District would suffer if Bassetlaw joined Sheffield City Region, say County Council

Should Bassetlaw cement its ties with Sheffield?
Should Bassetlaw cement its ties with Sheffield?
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Bassetlaw joining the Sheffield City Region will lead to the district’s “deterioration”, say Nottinghamshire County Council bosses.

The County Council believe Bassetlaw’s economic prospects, public service and local democracy would suffer as a result of joining the combined authority.

Bassetlaw District Council applied to become a constituent member of the SCR earlier this year.

But Alan Rhodes, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, who represents Worksop North-East and Carlton, said the proposal “makes no sense”.

He added: “I fear that, rather than leading to better economic outcomes, public services and improved governance in Bassetlaw, it will have a detrimental effect in all of these areas.

“Our response highlights serious concerns around the implications of these changes on residents and businesses, including the delivery of vital services and the financial viability of the proposals. By adding two more layers of Government, they will create confusion and uncertainty about who is responsible for what, which will be damaging for local democracy and accountability.

“I acknowledge that parts of the Worksop area do share some economic interests with Sheffield City Region, but I’m afraid the same cannot be said for the vast majority of the Bassetlaw District.

“Towns like Retford, Tuxford and surrounding rural communities have little economic, cultural or social connection with South Yorkshire and I really fear their interests are not being taken into account.

“I have always been a big advocate of devolution and moving decision-making and resources away from the Westminster bubble and into the hands of local people who have a much better understanding of local issues and priorities.

“But for devolution to work, it has to be done in the right way and on the right terms and I believe that Bassetlaw joining the Sheffield City Region deal will be bad for local democracy, not improve it.”