BARNSLEY voters have backed a 'One Yorkshire' devolution deal in a community poll.

An overwhelming majority of 84.9 per cent of those who voted backed Wider Yorkshire compared to just 15.1 per cent voting for Sheffield City Region.

Turnout was 22.4 per cent.

Barnsley had been due to join the Sheffield deal under a South Yorkshire Mayor - still due to be elected in May - which would bring £30m a year over the next 30 years.

But earlier this year Barnsley Council said it wanted to explore the options of a bigger, One Yorkshire devolution deal instead after smaller councils in Derbyshire pulled out of the Sheffield City Region deal.

Coun Sir Stephen Houghton CBE, Leader of Barnsley Council, said: “The will of the people is for wider Yorkshire. We’ll work to make that happen and we’re confident that this is the right move for Barnsley.

“Our next step is negotiating a way forward for wider Yorkshire.

“We’ll call on Government to enter into discussions on wider Yorkshire with the coalition of the willing. This includes not imposing a Sheffield City Region Mayor on the will of the people and we’ll work to push back any Sheffield City Region mayoral elections until 2020. We would also want to find an alternative deal for those who wish to remain in the Sheffield City Region devolution deal.

“We now know the direction that our residents want the borough to take, and people living in Barnsley now know much more about devolution and the benefits it will bring.”