LETTER: A disastrous decision for Chesterfield
After many years of painstaking work, Chesterfield has been forced out of its planned co-operation in the Sheffield City Region devolution project. This is a disastrous decision for Chesterfield.
Coun Tricia Gilby is clearly devastated too. She is right to be.
The Conservative-run county council has only one member in Chesterfield, and that should be indicative of the party’s respect for local democracy in terms of imposing decisions in my view.
Derbyshire County Council should concern itself with county matters and keep out of borough matters.
Coun Barry Lewis’s statement needs to be examined closely to expose what I feel are specious and false arguments. Borough councillors are there to take these decisions for Chesterfield and should not be countermanded by the county council which has its own agenda.
There are some county councillors who do not want economic links to Sheffield, but they are a vocal minority in my opinion.
It should be a matter of concern that the investment money set aside for Chesterfield will now go to the other councils that remain in the partnership. Although the money we have already received will not be repayable — they just got it in time as it would not now be forthcoming if the county veto had come earlier.
In my opinion it is possible to see a hidden agenda here.
Derby City (already an entity independent of the county) and Derbyshire County Council want a partnership with Nottingham city and county.
When Chesterfield looks for some of that independence, it is wrong.
This Nottinghamshire partnership is nowhere as near to being finalised as the Sheffield City Region one is.
I believe the county council has a record of ignoring Chesterfield, why will it now change? This is a disastrous decision and will have far reaching deleterious consequences.
Wake up Chesterfield and look to our own future prosperity.