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Sheffield City Region Devolution Deal

On Monday 7 May the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, responded to Dan Jarvis and the Sheffield City Region local authority leaders about their devolution “breakthrough letter” which they sent to him in March 2019.

The crux of the initial letter was that there was a consensus that constituent members should be allowed to leave the Sheffield City Region after 2022 and be part of other devolution deals if they so desired. The potential future arrangements had been the main sticking point since a One Yorkshire deal was originally tabled, with Barnsley and Doncaster the two authorities most likely to leave in three years times.  

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of Sheffield City Region has suggested in subsequent interviews that this agreement should act as the catalyst for devolution in South Yorkshire, whilst being careful to state that ‘devolution is a process, rather than an event’. The local media has been more optimistic regarding devolution progress in Sheffield, with the BBC suggesting that the government has ‘given the go-ahead’.   

In real terms, the Secretary of State’s response (below) acknowledges that some progress has been made and that there has been a concerted effort to come to an agreement. That said, his cautious response suggests that there are still some questions over what the self-imposed uncertainty means for the future of Sheffield City Region, with a ‘commensurately reduced devolution deal’ being the result if some of the constituent members leave. He also added the caveat that this agreement is subject to future parliamentary process, Treasury involvement and wider ministerial cooperation. 

A positive is the presumed future injection of funding to the Sheffield City Region, although the letter is careful to avoid stating how and when funding will be delivered; presumably this will be carefully released with the 2022 deadline in mind. 

The result of this is an increased likelihood that devolution is coming to Yorkshire beyond the current Sheffield City Region by 2022, although we’re still not quite sure in what form and with what powers. 

Sheffield City Region Devolution Deal

Sheffield City Region Devolution Deal

13 May 2019

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