Sheffield Chamber chief welcomes Barnsley and Doncaster commitment to devolution

Richard Wright of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Richard Wright of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Sheffield Chamber has welcomed a commitment to the devolution deal from the leaders of Barnsley and Doncaster.

Executive director Richard Wright welcomed a statement from Sir Stephen Houghton and Ros Jones CBE in which they stated they were ‘not walking away from anything’.

A row blew up after the pair said they were ‘exploring’ talks with West Yorkshire after the Sheffield City Region mayoral elections were postponed.

Mr Wright said: “I am grateful that both Stephen and Ros have committed unequivocally to the devolution deal for Sheffield City Region and acknowledged that a Yorkshire LEP is both a distraction and unrealistic at this time.

“We have so much to gain as a region for everybody who lives here by working together and focusing on the task in front of us. We should all be proud of where we live, but we should also be proud of achieving collective economic success.

“Sheffield Chamber is committed to the collective good. We have a massive opportunity to do things differently. Let’s grab that opportunity and make it happen together.

“We must start by working together to finalise the devolution deal which means we must get on with the consultation in Chesterfield as quickly as possible.

“I want all the authorities in North Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire that are in Sheffield City Region to know that we, at Sheffield Chamber, value them as a member.

“This doesn’t mean they will no longer be part of Nottinghamshire or Derbyshire but recognises that Sheffield City Region is a single entity that can compete in world markets and we have a symbiotic relationship.”