Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis criticised for being “part time”

Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis has been called "part time"
Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis has been called "part time"

A Sheffield councillor has dubbed Dan Jarvis a “part time Mayor” and says he needs to get a grip of public transport.

Green councillor Rob Murphy, who stood against Mr Jarvis in the election for the Sheffield City Regional Mayor, criticised him at a meeting of the full council.

The “part time Mayor” comment was because Mr Jarvis is also Labour MP for Barnsley Central.

In his role as a directly-elected Mayor, he has powers to franchise bus services, which means that operators are given set standards to work to and local authorities have more control over routes, fares and standards.

“Sheffield buses are in a mess, and Dan Jarvis needs to step up, come back here and sort it out,” said Coun Murphy.

“In Sheffield we had a referendum on whether we wanted an elected Mayor. And the result was a resounding No.

“This administration and its main opposition group ignored the people of Sheffield, tempted by promises of millions of pounds and bus regulation. Where are these promises now?

“We have millions spent, not received; bickering council leaders and a part-time Mayor. A Regional Mayor more interested in getting a quarter of a billion investment for his rich friends around Doncaster Airport than the long suffering commuters in Sheffield.

“It was in the Mayor’s manifesto, he’s had his 100 days and another 100 days. It’s time for him to get on with the job.”

The Lib Dems want the council to pull out of the “failing” Sheffield Bus Partnership, which is a voluntary agreement between SYPTE, Sheffield Council and operators First South Yorkshire, Stagecoach Sheffield, TM Travel and Sheffield Community Transport.

The aim is to provide a better coordinated network of buses and trams, making it easier to travel around the city.

Shadow Cabinet Member for Transport, Coun Ian Auckland, wants the council to instead introduce a statutory bus quality contract that would give Sheffield a bigger say on the routes and frequency of bus services.

He said: “Decisive action needs to be taken to put the passenger in the driving seat. I am very concerned that the long slow decline of our bus services will accelerate and we will enter a dead-end of service cuts, higher fares and fewer passengers.”

Labour’s Coun Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Transport, defended Mr Jarvis. “The Greens didn’t even want a Mayor, they opposed every part of devolution from start to finish so I am quite surprised they are now complaining about the Mayor not using his power, when if it was left to them, there wouldn’t be any powers in South Yorkshire.

“We are eight years into the most punishing cuts Sheffield has ever seen. The Lib Dems didn’t oppose the cuts that created this transport situation and now blame everybody else.

“We have a vision for Sheffield to be the fairest city and transport is a key part of that. The last five years have seen success and failures with the Partnership and we need to re-regulate our buses properly.”