Jarvis hits out as Yorkshire snubbed again

Yorkshire's only elected Metro Mayor Dan Jarvis has hit out at the Government's 'perplexing and frustrating' decision not to include the region in its second wave of local industrial strategies.

Dan Jarvis (MP for Barnsley Central & Mayor of Sheffield City Region) for Yorkshire Vision. 24th July 2018. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

Business Secretary Greg Clark last week announced a raft of new plans to work with regions around the UK to develop local industrial strategies.

But Mr Jarvis’s Sheffield City Region (SCR) was left off the list, despite his lobbying for inclusion alongside local business leaders.

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It leaves Yorkshire as one of the biggest regions in Britain not to benefit from a local industrial strategy in any of its areas.

The SCR and Liverpool are the only combined authorities without a local strategy.

Mr Jarvis has been left with few powers or money with Yorkshire leaders locked in a stand-off with the Government over devolution.

The elected Mayor, alongside 18 out of 20 Yorkshire council leaders want a One Yorkshire deal to take in the whole region.

But Ministers have insisted the SCR agreement must be honoured first, despite two of the councils - Doncaster and Barnsley - backing region-wide devolution.

Commenting on the industrial strategy decision, Mr Jarvis told The Yorkshire Post: “It is disappointing that the Sheffield City Region has not been included in the second wave of places to develop local industrial strategies.

“The chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and I have written to the Secretary of State three times, seeking to be part of this second wave. We find it perplexing and frustrating that we are now one of only two Mayoral Combined Authority areas not to form part of this process, and have called for an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State to understand the reasons for this.

“Articulating a clear, ambitious vision for the inclusive growth of our region has never been more important.

“It is essential that we work closely with Government to support our residents and businesses, so that they can achieve their true potential. I look forward to discussing this further with Greg Clark in the very near future.”

Last week, Mr Clark announced that the North East, Tees Valley, West of England, Leicester and Leicestershire, Cheshire & Warrington and the ‘Heart of the South West’ will be the second wave of areas to benefit from working with the Government to develop their local industrial strategies.

The first wave of local industrial strategies took in Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, and the Oxford-Cambridge corridor.

Mr Jarvis spoke out in a week in which efforts to deliver One Yorkshire devolution were stepped up, with Archbishop of York John Sentamu saying the campaign for region-wide devolution had now reached the “moment of no return”.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.