Devolution deal welcomed by Dearne power players

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his first Tory-only Budget. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday July 8, 2015. See PA story BUDGET Main. Photo credit should read: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his first Tory-only Budget. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday July 8, 2015. See PA story BUDGET Main. Photo credit should read: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Dearne power players have welcomed Chancellor George Osborne’s plans for a further devolution deal.

Mr Osborne confirmed discussions have begun with the Sheffield City Region group of councils, which includes Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster, about ‘far reaching devolution of power in return for the creation of directly elected mayors.’

Doncaster mayor Ros Jones said more devolution would put the town ‘firmly in the driving seat when it comes to taking control of our own future’.

She said: “It means bringing decision making to a local level where it belongs – a positive step in the right direction as it enables decisions to be made by those with a greater understanding of local economic need and what action has to be taken to boost jobs and growth.”

Dan Fell, chief executive officer of the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, described more devolution as a positive step forward, but added he hoped the plans would go ‘beyond empty rhetoric’.

He said: “Northern business leaders will – no doubt – remain sceptical about many of the commitments made by the Chancellor about investment in transportation and roads given the Government’s long history of promising but under-delivering on this crucial agenda.”

The Chancellor also revealed plans to allow shops to trade for longer on Sundays, while a new national living wage for over 25s starting at £7.20 an hour is to be introduced next April and rising to £9 by 2020. In addition, the Government will make £37 billion worth of further spending cuts by 2020 including £12bn of welfare and £5bn from tax avoidance. Mr Fell said the Chamber will monitor the effects on local businesses.