Following the decisive community poll results in Barnsley and Doncaster, I believe we are close to securing a devolution agreement which could act as a stepping stone to a wider Yorkshire settlement.
This week the leaders of Barnsley and Doncaster wrote to the Communities Secretary proposing a deal which would see powers and funding flow to the Sheffield City Region starting this year. At the same time, those council leaders supporting a wider Yorkshire deal would be able to continue their negotiations with the aim of securing a deal by 2020. I led a debate in Parliament arguing the case for this compromise.
I welcome the reasonable and pragmatic response from the leader of Rotherham Council signalling his support for this solution. Over the next few days, I will do everything I can to build a consensus and I am confident that we can achieve that.
Read more in the Yorkshire Post here and watch my Westminster Hall debate on from Tuesday 9 January here (debate starts at 16.30).