LETTER: Will we ever be allowed to have our say?

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I have just heard about the proposal for the creation of a Sheffield City Region that would comprise of the nine local authority areas of Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, Doncaster, North East Derbyshire, Rotherham and Sheffield.

I must admit I do not know a lot of what is being proposed, but would like to know more.

I welcome all attempts to devolve power away from London and into the regions.

I have been very pleased to read about the proposed regeneration of parts of Chesterfield/Junction 29A, and the electrification of the Midland Main Line, which will hopefully bring opportunities not just to Chesterfield, but to the surrounding area.

However, my immediate reaction to the idea of a proposed Sheffield City Region is one of concern, particularly when I also hear of plans to have an elected mayor for Nottinghamshire and other parts of Derbyshire.

Would these plans mean the effective end of Derbyshire as a county? Would Sheffield, with a population of nearly 500,000, really understand the issues facing residents in the rural areas of Derbyshire? Would the voice of Derbyshire people be heard and respected?

I could see the logic of South Yorkshire working closer together, but why does this have to include Derbyshire. There is case for more joined up working, particularly in terms of public transport (with so many residents in Derbyshire region working in Sheffield), but does this have to come at the expense of the county? Will the people have the right to have their say on this matter, or have things already been decided?

The same concerns apply to proposals to create an elected mayor for Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire. While it makes sense for these two similar counties to work together, what would be the consequences to the county, city, district, borough and parish councils, the crime commissioners that exist for each county? Again, how would local concerns be expressed? Will the people of each county be allowed to voice an opinion, or will the decision be made for us?

I was wondering if you knew any more information about or may be able to point me in the direction for more information?

Benjamin Longden

Hardstoft Road, Pilsley