Mayoral candidates for Sheffield City Region have been asked to go on the record explaining their priorities to stimulate economic growth in Sheffield and the wider region.
The 36 members of the Sheffield Property Association have produced an open letter to all seven candidates, encouraging them to engage in open debate before the election later this week.
“Devolution presents many opportunities to drive forward our region’s economic performance and to deliver benefits to everyone who lives and works in Sheffield City Region,” the letter states.
“It is vital that a directly elected mayor commands the authority of voters and local stakeholders. They must build the respect of their counterparts in other cities and also decision-makers in Whitehall. They have to instil confidence amongst investors.”
The seven candidates - Dan Jarvis (Labour and Co-operative Party), Rob Murphy (Green Party), David Allen (English Democrats), Naveen Judah (South Yorkshire NHS), Mick Bower (Yorkshire Party), Hannah Kitching (Liberal Democrats), and Ian Walker (Conservative Party) - will go to the polls on Thursday, May 3.
The winner is expected to be revealed the following day.
In the letter, the group states that it is directly responsible for 20,000 jobs and “members are responsible for investing in assets worth £4 billion across Sheffield.”
“Our association stands ready to work positively with a directly elected mayor and their colleagues,” the letter states.
“We recognise the importance of private sector organisations like ours working in partnership with local politicians to deliver benefits to every community. Collaboration and partnership are going to be vitally important if our region is going to achieve its full potential.”
The organisation has also produced four key questions which they are asking all candidates to respond to.
The mayor of Sheffield City Region will have few powers and no money to allocate towards investment because of a delay to proceed with a consultation on the wider powers the mayor should be given. Currently the mayor will only have power over the provision of bus services. What practical steps, if any, will you take to acquire other powers?
Our region has traditionally benefited extensively from Revenue Support Grants from Whitehall and funding from the European Union. With this funding set to disappear through UK law and the UK’s departure from the European Union, what practical steps will you take to draw more private investment into our region to help grow our economy and generate Business Rates that will increasingly fund frontline services?
What practical steps would you take to make Sheffield City Region more attractive to businesses and investors?
Actions matter. What would be your top three objectives for your first 100 days in office?