Majority of informed Doncaster business leaders want Sheffield devolution

Dan Fell, chief executive, Doncaster Chamber of Commerce.
Dan Fell, chief executive, Doncaster Chamber of Commerce.

The majority of ‘informed’ Doncaster business leaders want devolution in Sheffield City Region, figures from Doncaster Chamber show.

Some 46 per cent of bosses who feel informed on the subject want a Sheffield deal, either ‘only’, or as a ‘stepping stone’ to a pan-Yorkshire agreement.

That compares to 43 per cent of those who just want a Yorkshire deal.

The Chamber initially stated 70 per cent wanted a Yorkshire deal. It has since emerged that was solely based on ‘all responses’.

The ‘informed’ results were released after a request from The Star.

A deal for a South Yorkshire mayor, set to bring £900m and powers, is on hold after Barnsley and Doncaster pulled out to explore a ‘One Yorkshire’ option.

Council chiefs quoted Doncaster Chamber’s initial poll results to show support for their actions.

Doncaster Chamber chief executive, Dan Fell, said the aim of the poll was to reflect the view of all businesses and ‘not just those closest to the debate’.

The full results had been shared with ‘key strategic partners,’ he added.

He said: “The Chamber is a membership-led organisation, we form our views after consulting with members, not before.

“There are strong views on all sides. That is why our support for a One Yorkshire deal has not been unconditional.”

He hoped that Doncaster Council was weighing the views of local businesses ‘alongside a myriad of other factors’ in deciding on devolution.

Since the poll in September, Yorkshire - which does not have an elected mayor - was overlooked in the Budget. And the Government has published its Industrial Strategy white paper which indicated much of its implementation would involve devolved powers to local mayors.