Derbyshire CC has taken the first step in possible legal action in the row over Chesterfield’s attempts to join the Sheffield City Region's devolution plans, it has emerged.
Earlier this week, the county council claimed that the public are being ‘hoodwinked’ over a consultation on plans to put a Sheffield mayor in charge of transport and other services in Chesterfield.
Chesterfield in Derbyshire
It claimed a consultation launched by Sheffield City Region Combined Authority was so ‘misleading and flawed’ that it should be withdrawn and stated that it had written to the combined authority to say so.
It has now emerged that its letter was a letter before claim, the first step in a possible legal action.
A Sheffield City Region Combined Authority spokesperson told Transport Network: ‘The Combined Authority has received a letter before claim to which we have been asked to respond by 27th July. The letter is being considered by the Authority's legal advisers.’
A spokesperson for Derbyshire confirmed that its letter to Sheffield City Region was a letter before claim.
Although Chesterfield is in Derbyshire and does not share a border with Sheffield City Region, the borough council plans to join the devolution bid based on the Yorkshire city.
This would require Derbyshire CC to hand over responsibility for running many services in the town, including major roads, funding for maintenance and road safety on all roads, public transport, travel concessions and major planning and investment projects.
The county council has argued that the consultation documents ‘do not tell the full story’ and ‘do not ask the key question whether or not people think Chesterfield should become a full member of Sheffield City Region’.