A local government minister has insisted the South Yorkshire devolution deal should still go ahead, despite hitting the rocks. Speaking in a parliamentary debate on devolution this week, Jake Berry told MPs it is ‘unfortunate’ that both Barnsley and Doncaster have decided not to take the plans to the next stage, and added the May 2018 regional mayor election is going ahead anyway. The minister even added the Conservative party is proceeding with selecting its candidate for what will be an ‘important election’. ‘The reason I make that point is that I say this to the new mayor of South Yorkshire, whoever he or she may be – we understand the challenges South Yorkshire faces,’ said Mr Berry. ‘We believe that an elected mayor can give South Yorkshire the leadership it clearly needs, and we will work with them, whoever they may be, to ensure the nearly £1bn of government … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

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Jamie Hailstone is senior reporter – NewStart