Chris slams Mayor for hiring £700-a-day spin doctor

Yorkshire Party Leader Chris Whitwood has criticised Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis after it was revealed he was paying £700 a day for a spin doctor.

The interim head of communications earned in a day almost double the average local weekly wage, said The Star newspaper in Sheffield, which added it was more than the Prime Minister’s £150,000 salary.

The Rotherham Advertiser newspaper said communications chief Simon Hope was earning the equivalent of £182,000 a year.

Dan Jarvis: no stranger to controversial appointments

Mr Jarvis himself earns nothing  as the present impasse on Yorkshire devolution means the Sheffield City Region Mayor earns no salary and has few powers.

But Mr Jarvis is no stranger to criticism over bureaucratic posts – in November, 2018 the BBC reported he was advertising for someone to run his office on £55,000 a year.

Chris Whitwood: farcical appointment
Robbie MacDonald

Chris said: “For the Sheffield City Region mayor to have a head of communications earning double the average weekly wage of people living in Doncaster is absolutely farcical.

“The Sheffield City Region has a pitiful lack powers and rather than lavish spending on executive pay, council leaders in South Yorkshire (particularly in Rotherham and Sheffield) need to work together to achieve a devolution deal that demonstrates genuine ambition. 

“The Yorkshire Party calls for a directly-elected regional assembly, such as the Greater London Assembly.

“Only be transferring meaningful powers from London to Yorkshire will we be able to bring unite to address the challenges our region faces and achieve Yorkshire’s potential.” 

The Star quoted the mayor’s office as saying: “We are committed to ensuring best value for money.

“Indeed, a recent survey found that the Sheffield City Region has the lowest staffing budget of all the combined authorities in the UK, despite serving a significantly larger population than regions such as the West of England, Tees Valley, and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.”

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