Sheffield MP Clive Betts - 'I want to see Sheffield benefit from real levelling up'

In 2022, I want to see Sheffield benefit from real levelling up. By that I mean, giving us a fair deal in terms of government finance as well as the powers to make real decisions at a local level.

By Clive Betts, Sheffield South East MP
Friday, 24th December 2021, 9:14 am

I feel real a real sense of despair when I get requests for help, particularly from young families, desperate for a permanent home they can afford. We need the Government to start supporting the building of more rented and shared ownership houses. The council has a programme of council house building, but by itself that won't be enough to meet the current need.

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I want to see a tram link established to both our hospitals. The City Region Mayor, with recent legislation, will be able to decide our bus routes and services. But although the government has promised to give our Mayor the same powers as the Mayor of London, they are not going to give the same amount of funding. Currently while public transport in London receives over £70 per head from the Government, in this area we only get £5. We therefore need levelling up in terms of money as well as powers so we can extend the tram and improve our bus services.

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Clive Betts MP.

As a city we need to shout about our great success in attracting new high-tech businesses and jobs. Boeing, Rolls Royce, McLaren and ITM (producing green hydrogen) are great successes. The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, with the training centre for 600 young apprentices, and the Nuclear Research Centre as places of great invention and innovation are really putting Sheffield back on the industrial map. It is however extremely unfair that over 50% of the government money for research and development is given to London, Oxford and Cambridge and so little of this comes to northern areas like Sheffield. This needs levelling up and I want to fight for that.

Northern cities like Sheffield have had far bigger cuts to council budgets than other areas. I want this to be levelled up, so that I don't have to keep explaining to constituents why essential road safety schemes can't be funded, and why proper levels of care can't be provided for older people or people with disabilities.

I hope the NHS gets proper funding and a proper plan to ensure we train enough doctors and nurses for the future. So, let's thank all of those working in the NHS for what they've done in the last few years, but stop taking them for granted by forcing them to work in understaffed services. Levelling up pay and conditions for our health and care workers would I believe also command widespread support.

In the end, I hope Sheffield continues to be the lovely ,lively, friendly city I have lived in all my life. The togetherness during the pandemic has shone through with acts of kindness and neighbour support experienced on a regular basis. I also hope next year to see levelling up within our city. No one should be needing to rely on food banks. No one should be homeless. Those with mental health problems should not get worse treatment than others in the NHS. Every child deserves a good start in life and decent and well-funded education. In a rich country like Britain surely these things are not too much to ask.

Finally let’s take the action on climate change to leave our planet a better place for future generations to live in.