Leeds arena war of words

A WAR of words between Sheffield and Leeds politicians over plans to develop a new entertainment arena in the West Yorkshire city has escalated further.

Tory joint leader of Leeds Council, Coun Andrew Carter, complained that over the last decade Sheffield received 90m more regeneration cash from Government quango Yorkshire Forward than Leeds.

In a wide-ranging attack, Coun Carter claimed:

Yorkshire Forward has ploughed 247m into Sheffield during the last 10 years, compared with 157m for Leeds.

Sheffield is receiving around 140 per head more this year from the Government in its annual grant than Leeds.

South Yorkshire's Robin Hood Airport has enjoyed millions of pounds of public cash, while Leeds Bradford Airport has not received a "penny piece".

Coun Carter, also Leeds Council's executive member for city development, said: "If we were not to get the support necessary, the Government would have turned Yorkshire Forward into little more than a South Yorkshire Slush Fund."

Sheffield Council Lib Dem leader Paul Scriven hit back, accusing his counterpart of "launching into a rant".

He added: "I think we all know that Sheffield is the poor relation when it comes to government investment."

Sheffield representatives have argued a proposed new arena venue in Leeds could damage trade for Sheffield Arena and should not be funded by public cash. A government committee examining whether Yorkshire Forward should fund the arena has deferred its decision until the end of August.

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