An online poll has been set up by Derbyshire County Council to ask what they claim are key questions missed out of the official public consultation about Chesterfield’s proposals to join Sheffield City Region’s devolution deal.
The County Council claim they are raising fundamental concerns about the official consultation launched by Sheffield City Region, which is a group made up of Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham Councils.
Leader of the County Council, Councillor Anne Western said: “These are the questions local people really want to answer.”
Sheffield City Region is required, by law, to consult with the public on plans forcing the county council to hand over responsibility to a Mayor and combined authority for running services in Chesterfield, including major roads, funding decisions for maintenance and road safety on all roads in the borough, public transport, travel concessions, skills for employment and major planning and investment projects.
However the County Council claim the consultation documents launched by the combined authority do not tell the full story and do not ask the key question whether or not people think Chesterfield should become a full member of Sheffield City Region.
Now members in County Hall have launched a short poll via their website so people can give a simple ‘yes or no’ answer to important questions including:
Do you think Chesterfield should become a full member of Sheffield City Region?
Do you think a future Sheffield Mayor should be able to make decisions about some services in Chesterfield?
Councillor Western continued: “The official consultation asked people how the proposals should work when the fundamental question is really ‘do you think these plans should go ahead at all?’
“That’s why the county council launched its own poll. It’s essential that Derbyshire residents get a full chance to have their say in order for the consultation to be both legal and fair.”
“This is a huge decision with no easy way back and I do not believe these plans are in the interests of any of the county’s residents, especially those in Chesterfield.”
“It’s impossible to give an informed response to the official consultation because Sheffield City Region hasn’t explained well enough how it intends to take over these services and run them.”
“But it’s important that people continue to take part in the official consultation as well as the county council’s poll. Sheffield City Region’s consultation is the only official way people can make their voice heard at the moment. It’s not easy to fill in but you can make your feelings known by writing in any of the boxes provided.”
“It’s not a done deal – the final decision rests with Government ministers in Westminster. But we need to act now to make local voices heard.”
The County Council say they will share the results of the poll with Sheffield City Region as the official consultation closes on 12th August.