Lib Dem Leader joins criticism of Sheffield City Regional Mayor

Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed
Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed

The political row about South Yorkshire’s elected Mayor is rumbling on after the Liberal Democrats added their criticism.

Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, Leader of Sheffield Liberal Democrats, raised a question at full council about the fact that South Yorkshire has not automatically received millions of pounds of funding for transport.

The Transforming Cities fund was handed out to areas with Metro Mayors but the Sheffield City Region did not automatically receive funding because the devolution deadlock means Mayor Dan Jarvis doesn’t have any powers.

Six Mayoral areas have already been allocated half of the £1.7 billion fund. Coun Mohammed says Sheffield would have received £121 million but will now have to bid for a share with nine other authorities.

Ahead of the meeting, Coun Mohammed said: “This is not just about their egos, this is the cost of the four Labour leaders not getting on with the devolution deal.

“This is the failure of the council leaders and the Mayor to sit down and thrash out their differences. This is costing investment to transport and we are going to be left behind.

“They need to put their differences to one side and act in the interest of people of South Yorkshire because this is now costing us money. We can’t afford to fall behind.”

Sheffield City Region stressed that the area would still receive funding. Mark Lynam, director of programme commissioning at Sheffield City Region, said: “We were pleased to have been shortlisted for Transforming Cities funding earlier this year. We are now working closely with the Department for Transport to develop detailed plans.”