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Greater Sheffield strategic growth authority mooted

by on August 16, 2013

The Government has launched a consultation exercise into plans by nine councils in and around Sheffield to set up a new combined authority designed to deliver greater economic growth.

The nine councils of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales and North East Derbyshire want to work together through a new combined authority to boost the prosperity of the area.

The new body would have responsibility for transport, economic development and regeneration, and replace the South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority. It would not have statutory planning powers. But it would have powers to set the area’s growth, economic and investment strategies and establish a co-ordinated approach to inward investment.

Three further areas are also seeking to establish combined authorities – West Yorkshire, the North East and Merseyside.

Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Looking at strategic decision making in this way recognises that an area’s economy, its roads and its rail don’t stop at a local authority boundary.”

A pioneering combined authority was established in 2011 in Greater Manchester. Among other achievements it has secured the major refurbishment of Bolton and Rochdale railway stations, a ‘Revolving Infrastructure Fund’ worth £30m per year and a commitment to a programme which will see between 5,000 and 7,000 new homes built by 2017.

Read the Department for Communities and Local Government news release.

Roger Milne

16 August 2013

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