I was born and bred in South Yorkshire, and have always tried to give something back to the community as a school governor, a director of NHS South Yorkshire and Chairman of Sheffield’s Training and Enterprise Council (TEC).
But becoming Mayor for the Sheffield City Region provides a golden opportunity to find a champion for South Yorkshire – someone who can show this country, and the world what we are about and what we can do.
This role is about so much more than just allowing ourselves to be consumed into a wider Yorkshire devolution plan.
This is about the Sheffield City Region and South Yorkshire now.
My experience of South Yorkshire shows me we need a vision on how Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield can work together for the greater good to improve all our prospects and prosperity.
We will never have a better chance to do so, with Government support and backing. I can already see improvements in places like Tees Valley and the West Midlands where Conservative mayors are making huge strides.
This election is about being a champion for South Yorkshire and showing how South Yorkshire can punch its weight not just in the United Kingdom, but across the world.
I can be that champion.