Steel city looks to increase its strength

June 24 2015  

Steel city looks to increase its strength
Sheffield is the latest area to push for more devolution and greater powers over transport strategy and spending. On Monday the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority and the Local Enterprise Partnership agreed to create a new structure with five executive boards covering skills, business growth, transport, infrastructure and housing. Each board features representatives from both public and private sectors.
 
AECOM director Kate Morris, who works on projects in Yorkshire, welcomed the development. “Transport should not be treated in isolation and has an important role to play in economic growth and unlocking development potential," she said. “Economics operate on a wider basis than just a city so giving greater powers to a wider city region should mean that decisions taken can deliver better outcomes.”
 
Sheffield City Region Combined Authority chairman Sir Stephen Houghton said: “The new governance arrangements are vital to efficiently progress the devolution agenda and successfully deliver our promises to Government that form the Growth Deal.”
 
Combined Authority chief executive Ben Still added that the changes “will make sure we can deliver transport projects faster”.
 
This latest development follows creation of the Local Enterprise Partnership in 2010 and the setting up of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority in 2014. Last year the Combined Authority was granted £320M through a Growth Deal from Government, which helped to progress projects such as the Finningley & Rossington Regeneration Route Scheme, a link road between the M18 and Robin Hood airport.
 
News of Sheffield’s push for greater devolution follows an announcement last week that three councils in southern England (East Sussex, Surrey and West Sussex) are looking to come together to realise greater powers and financial freedoms.
 
And at the end of last year moves to create a Tri-County Combined Authority involving Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire were put forward.

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