Reponding to the Queen’s Speech today, 11th May, Dan Jarvis MP, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said:
“The giants of deprivation, division, and environmental crisis have not slept while we fought the pandemic: they have grown ever greater. We need transformation, not tinkering at the edges. This Queen’s Speech shows the government lacks the ambition or the vision to answer that challenge.
“This Government talks about levelling up, but they have failed to define what it means, have no coherent plan to achieve it, and have not put in the investment transformation demands.
“Their flagship initiatives like the Levelling Up Fund and Community Renewal Fund are smaller than the funds they replace, deeply politicised, and fragmented into pots which local authorities have to compete for according to the priorities of Whitehall rather than of their own communities. It’s a pork-barrel agenda which undermines genuine change in order to generate photo-ops for Conservative MPs.
“Mayors are critical to the post-Covid recovery, as the Prime Minister himself has said. Government must work with us, and give us the investment and powers we need to drive the renewal our regions and our country deserve. We need stronger devolution not just to drive prosperity but as part of the effort to address the growing division and disillusionment corroding our country.
“The neglect of South Yorkshire and the North is both an injustice and a colossal waste of potential that harms the whole country. That’s why we are taking our future into our own hands with plans to invest hundreds of millions and deliver a genuine transformation for our region, but Government needs to play its part. We won’t be left behind any longer.”