The Yorkshire Party is the first party to announce its candidate in the election for a Sheffield City Region Mayor. The party has confirmed that Mick Bower will be its candidate in May’s election.
Mick Bower, who lives in Whiston with his wife and two daughters, said: “As Mayor, I will fight to get the best devolution deal available for the people of South Yorkshire.
“Our region has been left behind and lost out on millions of pounds due to the petty politics of the local Labour leaders looking out for their own personal interests. Their lack of ambition is denying our young people the chance to fulfil their potential. Too much money has been wasted already.
“The Sheffield City Region is too small and the Mayor will not have the powers necessary to make real change happen but will cost a small fortune. Frankly, it’s a white elephant.
“When I am elected Mayor – I will donate half of my salary to community groups supporting young people.
“What’s on offer isn’t real devolution – it’s minor local government reorganisation. As part of a One Yorkshire settlement – we would be a force to be reckoned with. As Mayor I would work with other leaders around the county to secure a One Yorkshire devolution deal.”
Mick was born and bred in Rotherham. He went to Oakwood Comprehensive School and later returned there to work as a teacher. In a varied career, he has also worked in road safety, sports journalism and business information. Mick has previously stood for the Yorkshire Party in Sitwell ward Rotherham MBC in 2016 and in Rotherham in last year’s General Election. He has been a member of the Yorkshire Party’s steering committee.
Announcing the decision, Yorkshire Party leader, Stewart Arnold, added:
“I am delighted that Mick has been confirmed as our candidate in May’s election. In fact, Mick was first selected back in October 2016 ready to fight the election in 2017 which just shows how long the squabbling between local council leaders and the Government has gone on!
“The Yorkshire Party has always been united in saying that this Government’s ‘City Region’ approach towards devolution, as they propose in Sheffield, is divisive, undemocratic and limited.
“The Yorkshire Party believes in something better – real devolution to Yorkshire as a whole so our county can properly work together to deliver the world class education, transport and health systems that everyone in Yorkshire deserves.”
“As an example of just how limited this deal is, the whole of South Yorkshire is promised £30 million pounds a year in devolved funding by the Government under the City Region deal. However, Barnsley Council alone has had to find cuts of £28m to its budget over the past couple of years. This deal does not mean devolution of power, but devolution of cuts and austerity.”
“So in this election, the Yorkshire Party is determined to show South Yorkshire that there can be a better way. That is why we will be fighting to win the Sheffield City Region Mayor election.
“We want a deal which is inclusive and democratic and which can make a real impact on people’s lives. We want nothing short of a directly elected parliament for the whole of Yorkshire with the same sort of powers they have in Scotland or Wales.
“If it’s good enough for Scotland or Wales then it’s certainly good enough for Yorkshire.”