Doubts grow over South Yorkshire mayor election

A new mayor for South Yorkshire is due to be elected in May 2017
A new mayor for South Yorkshire is due to be elected in May 2017
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THE ELECTION of a new ‘metro-mayor’ for South Yorkshire next year is now in serious doubt, The Yorkshire Post has been told.

It is understood that fresh consideration is being given to reviving the idea of a single devolution deal for the whole Yorkshire region.

And even if the devolution agreement covering South Yorkshire goes ahead in its current form, the proposed election of a new mayor for the area could be delayed.

The existing Sheffield City Region devolution deal, agreed with the Government last year, involves South Yorkshire councils along with Bassetlaw and Chesterfield taking on new powers and the election of a new mayor in May 2017.

Council leaders, who were reluctant to accept the mayor as part of the deal, agreed this week to seek talks with the new Theresa May government over whether it would still insist on the measure.

But it is understood other factors, including tensions between South Yorkshire councils over revised plans for the route of the HS2 rail line and the location of stations, have put further pressure on the deal’s future.

With North, West and East Yorkshire still to reach devolution agreements, some in South Yorkshire see the arrival of a new government as a chance to look again at region-wide deal.

Speaking at a Doncaster Council meeting, deputy executive mayor Glyn Jones described May 2017 as a “a highly improbable timescale for city region mayoral elections”.

Coun Jones said: “We remain committed to devolution but we must get this right. We shouldn’t and we won’t rush this at any cost.”