A Committee of MPs has today raised concerns about the way that devolution deals are being introduced across England.
The Public Accounts Committee, on which Don Valley MP Caroline Flint sits, examined the 10 devolution deals that have been agreed, including one for Sheffield City Region.
Caroline Flint said: “The Sheffield Local Enterprise Partnership estimates that this devolution deal will create 15,000 new jobs and see 12,000 new homes built. I urge the Government to give the LEP all the support it needs to reach this goal.
“But with mayoral elections already planned for next year, it is alarming that big questions remain unanswered on a number of these deals.
“Devolution is a big change that has the potential to bring big benefits to our region by empowering local decision makers. But in a rush to get these through, the Government has not thought them through properly. Some deals lack clear objectives, and others don’t make geographical sense.
“The Public Accounts Committee has raised big questions, such as:
- Accountability to taxpayers – plans for proper accountability, including to Parliament, are not in place.
- Governance – LEPs have nothing like the governance and transparency of a local council, yet are handling huge sums.
“The Government must make sure that new bodies are properly accountable to taxpayers and that people benefit from more local decision-making, and don’t see their services suffer.”
The PAC’s full report can be accessed here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmpubacc/296/29602.htm