LETTER: Devolution will see Chesterfield as a ‘disconnected pocket of one region’

Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Devolution plans
Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Devolution plans

In a sane world, the five district authorities in the overlap between the Sheffield City Region and the proposed North Midlands region would have collaborated to produce a cohesive devolution plan. Instead, they have all worked independently, and we now have the ludicrous prospect of Chesterfield as a disconnected pocket of one region, totally surrounded by the other one, which beggars belief.

I was pleased to see Coun Anne Western raising the spectre of local government reorganisation, because with these parochial attitudes it is clear that the current structures and boundaries in this corner of Derbyshire will not be fit for purpose in the post-devolution world.

A unitary authority, combining Chesterfield with most or all of North East Derbyshire and Bolsover, would tie in nicely with the gradual streamlining taking place across the country, as well as forcing everyone to face the same way.

However, while the Derbyshire County Council leader may fear for her position, we need not fear for our county. South Yorkshire is still alive and kicking 30 years after losing its county council, and as for Cheshire suffering the same fate in 2009 – who even noticed?

Peter Williamson