A RADIO debate about Yorkshire Devolution will feature council leaders and representatives of the media from across the region.
Rotherham Council leader Cllr Chris Read, Sheffield City Council leader Julie Dore, Advertiser editor Andrew Mosley, Star and Doncaster Free Press editor Nancy Fielder and Barnsley Chronicle editor Andrew Harrod will take part in a discussion surrounding whether a deal should be pursued for Sheffield City Region or Yorkshire as a whole.
Barnsley Council leader Cllrs Sir Steve Houghton and Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones have refused to take part in the debate, while will be hosted by Radio Sheffield’s Toby Foster on Monday for broadcast next Friday.
The ‘One Yorkshire’ devolution argument is now likely to be represented by business leaders and union representatives.
A BBC Radio Sheffield spokesperson said: “For the first time, BBC Radio Sheffield, the Star, Barnsley Chronicle, Rotherham Advertiser and Doncaster Free Press have come together to host a joint discussion about the future of our area on the issue of devolution.
“We have invited our four local council leaders to take part and are also inviting a range of opinion formers from the business community, local government unions, academics and others who have contributed to the ongoing discussions about the future governance of the region.”
Doncaster and Barnsley are holding public consultations as to whether residents want to pursue a deal for One Yorkshire or a devolved South Yorkshire. A postal poll will be sent to voters in both boroughs at a total cost of £240,000. It will ask residents to choose which devolution proposal they prefer.
Barnsley and Doncaster backed out of the long-discussed Sheffield City Region £900m devolution deal, offering new powers and a metro-mayor, to pursue the One Yorkshire proposal covering the county.
The Government has repeatedly said Barnsley and Doncaster can never join a wider Yorkshire scheme because all four councils signed up to the Sheffield City Region deal and it was enacted in Parliament.