Over the past few months many thousands of words have been written about Chesterfield’s plans to join Sheffield City Region, including councillor Diouf’s long letter in the Derbyshire Times recently. (Read the letter here.)
Supporters of Chesterfield joining Sheffield City Region say it is a complex subject and people have been misled or simply don’t understand.
But I have to disagree. The issues are actually very simple and local people do understand them.
In a poll run by the county council:
Ninety-two per cent of local people do not want a Sheffield City Region Mayor for Chesterfield;
• Ninety-two per cent do not want Chesterfield to become a full member of Sheffield City Region.
It doesn’t get much clearer than that in my view.
We know – because the chairman of Sheffield City Region, Coun Sir Stephen Houghton has told us – that Sheffield City Region needs more districts to make it stronger and that it’s facing pressure from Government to make the mayor responsible for highways, health and social care. Schools have also been mentioned. It’s a land grab, I feel.
I believe Derbyshire County Council has a moral obligation to represent the very many people who do not want the plans to go ahead and feel they don’t have a voice about something that could affect their town for generations to come.
That’s what I was elected to do and that’s why the county council is challenging Chesterfield Borough Council’s plans. Readers can find out more at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/chesterfield
Councillor Anne Western
Derbyshire County Council