Bassetlaw: Council to vote on full membership of Sheffield City Region

An extraordinary council meeting has been called to decide whether Bassetlaw District Council should apply for full constituent membership of the Sheffield City Region (SCR) combined authority.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 9th March 2016, 5:05 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th March 2016, 5:06 pm
Leader of Bassetlaw Council, Simon Greaves
Leader of Bassetlaw Council, Simon Greaves

At the meeting, on Thursday, March 17, council will also be asked to sign the Sheffield City Region Devolution Agreement.

A report by council officers is recommending that Bassetlaw District Council makes an application for full constituent membership of the SCR and non-constituent membership of the North Midlands combined authority, once it is formed.

This is in response to the Government’s programme of devolution, which will see powers and responsibilities devolved to a more ‘local level’.

This would include powers and funding to deal with issues such as housing, skills and training, business support and transport.

Councillor Simon Greaves, leader of Bassetlaw District Council said: “This is about our economy and what is best for Bassetlaw businesses and residents.

“It’s about creating opportunities, jobs and training prospects and securing sustainable economic growth and investment for the foreseeable future.

“We believe that these interests are best served by applying for full membership of the Sheffield City Region, whilst continuing to play a role as a non-constituent member of any future North Midlands combined authority.

“This is not about Bassetlaw leaving Nottinghamshire. We are proud of our history and will remain within the geographical boundaries of the county, irrespective of whatever decision the council take.

“The council will retain its sovereignty over the services we provide and we will continue to work closely with, and receive services from, our partners at Nottinghamshire County Council.”

The devolution deals will be given to groups of councils in local areas called combined authorities. These combined authorities will manage the deals and, under Government proposals, would be led by an elected Mayor.

The Sheffield City Region combined authority has already agreed a devolution deal with the Government which would include an additional £900 million of funding to the city region over 30 years.

The deal also covers a range of themes including skills and employment, housing, planning and public assets, innovation, advanced manufacturing and business growth and transport.

For Bassetlaw to fully realise the economic benefits of the Sheffield City Region, exercise voting rights on key decisions and receive funding from the devolution deal, it would need to become a full constituent member of the SCR combined authority.

If councillors decide to ratify the devolution deal and apply to join the SCR combined authority area, there will be a period of public consultation- with the Government making the final decision.

Councillor Alan Rhodes, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council and Chair of the Nottinghamshire Economic Prosperity Committee said:“Bassetlaw is and always will be an important part of Nottinghamshire.

£The excellent working relationship between Nottinghamshire County Council and Bassetlaw District Council continues and the residents of the district will continue to receive excellent public services from both the district and county councils.

“On devolution, it is incumbent on every district and borough area to secure the best possible arrangements for its residents.

“We respect Bassetlaw District Council’s decision to express a preference to join the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority as constituent member – they must choose the option they believe gives Bassetlaw residents and businesses the best opportunity for economic prosperity.

“Bassetlaw’s commitment to join any future North Midlands Combined Authority as a non-constituent member is welcomed and will strengthen the links between the two Combined Authorities. The door will remain open for Bassetlaw to join the North Midlands Combined Authority as a constituent member at a later date, should it decide to do so,” Coun Rhodes added.