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Dan Jarvis wins Labour's Sheffield City Region mayor ballot

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Labour’s MP for Barnsley Central has been selected as their candidate for the upcoming Sheffield City Region mayoral election on 3 May.

Dan Jarvis was selected on Friday in a ballot by Labour members.

Mr Jarvis said in a tweet on Friday: “Thank you to UK Labour members across South Yorkshire for selecting me to be their mayoral candidate, with 58% of the vote. Thank you to Cllr Ben Curran for a comradely contest.”

Mr Jarvis won with 2,584 votes, beating Sheffield city councillor Ben Curran who received 1,903 votes. The mayoral post will cover Barnsley MBC, Doncaster MBC, Rotherham MBC, and Sheffield City Council - all Labour-led authorities meaning Mr Jarvis will go into the election as the favourite.

Labour’s national executive committee this week agreed that MPs should not hold more than one full-time elected public position. A spokesman for Mr Jarvis told LGC he would not comment on that issue, saying “we’re going to relax over the weekend and worry about that next week”.

Mr Jarvis previously served as shadow minister for three different departments, namely Foreign Affairs, Justice, Culture, Media & Sport, under previous Labour leader Ed Miliband between 2011 and 2015.

The Sheffield City Region mayoral election, which is set to cost the combined authority about £1m, is due to go ahead despite moves by 18 leaders across Yorkshire, including Barnsley’s leader Sir Stephen Houghton and Doncaster’s mayor Ros Jones, calling for a Yorkshire-wide deal. They have proposed the Sheffield City Region mayoral term should only last two years so as to enable willing participants to join a Yorkshire-wide deal. That has also had tacit backing from Rotherham’s leader Chris Read but Sheffield’s leader Julie Dore has not provided any public support for that so far. 

In a blog post this week Ms Jones said that was “disappointing” but hoped a resolution could soon be found. 

Proposals from the Yorkshire leaders for a devolution deal have been presented to housing and communities secretary Sajid Javid. 

As things stand the Sheffield City Region mayor will hardly have any powers as a result of leaders remaining divided over the deal.

The region’s devolution deal had included commitments that would have seen the region gain control of £30m a year to boost economic growth over 30 years, control of a £20m a year consolidated transport budget up to 2020-21, and control of the 19+ adult skills funding budget worth up to £30m a year, among other powers. But, as the deal did not get the full backing of all combined authority members, those will not be forthcoming from the government now.

The Sheffield City Region was originally due to elect a mayor in May 2017 before plans were derailed by a row over whether the districts of Chesterfield BC and Bassetlaw DC, in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire respectively, should join the CA as full members. Following a legal challenge by Derbyshire CC, in December 2016 the High Court ordered the city region to re-run parts of its consultation on the devolution deal, but this is not going to happen now. Chesterfield and Bassetlaw have since decided against joining the city region as full members.


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