BARNSLEY Council wants to form a combined authority with eight other councils in order to bring greater economic growth to the borough.

It would see Barnsley, along with Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield - and the district councils of Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales and North East Derbyshire - join forces.

By forming a combined authority, it would allow the councils to take decisions jointly across their area to drive forward economic growth.

Council leader Sir Steve Houghton said the new authority, to be known as the Sheffield City Region Authority, would be good news for Barnsley.

Cllr Houghton, who is chairman of the 'shadow' authority, said he welcomed the government formally recognising the authority and urged residents and business leaders to support the proposals through a public consultation running until October 7.

"I would like to assure residents and businesses that this arrangement comes at no extra cost to taxpayers," Cllr Houghton said.

"It wouldn't take any powers away from the local authorities but instead would take powers away from Westminster."

Should it go ahead, the combined authority would replace the South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority and have responsibility for transport, economic development and regeneration.

It would streamline the decision-making process in those areas, which in the case of transport and the economy, can often overlap borough boundaries.

It also means the public, businesses and agencies would only have to deal with one decision-making body rather than several.

Responses as part of the consultation must be made by October 7 and emailed here.