for what is left of the government’s budget. JUS News has established a timeline for South Yorkshire’s botched devolution attempt.
June 2014: Chancellor George Osborne unveils plans for the devolution of England’s cities at the Manchester Museum of Science, saying “We need a Northern Powerhouse.”
October 2015: Osborne signs an agreement with South Yorkshire’s political leaders for a Sheffield City Region (SCR) devolution deal as part of his Northern Powerhouse initiative. The SCR, made up of Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, the Derbyshire Dales, Doncaster, North East Derbyshire, Rotherham, and Sheffield is scheduled to elect a metro mayor in May 2017. As part of the deal, the government agrees to give the region £30m per year for 30 years, a £900m deal in total.
August 2016: Derbyshire County Council takes legal action against the SCR after nearly 6,000 residents complain, claiming the SCR failed to sufficiently consult Chesterfield residents about whether they wanted to join the combined authority. Council leader, Anne Western, called the consultation process “misleading, flawed and insufficient”.
December 2016: The High Court rules in favour of Derbyshire County Council’s appeal and delays the SCR’s mayoral election to May 2018 so they can consult the public in Chesterfield and Bassetlaw, Nottinghamshire about whether they should join the combined authority.
May 2017: The West Midlands, Greater Manchester, the Liverpool City Region, the West of England, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, and Tees Valley elect metro mayors to lead their respective combined authorities. These mayors have power over transport, housing, and economic development. Each region is also granted a 30 year £900m investment fund.
November 2017: Philip Hammond’s Budget grants £250m to the West Midlands, £243m to Greater Manchester, £134m to the Liverpool City Region, £80m to the West of England, £74m to Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, and £59m to Tees Valley as part of the Transforming Cities Fund. South Yorkshire misses out due to its lack of a metro mayor and is left to compete with other regions for the remainder of the money in the government’s £1.7bn scheme.