Scrap mayoral election until devolution delivered

Council leaders have said that the forthcoming mayoral election in South Yorkshire should be cancelled and an interim mayor appointed until a 'Wider Yorkshire' devolution deal can be agreed.

Due to take place in May, delaying the election could save £2 million and allow time to agree an alternative deal. Barnsley Council leader Sir Steve Houghton and Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones have written to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government expressing their thoughts.

However, Communities Minister Sajid Javid has previously stated that he would be willing to allow Barnsley and Doncaster to join a Wider Yorkshire deal but not until 2022. Houghton and Jones argue that waiting until 2022 is ‘too long for Yorkshire and Doncaster to wait, particularly in the context of Brexit’ and claim that a ‘Yorkshire Mayor could be realistically elected in 2020’.