The ‪@SheffCityRegion ‪#SCRMayor elections take place today. Here are our final 10 ‘quick thoughts’ on the Top 10 do’s and don’ts for the incoming Metro Mayor in the Sheffield City Region.

  1. Please don’t talk about buses. Whilst it’s one of the few devolved powers, it’s a bit of a joke compared to the major investment needed in rail and road infrastructure.
  2. Take the fight to Chris Grayling. His Ministerial career has been a litany of failed reforms (Work Programme? Probation Service?) – don’t let this happen to transport.
  3. Build on the ‪@theoutdoorcity brand – a main differentiator between ‪@SheffCityRegion & neighbouring city regions. A city in a national park! Rotherham is 70% rural! Attract international adventure events (build on ‪@ShefAdvFilmFest) – promote economic impact of outdoor sports.
  4. Build consensus with LA partners in Yorks behind closed doors. We need to inject maturity & considered thought into ‪@SheffCityRegion & One Yorkshire proposals – presenting a strong and united front with government. This is how Greater Manchester delivered devolution.
  5. Push ‪@educationgovuk and ‪@DWP to secure the funding and powers ALREADY agreed as part of the 2015 Devo Deal, working with other Metro Mayors.
  6. Don’t build a competing bureaucracy. Work with the existing ‪@SheffCityRegion team, LA teams and the wider public service infrastructure. Yes, things may take longer, but you will build consensus, trust and understand the reality of what does and doesn’t work locally.
  7. Avoid the temptation to use the big four consulting firms. Circling like vultures, they have got fat off the back of Greater Manchester’s devolution, particularly in health and social care.
  8. Deep seated poverty is a problem in ‪@SheffCityRegion. The disability employment gap is a persistent stain on otherwise strong economic ESA claimant levels are basically static, despite national programmes. Focus on local action to improve disability employment rate.
  9. Make increasing productivity the Mayor’s legacy. Use the Mayor’s office to promote investment in skills; use the Apprenticeship Levy; invest in R&D – create a forward thinking, aspirational city region able to compete with world competitors.
  10. Give ‪@SheffCityRegion a voice – that isn’t ‘me too’. We must stop being the quiet city and looking north and west for inspiration. The Mayor’s office can build confidence, establish a clear case for further devolution and create something more than the sum of our ‘competing parts’
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