In October 2015 a new deal was agreed for Sheffield City Region (SCR) devolution.
This deal set out proposals for a combined authority with a new directly elected mayor in May 2018.
The agreement will grant the mayor responsibility for a consolidated, devolved transport budget with a multi-year settlement, responsibility for franchised bus services and responsibility for an identified Key Route Network of local authority roads. The deal also grants the mayor devolved powers over strategic planning. The Sheffield City Region (SCR) Combined Authority, working with the mayor, gains control of a new additional £30m a year funding allocation over 30 years, responsibility for chairing an area based review of 16+ skills provision and devolved 19+ adult skills funding from 2018/19.
The deal also outlines a joint responsibility with the Government to co-design employment support for harder-to-help claimants and to develop and implement a devolved approach to the delivery of national business support programmes. The combined authority and Government will also work together on the development of the SCR Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District, a city region-led proposal to undertake a science and innovation audit and a National Institute for Infrastructure within Doncaster.
The election of Dan Jarvis MP as Sheffield City Region Mayor
In May 2018, Dan Jarvis MP was elected as the first Mayor for the SCR. Dan Jarvis is the Labour MP for Barnsley Central. He will remain an MP as he serves as Mayor. The Mayor’s manifesto outlines 18 policy ideas. These include:
- create a Sheffield City Region Ethical Care Charter to establish standards for social care and require care workers to be paid the living wage
- develop a scheme to provide incentives to local tradespeople to support older people to live independently in their own homes
- support co-operative housing schemes and tackling ‘rogue’ private landlords
- establish a Sheffield City Region Homelessness Network and Temporary Accommodation Board to improve the conditions of houses for multiple occupation
- founding and utilising Mayor’s Community Fund to support projects targeted at easing homelessness
Currently, the Government’s priority is to complete the Sheffield City Region devolution deal, which would bring £900m of investment to that region. To achieve this, the next step is for the Sheffield City Region to undertake the statutory consultation on the powers to be devolved. However, the plan is currently in deadlock as the four local authority leaders in South Yorkshire have yet to agree a way forward.
The statutory consultation will take place once the four councils have agreed a shared plan to deliver it. A debate in the House of Lords on 5 November has called upon all partners to progress this plan so the devolution deal can be finalised.
Housing and planning
The Sheffield City Region Combined Authority Mayor will exercise strategic planning powers to support and accelerate the ambitions stated within the devolution agreement. This will include powers to:
- Create a spatial framework, which will act as the framework for managing planning across the Sheffield City Region, and with which all local development plans will be in strategic alignment. The spatial framework will need to be approved by unanimous vote of the members appointed by constituent councils of the Mayoral Combined Authority. This approach must not delay any local development plans, and will build upon the local plans being developed
- Create supplementary planning documents, subject to approval processes
- Create Mayoral Development Corporations, which will support delivery on strategic sites in the SCR. This power will be exercised with the consent of the Cabinet member in which the Development Corporation is to be used
- Be consulted on and/or call-in planning applications of strategic importance to the city region
In late 2017 public and private housing providers in the city region were invited to bid into an £8m housing fund which promises to help unlock development opportunities, and deliver much-needed new homes across the city region. This is a regional fund, only available to support schemes delivered within the nine local authority areas which make up the city region.
Factors to be considered will include the cost per home, any increase in land value and local amenities, how much private sector and additional public sector resource can be generated, and what proportion of the investment will come back to the SCR.
Sheffield Housing Company
The Sheffield Housing Company is a partnership between Sheffield City Council, Keepmoat and Great Places Housing Group. Over the next 15 years, Sheffield Housing Company aims to build 2,300 new high quality homes in Sheffield’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. Six years into the plan, 500 new homes were built.
Sheffield City Region Housing Providers
Housing associations own or manage over 31,000 homes in the Sheffield City Region. SCR housing associations also support approximately 1,385 full-time jobs within the city region and add £49,584 to the local economy.
The Sheffield City Region Social and Affordable Housing Compact, established in 2016 is a landmark collaboration between local authorities, social and affordable housing providers in the Sheffield City Region. It has been developed by local authorities, housing associations and arms-length management organisations (ALMOs), working closely with the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, demonstrating their collective commitment to work together to solve the housing crisis and meet the housing needs of those living and working in the city region.
The Sheffield City Region Housing Providers Forum meets on a quarterly basis to monitor the performance of the Compact and initiate new collaborative work streams such as recent work on homelessness.
To discuss devolution and housing in the Sheffield City Region, please email Sharon Squires, External Affairs Manager for the Yorkshire and Humber region.
This page was last updated December 2018.