Sheffield City Region mayoral election: Labour members to choose candidate following delay

Coun Ben Curran (top) and Barnsley MP Dan Jarvis.
Coun Ben Curran (top) and Barnsley MP Dan Jarvis.
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Labour party members in South Yorkshire will begin voting for their preferred Sheffield City Region Mayor candidate today following delays caused by the decision not to shortlist former sports minister Richard Caborn for the role.

Former Sheffield MP Mr Caborn said he was "surprised and disappointed" to be told that he had not been shortlisted, with Barnsley MP Dan Jarvis and Sheffield councillor Ben Curran preferred by Labour officials.

Mr Jarvis published his proposed policy agenda last week, which includes proposals to bring bus provision back into public ownership and supporting the appointment of a female Deputy Mayor.

Ballot papers were supposed to be sent out on Friday so that Labour members in South Yorkshire could choose their preferred candidate, with a decision due next month ahead of the election in May but were delayed, which Mr Caborn said was "in response to concerns raised over the shortlisting process for the party's selection of a candidate.

Mr Jarvis published details of his policy plans in areas such as creating a 21st Century workforce, improving housing and the environment and fighting poverty and inequality.

He said that as well as campaigning for a wider Yorkshire devolution deal, his priorities would be to negotiate with the Government to get the Sheffield City Region the best possible deal in terms of powers and funding.

He said he would focus on attracting new investment and well-paid jobs to South Yorkshire and ensuring people in the county have the skills and training to do them.

And he said he would establish a Mayor’s Community Fund, which will include the entirety of his mayoral salary, to back a series of region-wide initiatives.

Coun Curran's nominations include the GMB union, Bakers Food and Allied Workers' Union, the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen, the Communication Workers' Union, Sheffield Young Labour, Brightside and Hillsborough Constituency Labour Party, Sheffield South East CLP and Sheffield Hallam CLP.

Other candidates who've so far announced they're standing are Mick Bower from the Yorkshire Party and Dave Allen of the English Democrats.

The Yorkshire Party has described the £5,000 deposit for candidates as 'absurd' and has asked the Government to review it.