Tuesday, May 8, 2018

News: Major role for Jarvis as region's first elected mayor

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The first ever elected mayor for South Yorkshire is Labour and Co-operative candidate, Dan Jarvis MP, and one of his first tasks will be to establish just what his role is.

The MP for Barnsley Central and former British Army Major, was elected as the Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority's first metro mayor last week.

The Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) comprises the nine Sheffield city region (SCR) local authority leaders and the metro mayor and its current remit is strategic economic development and transport, with the constituent leaders being accountable for where public money is being spent.

The leaders of the four South Yorkshire councils, along with Jarvis, are constituent members, able to vote on recommendations and proposals. The mayor is set to chair the MCA with the next meeting scheduled for June 11.

With the collapse of the proposed devolution deal, the authority outlined during the election that the "Mayor will be a major figure in the political life of the area. They will act as an ambassador for the area; promoting it as a place to live, work, visit and invest in."

Orders went through Parliament but a mayoral election was delayed following a legal challenge over the consultation brought by Derbyshire County Council. Chesterfield and Bassetlaw Councils withdrew their applications to be full members of the Combined Authority.

This was followed by a lack of consensus from the leaders of South Yorkshire's four councils which denied the SCR the chance to conclude a devolution deal with the Government.

Barnsley and Doncaster have focused on a potential "One Yorkshire" devolution solution and a "two tier" solution was mooted to avoid an election which had a budgeted cost of £1.9m. It would involve the SCR deal being concluded and then authorities being "allowed" to join a wider Yorkshire authority at a later date.

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Dan Jarvis, mayor of the Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority (pictured, right) said he was proud to be the first elected mayor of the Sheffield city region and grateful for the opportunity to serve.

In his manifesto, Jarvis said that the mayoral role requires "someone with the character to forge together the interests of everyone in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield; the credibility to stand up for our best interests on both the national and international stage; the competence to deliver the investment and services South Yorkshire needs; and the vision to play a leading role in a campaign for a wider Yorkshire devolution deal."

He added that "the election of a mayor in South Yorkshire is not the end of our devolution story, it is the beginning."

The manifesto pointed to the speedy implementation of the 2015 agreement, followed by the immediate negotiation of a stronger and wider deal.

Taking to twitter on election day, Cllr. Chris Read, leader of Rotherham Council and chair of the combined authority, said: "The local authorities need to reach agreement quickly now so that the benefits of devolution can be realised. We know what we need to do. Let's get on with it."

With the devolution deal with the Government, the mayor would have responsibility over the region's transport budget, strategic planning and skills funding. It also promises £30m a year for 30 years to invest in local strategic priorities.

Without the deal, the Mayor will be a member, and chair, of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority and will have certain public transport powers relating to how buses may operate in the future. The term is four years.

Sheffield City Region website

Images: SCR / twitter

2 comments:

Anonymous,  May 8, 2018 at 12:36 PM  

Obviously so.many sad deluded fools who continue to go with tradition and vote Liebourđź‘Ž

Anonymous,  May 8, 2018 at 7:43 PM  

My concern is that i though this was a full time role, with a full time salary? But so is being an MP as well i thought. Please correct me if i misunderstand, but he now has 2 full time jobs, how do we benefit from this??

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