Guest column: South Yorkshire is clearly not yet ready for devolution

Sir Kevin Barron MP
Sir Kevin Barron MP

There is a continuing debate about devolution in South Yorkshire.

Seventeen Yorkshire councils want a mayor for Yorkshire which means that devolution for South Yorkshire is under threat.

Only Sheffield and Rotherham councils want a mayor for South Yorkshire with Barnsley and Doncaster opposing this.

I believe that this split between the councils is a consequence of Sheffield City Council’s attitude towards a proposal for an HS2 station at Meadowhall.

One of the reasons the council was against a Meadowhall station was that it is ten minutes from Sheffield city centre.

I have to say that none of my constituents can get to a mainline railway station in ten minutes.

This type of thinking was reinforced by the deputy leader of Sheffield City Council who, in a television interview, said that devolution is around cities and the South Yorkshire deal will mean more jobs, more infrastructure and greater opportunities for their city.

It is my belief that we are not ready for devolution in South Yorkshire if Sheffield’s thinking is only about what happens in the city and how long it takes the people of Sheffield to get to a mainline station.

Earlier this year Boeing announced plans to locate the company’s first European manufacturing facility in South Yorkshire.

Subject to planning permission,the company aims to open the £20 million facility in late 2018 creating up to 30 skilled jobs, which is great news for the area.

Rotherham residents are being asked to have their say on where to vote in elections.

From this week residents can give their views on proposed new polling stations in the Anston and Woodsetts, Maltby and Rother Vale wards.

This consultation runs until September 29, after which a report will go before the council’s cabinet in the autumn where a decision on any changes will be made.

Voters can find out more or have their say online at www.rotherham.gov.uk/elections or send comments to the electoral services team at electoral.services@rotherham.gov.uk

Comments can also be sent by post to Electoral Services, Riverside House, Main Street, Rotherham S60 1AE.

If you live in Dinnington you may be aware that numerous roadworks are taking place.

This is part of an overall £10 million council road improvement plan with resurfacing on sections of Laughton Road, New Road and Lidgett Lane.