Sheffield MP Paul Blomfield accuses Government of 'con trick' over regeneration funding

Government officials are expected to visit Sheffield later this month after the city was named among 20 places that will receive Government funding to regenerate derelict land.

The areas will be prioritised within a new £1.5bn Brownfield Fund, with an initial £13m given to the South Yorkshire Combined Authority to “kickstart regeneration efforts”.

Sheffield Council leader Terry Fox said: “This is promising news for Sheffield and the South Yorkshire region, and shows that government have recognised our ambitions and all of the great work that is already being carried out here to make our city an even better place to call home.

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“The disjointed, haphazard and disproportionate approach to funding and support for cities outside of London needs to be addressed swiftly to tackle the growing inequalities and speed up regional productivity. I welcome the Government’s objectives outlined in the white paper today, but we really need to see more detail now and find out where the cash is.

Sheffield has been selected for regeneration funding as part of the Government's levelling up plans.

“Levelling up is a long-term commitment that we in Sheffield are determined to drive forward regardless of today’s announcement but we look forward to working with Government over the coming weeks to see how the agenda can bring about true and lasting change in our city and for our people.”

But in Parliament, Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield questioned what has been announced.

He said: “Since 2010 Conservative Governments have cut £2.1 billion funding to Sheffield Council. Our annual grant is £288 million lower in real terms. The Secretary of State’s announcement highlights Sheffield with a grant of £13 million which his press release described as “transformational”.

“If that’s transformational how would he describe the money we’ve lost? And when will he restore the funding we need?”

Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield has questioned the effectiveness of the announced money.

Mr Gove replied that it was Labour mayor Dan Jarvis who had described the money as “having the potential to be transformational” and said he was looking forward to working with Mr Jarvis “in order to achieve that transformation”.

Following the debate, Mr Blomfield described the regeneration announcement as a “con trick”.

“In real terms, £3 billion has been stolen from Sheffield City Council through cuts made by Conservative Governments since 2010 – and today they’re giving us a paltry £13 million back via the City Region. It’s just dishonest.

“The Government are taking us for fools.”

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