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City region mayoral election 'not possible' in 2017

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It is “not possible” for the Sheffield City Region to hold a mayoral election this year, the combined authority has confirmed.

A meeting of leaders was held yesterday during which it was decided that the region would have to delay for a year the election, which had been planned to take place on 4 May, as a result of having to re-run a part of its consultation.

LGC reported last month how the mayoral election was in doubt after a High Court judge ruled the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority’s devolution deal consultation was unlawful because it failed to explicitly ask whether Chesterfield BC should join the body as a constituent member.

A Sheffield City Region Combined Authority spokesman said: “Local leaders of the combined authority have now had an opportunity to consider the High Court judgement and its implications on the Sheffield City Region’s devolution deal and the mayoral geography.

“On the advice of the combined authority’s managing director and legal officer it is now not possible to hold a mayoral election in May 2017. The combined authority is now working towards a mayoral election in May 2018.

“To this end, the combined authority is drawing up fresh plans to consult on its proposals, with a view to satisfying the requirements of the High Court judgement.”

LGC understands the region has concluded there will not be enough time to run the consultation again and for the government to find parliamentary time to lay the orders necessary for mayoral elections to take place.

As a result, the region does not believe it will be able to realistically hold its revised consultation until after other local elections have taken place in May.

One source told LGC: “It’s an expectation, rather than knowledge, that the government won’t want to run the mayoral election until May 2018.”

That was in large part due to the cost of running elections, they said.

It is now expected the city region will write to the Department for Communities & Local Government with its proposal.

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