Dearne MP calls for European funding inquiry

Pix: Shaun Flannery/shaunflanneryphotography.com...COPYRIGHT PICTURE>>SHAUN FLANNERY>01302-570814>>07778315553>>..11th May 2012..Dearne Valley College..Opening of DVC Job Zone..L-R Vicky Martin, College Interim Principle Ioan Morgan and John Healey MP (Wentworth and Dearne).
Pix: Shaun Flannery/shaunflanneryphotography.com...COPYRIGHT PICTURE>>SHAUN FLANNERY>01302-570814>>07778315553>>..11th May 2012..Dearne Valley College..Opening of DVC Job Zone..L-R Vicky Martin, College Interim Principle Ioan Morgan and John Healey MP (Wentworth and Dearne).

Dearne MP John Healey has called for a Parliamentary inquiry into European funding allocations in a bid to make sure South Yorkshire gets a fair share of the money.

In June the government announced European Union funding for the Sheffield City Region for 2014-2020 would be €203m – a worse than expected cut of 61 per cent.

Mr Healty has argued in recent months that South Yorkshire’s money has been used to ‘top up’ Scotland, which has a stronger economy.

The Labour MP has now called on the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee to carry out an inquiry into the decision.

In a letter, he told chairman Adrian Bailey the methodology behind the allocation was “severely and demonstrably flawed” and had resulted in “unfair and unjustifiable disparities” between South Yorkshire and other parts of the country.

He added: “Sheffield city region has huge potential. I want to see a fair set of allocations because I want to see our area reach that potential and create the jobs, growth and prosperity which will benefit our local community and the country as a whole.”

Because of the way the government has allocated these EU funds, Sheffield City Region is due to receive €117 per head – less than other, wealthier areas.

Yorkshire MEP Linda McAvan is also keeping up the pressure in Brussels. She has passed on a joint statement from Sheffield and Liverpool city regions to Commissioner Hahn, the European Commissioner for the Regions.

The MP and MEP were part of a delegation who met the commissioner in Brussels to press South Yorkshire’s case last month.