Council leaders and Mayor must sign devolution deal says Sheffield Lord

Lib Dem peer and councillor Paul Scriven
Lib Dem peer and councillor Paul Scriven

A Sheffield peer says South Yorkshire’s four council leaders and the elected Mayor should be “locked in a room and not let out” until the devolution deal is agreed.

Lord Paul Scriven, who is also a Lib Dem councillor, says rather than arguing amongst themselves, the four council leaders and Sheffield City Regional Mayor Dan Jarvis must come together.

Coun Scriven said: “As a former Leader of the city and somebody who started the devolution process, I had to work with some very difficult characters so I understand that we have to make compromises, show leadership and behave in a way that brings people together.

“This is about jobs and the future economy of our area and trying to get some stability in the economic tsunami of Brexit. Rather than arguing amongst themselves they must come together. They are all to blame. All of them have created this situation.

“The way forward is a summit chaired by somebody independent where the four leaders and the Mayor are locked in a room and not let out until they have ironed out their differences over the deal.

“There has to be an agreement that if wider Yorkshire deal comes along that nobody should be stopped from joining that.”

Mr Jarvis declined to comment.

It’s six months since Mr Jarvis was elected but the four councils still remain deadlocked over devolution. Almost £17m remains unclaimed and the Mayor has no powers until the deal is signed.

Last week Labour councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet member for Business and Development, heavily criticised Mr Jarvis for not sorting the deal and said it was harming business in the region.

Sheffield Labour Group will put a motion to full council this Wednesday calling on the Mayor to take action and get the deal agreed.