Barnsley MP Dan Jarvis joins race to be Sheffield City Region mayor
Dan Jarvis has entered the race to become Sheffield City Region mayor.
The Barnsley Central MP today described May's election as the 'beginning of our devolution story', as he threw his hat into the ring to become Labour's candidate.
He said the area needed someone who would push for a wider devolution deal for Yorkshire and the Humber.
Former Sheffield MP and cabinet minister Richard Caborn and Sheffield councillor Ben Curran have previously declared they are challenging for the Labour Party nomination.
"This is a crucial moment for South Yorkshire and the wider Yorkshire and Humber region and I want to play my full part in leading us forward," said Mr Jarvis.
"South Yorkshire is entering a pivotal period in its development. Our soon-to-be-elected Sheffield City Region mayor will be key to unlocking the investment that our region needs: our transport, broadband, education and training systems are not fit for the challenges of the 21st century. Investment in our housing and the environment lags behind what we need. All must be delivery priorities for the new mayor.
"But we also need someone who as well as being Sheffield City Region mayor could contribute to a longer process for a wider devolution deal for Yorkshire and the Humber. Because the election of a mayor in South Yorkshire is not the end of our devolution story, it is the beginning."
Mr Jarvis said if he becomes mayor he would remain an MP as there was no agreement yet on what powers the role would come with, and he feels he would be better placed to make the case for the region from within parliament.
He also said he wanted to fulfil the commitment he made to serve his constituents throughout the duration of this parliament, but he promised not to draw any mayoral salary.
The former Army major was first elected as an MP in 2011 and served as a shadow minister under Ed Miliband but has fallen out of favour since Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader.
Following recent polls in Barnsley and Doncaster where the public overwhelmingly backed a Yorkshire-wide devolution deal, Mr Jarvis said he believed a compromise could be reached where the Sheffield City Region mayor was given powers and funding this year while negotiations continued to secure a 'One Yorkshire' deal by 2020.
Sheffield and Rotherham councils back the South Yorkshire devolution agreement which has been approved by the Government, but the local authorities in Barnsley and Doncaster have withdrawn their support in favour of a Yorkshire-wide deal which does not yet exist.
The South Yorkshire deal would give the region £1.3 billion to spend over the next 30 years but there are fears it could miss out on that money if all four councils fail to reach an agreement.