Mayor Dan Jarvis calls on Government to start releasing some of South Yorkshire’s devolution cash
South Yorkshire metro mayor Dan Jarvis has called on the Government to start releasing some of the withheld devolution cash.
All four councils in the region agreed a way forward which could allow Barnsley and Doncaster to leave the Sheffield City Region deal to pursue a ‘One Yorkshire’ arrangement provided Sheffield and Rotherham do not lose like-for-like funding.
Negotiations are said to underway to unlock some of the funding in a show of ‘good faith’ and the progress made in South Yorkshire’.
Around £31 million is still locked in the Treasury bank account due to the previous stalemate on the devolution process.
The mayor said he would be meeting with the four leaders to work out what their next move is going to be and stressed the ‘devolution ball is back in our court’ following the Government’s response.
In the meantime, Mayor Jarvis said it was ‘business as usual at the combined authority’ and would be getting in on drawing down even more money from Government through their Transforming Cities Fund.
The mayor added the TCF fund in the short term ‘dwarfs’ any kind of money in the short-term surpassing the £30 million a year which is still sat in the Treasury.
Mayor Jarvis said the whole process has been ‘made more difficult’ because the Government is still being ‘paralysed by Brexit’
“I welcome the progress that we’ve made and I inherited a situation where people didn’t agree about this and this was the case for some time,” he said.
“What I’ve been able to do is broker a point of consensus which has meant for the first time we’ve managed to get people on the same page.
“We’ve had an encouraging response from the Secretary of State and I welcome that. What we need to do now is get round the table and actually have that proper conversation with national government now.
“I’m impatient to get on with this to draw down more powers and more resources – I think it is fair to say the ball is back in our court.
“I don’t think it’s unreasonable from the progress we’ve made that Government should be a bit more lenient in terms of releasing the additional resources.
“There are still some negotiations with Government and the Treasury to be finalised but what I’d like them to do is perhaps acknowledge and reward the progress that we’ve made in releasing some of the funding that isn’t available to us."