Although Doncaster and Rotherham have been afforded the same top priority status as Richmond, Sheffield City Region mayor and Barnsley MP Dan Jarvis has accused the Government of a “divide and rule” approach towards the concept of levelling up.
While there is unhappiness in places like Labour-dominated South Yorkshire at the limitations of support they have received in the Budget, there is also a consensus view that ‘levelling up’ - one of Boris Johnson’s key phrases in the 2019 election campaign - is vital to the country’s economic future.
As with sorting out the social care crisis, this has become an issue that has transcended party politics; with arguments now around how it should be delivered rather than whether or not it needs to be tackled.
The current situation is one that throws down the gauntlet to political leaders in South Yorkshire after years of work went into securing a local devolution deal - with plenty of internal clashes along the way.
Presenting South Yorkshire as a good place to invest and do business in would undoubtedly be an easier proposition with the right Government support; but equally local leaders should be aiming to present a united front to sell all the region has to offer to the world.
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