FURTHER government backing is being called for by a Barnsley MP after ‘significant progress’ was made to deliver South Yorkshire’s devolution deal.

Dan Jarvis, who represents Barnsley Central, is also Mayor of the Sheffield City Region and he has called on the government to deliver its promise to level up the economy by investing in South Yorkshire in its forthcoming budget.

Dan has sent a detailed budget submission to the treasury, challenging the new Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP to support the region’s ambitions and reduce national inequalities through ‘sustained investment and devolution of powers’.

He said: “We stand ready to deliver major projects, build productivity and secure new investment.

“In the last month we have unlocked the Sheffield City Region devolution deal and a bold new strategic economic plan is being developed.

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“This progress signals not only our ambition but our ability, working with the private sector, to get things done. It’s now time for government to back us with sustained investment that will create improved opportunities for our communities and businesses, and make our region an even better place in which to live, work and invest.”

In the budget submission, Dan challenged the government to commit to millions of pounds in investment, including the full £220m Transforming Cities Fund allocation and £200m for flood mitigation schemes, both of which involve Barnsley.

Following the declaration of a climate emergency last year, Dan also underlined the importance of putting the environment and sustainability at the heart of future investment.

The submissions come after the first throes of the devolution deal were entered, which is currently open to public consultation.

The deal brings £30m a year for economic growth, as well as full control over the adult education budget of about £35m per year.

It was struck after the region’s four council bosses agreed to proceed with the public consultation on South Yorkshire’s devolution - an interim measure according to Barnsley Council leader Sir Steve Houghton - which could eventually lead to the town defecting to a Yorkshire-wide devolution in the future.

Sir Steve told the Chronicle: “This represents a significant, positive step forward in securing additional powers and resources for our region - something has finally been achieved devolution-wise.

“This deal is exactly the same financial deal as originally proposed, however this will now be shared between the four South Yorkshire councils instead of the nine that were originally envisaged.

“However long our involvement lasts in the South Yorkshire deal, it allows us to access our share of £30m per year.

“I must emphasise that Barnsley still ultimately wants the ‘One Yorkshire’ deal.

“The achievement of such a framework is a major step towards achieving a full Yorkshire-wide devolution deal.”