Bassetlaw MP John Mann says the Governemnt’s plans to make Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire a ‘combined authority’ would be a ‘disaster’ for the area.
Mr Mann was speaking after plans were unveiled by the Government for a new combined authority which would, in his view ‘lump Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire together’.
He said: “There is little doubt that ‘the deal’ would be a disaster for Bassetlaw.
“As with every proposal, we have to consider what works best for us locally and what we want our priorities to be.
“Do we really want to pay for an economic development area between Nottingham and Derby – including for East Midlands Airport and the HS2 base at Toton?
“Where do we want our bus services to go to – Nottingham and Derby or Sheffield and Doncaster?
“Which airport is most important to us – Robin Hood Doncaster or East Midlands?
“Which railway line do we want to see improved – the Worksop to Sheffield route and the East Coast Main Line down to London, or the Midland Main Line?
“Where do you go for leisure – Nottingham and Derby, or South Yorkshire?
“Does it make any sense for us to pay for improvements on the roads to Derby and Nottingham instead of the A57 to Sheffield?
“Given the fact that the Government is shifting health decisions into city regions, in my view this deal could also mean the closure of Bassetlaw Hospital in a few years’ time.
“This disastrous plan would see us paying for other people’s roads and train lines at the expense of our own.
“That is not to say all forms of devolution are unsuitable for Bassetlaw and for a number of years I have called for politicians to be less focused on London.
“A good start would be moving some Government departments out of London – they could be moved to Sheffield, Leeds and Nottingham.
“However, losing both power and money makes no sense at all.”