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City region to ignore county's 'misconceived' legal threat

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Sheffield City Region Combined Authority is set to ignore a threat of “misconceived” legal action and press ahead with its formal set-up, papers reveal.

Members are due to meet on Monday to consider responses to a consultation on the area’s devolution deal and approve a formal request that communities secretary Sajid Javid makes the parliamentary orders needed to give effect to its devolution deal, following support shown in a public consultation.

Derbyshire CC has threated judicial review of the consultation as it objects to Chesterfield BC’s intention to become a full member of the combined authority.

Chesterfield is surrounded by Bolsover BC and North East Derbyshire DC, which intend only to be associate members of the city region.

Derbyshire plans to challenge the consultation as “misleading and flawed”, but told LGC this week it is yet to receive court permission to bring a judicial review.

Nottinghamshire CC also objects to Bassetlaw DC becoming a full member but has taken a less hostile stance, saying it will “try to make it work”.

A report to next week’s combined authority meeting said Derbyshire’s legal challenge was “factually and legally misconceived and the CA intends to contest this claim in full” and that it need not delay a request to Mr Javid to establish the CA.

The report said consultation results showed: “There is a broad measure of support for devolving additional powers to the Sheffield City Region and to the extension of the geography of the authority to include Bassetlaw and Chesterfield.

“It is also recognised that there is some opposition to such proposals including two substantial representations from the two county councils affected.”

The principle of devolving powers to the city region was supported by 1,928 to 556 in the consultation, with a further 206 respondents either neutral or expressing no view.

Meanwhile, communities secretary Sajid Javid has withdrawn legislation to create the North East Combined Authority after council leaders this week rejected the deal offered.

He said: “Handing power back to northerners is a key part of our plans to build a Northern Powerhouse and our focus now will be on working to secure a new agreement for residents in those areas committed to progressing with devolution.”



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