Consultation begins on devolution plans

The Union flag flies at half mast at Chesterfield Town Hall following the attacks in Paris.
The Union flag flies at half mast at Chesterfield Town Hall following the attacks in Paris.

Chesterfield Borough Council’s leaders are encouraging as many people as possible to get involved in their six-week long consultation on the Sheffield City Region devolution deal.

Council leader, John Burrows, and chief executive, Huw Bowen have been out and about with other council officers drumming up support for the proposal at a number of events around the borough throughout July.

The controversial deal would see almost £500 million devolved to the town over the next five years but would also mean it joining with a number of other local authorities to deliver some services.

John Burrows, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “This is a devolution deal where money is being sent from Westminster down to local level where decisions will be made.

“As a result, we will get £484 million over the next five years and £900 million over a thirty year period with possibly much more to come.

“It is not about taking Chesterfield out of Derbyshire as people are implying - that will not happen.

“It is about taking Chesterfield into an economic deal that gives us a massive opportunity to get new jobs, new skills, business growth and new housing.”

However, many remain unconvinced by the plans, with the lack of a democratic vote on them one of the main bones of contention.

Resident Tony Kershaw, of Barlow, said: “We don’t want this to be steamrollered through - we need a democratic vote.

“This is not democracy, it is communism.”

You can fill in the consultation online or get a hard copy of the document from Chesterfield Borough Council.