Chesterfield Borough Council’s leaders are encouraging as many people as possible to get involved in the consultation on the Sheffield City Region devolution deal.
Council leader, John Burrows, and chief executive, Huw Bowen came to the Market Hall on Friday for the second of two events to launch the six week long process.
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.
“We have had plenty of response so far - the last time I saw the figures Chesterfield was the highest number of the six authorities that are involved for responses.
“We have to see if that is good or bad but we are encouraging people to get involved irrespective of what they think because it is an important consultation.”
Mr Burrows went on to say that the recent ‘Brexit’ vote meant that the new money was even more necessary to ‘offset’ the EU money that will be lost as a result.
The plans have recently come under fire from Derbyshire County Council, whose leader, Anne Western, said the consultation process was ‘misleading and flawed’.
She said: “People are being asked how the proposals should work when the fundamental question is really ‘do you think these plans should go ahead at all?’”
“This is a huge decision with no easy way back and I do not believe these plans are in the interests of any of the county’s residents, especially those in Chesterfield.”
In order to take part in the consultation visit http://sheffieldcityregiondevolution.org.uk/ and click ‘take the survey’.
You can also get a hard copy of the consultation document from Chesterfield Borough Council.