As Brexit approaches, new powers and resources are more important than ever
We stand at a critical moment for our country. As we leave the European Union, securing further powers and resources for South Yorkshire and building greater co-operation across Yorkshire will ensure we are best prepared for whatever Brexit brings.
I'm therefore pleased that Leaders in South Yorkshire and I have together announced this week that we're taking a significant step forward on devolution.
The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has confirmed he will be working with us, and he has also agreed to progress discussions on the role and functions of a Committee of Leaders from across Yorkshire, based on the existing Yorkshire Leaders Board.
As Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, my responsibility is to secure the greatest resources possible for the people I represent – particularly after a long decade of austerity and generations of systemic under-investment.
We need to grow our economy, create more good jobs, invest in our transport network, improve the skills of our workforce and do all we can to protect our environment - creating a stronger and more sustainable region in which more people want to live, work and invest.
By working together at a Sheffield City Region level, we've already made great strides towards this. We've allocated around £365m in Local Growth Funding towards transformative projects , such as the Grey to Green public realm development in Sheffield, the regeneration of the Wool Market in Doncaster, the Glass Works scheme in Barnsley town centre and the creation of University Centre Rotherham. We've also brought in more than £500m of private sector investment, created more than 44,000 jobs, and helped more than 6,000 people to find or stay in work through our trailblazing Working Win project.
But we can effect change faster, and have much greater impact, with the significant additional powers and resources that devolution will deliver.
By working together, and uniting with a shared purpose and a single voice, we will ensure we make the most of the huge potential that exists both here in South Yorkshire and right across Yorkshire and the north of England.
5 February 2020 | Emily MacPherson-Smith