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  1. ITV Report

Barnsley and Doncaster voters 'overwhelmingly' in favour of One Yorkshire devolution plan

34,015 people in Barnsley voted for 'wider Yorkshire' Credit: ITV News

People in Barnsley and Doncaster have voted 'overwhelmingly' in favour of calls for a 'One Yorkshire' devolution deal.

In Barnsley, 40,280 residents took part in the community poll - that's 22.4% of the electorate. Of those, 34,015 (84.9%) chose 'wider Yorkshire', while 6,064 (15.1%) opted for Sheffield City Region.

Meanwhile in Doncaster, 45,470 residents voted - a turnout of 20.1%. Of those, 38,551 (84.7%) came out in favour of wider Yorkshire, with only 6,685 (14.7%) preferring Sheffield City Region.

£250000
the estimated cost of the community poll

The councils spent nearly £250,000 asking residents whether they would prefer to be part of the Sheffield City Region deal, or the 'One Yorkshire' proposal that has since been backed by fifteen councils across the region.

In Doncaster, 85% of votes cast were in favour of 'One Yorkshire' Credit: ITV News

Supporters claim the One Yorkshire proposal could give the region control of £30bn over 30 years.

The Sheffield City Region deal is worth £1.3bn over 30 years, but has already been agreed by the government and all South Yorkshire councils.

But in recent months, authorities in Barnsley and Doncaster have backed away from the deal, claiming 'One Yorkshire' would bring greater benefits to the towns.

The Government insists the Sheffield City Region deal will go ahead Credit: ITV News

Yesterday, the Communities Secretary Sajid Javid wrote to local authorities in South Yorkshire, suggesting South Yorkshire councils should press ahead with the Sheffield City Region deal, but leave open the option for a One Yorkshire deal further down the line.

“While we will not undo the Sheffield City Region deal, which has been partly implemented and would bring around £1 billion of new investment to the area, we have proposed to the four South Yorkshire leaders that we will open discussions to see if we can agree a way forward."

– Department for Communities and Local Government

The Government insists the election for a Sheffield City Region mayor will go ahead in May 2018, but the leader of Barnsley Council has called for a change of plan.

“The will of the people is for wider Yorkshire. We’ll work to make that happen and we’re confident that this is the right move for Barnsley.

Our next step is negotiating a way forward for wider Yorkshire.

We’ll call on Government to enter into discussions on wider Yorkshire with the coalition of the willing. This includes not imposing a Sheffield City Region Mayor on the will of the people and we’ll work to push back any Sheffield City Region mayoral elections until 2020. We would also want to find an alternative deal for those who wish to remain in the Sheffield City Region devolution deal.

We now know the direction that our residents want the borough to take, and people living in Barnsley now know much more about devolution and the benefits it will bring.”

– Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton CBE, Leader of Barnsley Council