THE decision of a national politician of the stature of Dan Jarvis to bid to become Sheffield City Region’s first mayor is already changing the dynamics of the campaign.
The Barnsley Central MP’s candidature as he seeks the Labour Party’s nomination has already seen the focus of the debate shift, as he intended, onto the issue of Yorkshire devolution.
This is important. Given that Sheffield Council has been the most resistant to the One Yorkshire proposition, followed, to a lesser extent by Rotherham, the mayoral vote promises to be a key test of public opinion after Doncaster and Barnsley voters backed countywide devolution in a referendum in December.
As Mr Jarvis looks to win the trust of Labour activists in Sheffield, and then voters if he is adopted, all those concerned need to remember this – the future fortunes of South Yorkshire are linked to the dynamism of the rest of the county and vice-versa. Recognition of this does, however, represent a breakthrough.