Parliament approves South Yorkshire devolution deal
I have long been committed to ensuring that we level up opportunities for our area by investing in our communities, our infrastructure and our skills. As City regions across the country see the economic and social benefits of having devolved power over locally important issues, it's great news that our own devolution deal has now become a reality.
The devolution deal for the Sheffield City Region,(SCR), becomes law following approval in Parliament.
I am pleased that local councils in South Yorkshire have now agreed the terms of our devolution deal, and that the Government has been able to bring it into law so quickly. After two years of talking, the Sheffield City Region now has the powers that it needs to invest in improving the opportunities available to local people.
Decisions about South Yorkshire will now be made in South Yorkshire.
The devolution deal, which gives additional powers and resources to the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority and the Metro Mayor, is an important next step in the process of devolution for South Yorkshire. The deal hands powers over transport, education, skills and training, housing, planning and regeneration to local leaders in South Yorkshire unlocking £900 million of investment funding over the next 30 years. This is a clear example of the Government's levelling up agenda in action: decisions about investment in our economic future are being made – not in Whitehall – but, quite rightly, in our own community.
We must use this opportunity to find ways to attract businesses and investment so that we create the high skilled, high paid jobs of the future. To do that we need to ensure we have the ability to train people in the skills that they will need for these jobs. This will require more and better collaboration’ between schools, colleges and industry so that we create training and employment pathways for young people and greater opportunities for adult education and retraining.
Social mobility should not mean that people feel forced to leave their local area to access the training and employment that they need to succeed in life. Opportunities must be available here in the constituency of Penistone and Stocksbridge as well as across South Yorkshire. The Government is investing millions more pounds in further education and training and I am looking forward to this investment being matched by the SCR locally.
This devolution deal means we now have the opportunity to do something transformational for the people of South Yorkshire, and I look forward to playing my part.