Change for Business
For a successful, sustainable economy

Sheffield City Region Mayor Manifesto 2018

South Yorkshire has struggled to cope with the loss of industries in the 1980's. While other northern areas have been able to adapt and power ahead, our area remains near the bottom of economic league tables.

I've worked on the shop floor and in the boardroom, in the public and private sectors. I've been unemployed and worked 60 hour weeks, worked in new industries and old, in big firms and on my own. I have broad experience and vision, and I know where the bottom line is. I know how we can get South Yorkshire moving again.

Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) are more numerous and employ more people than their big rivals, but are too often hindered by local and national governments that don’t listen to them. My door will always be open to new ideas from the local grafters and small business owners who care about and have a stake in our region.

If elected mayor I will:

  • Prevent businesses using late payment to obtain unfair advantage by ensuring City Region partners and contractors are signed up to the Prompt Payment Code.
  • Reduce the size of local authority contracts to allow bidding by SMEs.
  • Set up a Small Business Innovation Fund.

I believe to be successful we need to look to the future, not the past. Using our region’s time-honed manufacturing knowhow to advance sustainable technologies and materials, and benefit from world wide changes in power generation, storage and transmission.

If elected I will:

  • Use my position to promote South Yorkshire as a centre for green manufacturing, renewable power and low carbon technologies.
  • Employ an energy advisor for small businesses and launch a website offering energy advice to local businesses.
  • Negotiate with energy transmission companies with the aim of setting up a smart grid connection pilot, allowing communities to produce their own energy.

It is important that in our area no one is left behind. I want to establish a path to opportunity for everyone.

If elected mayor I will:

  • Accelerate the roll out of high-speed broadband to rural areas.
  • Work with employers, training providers and community organisations to identify training needs and then upskill the unemployed, enabling them to find work and helping small business start ups.
  • Ensure the City Region pays a Living Wage and encourages all of the area's businesses to do the same.

My proposals represent a significant change to Business policy in South Yorkshire with a move away from trying to attract big outside investment towards using our own people and resources to return our area to prosperity.

Read Rob's