The South Yorkshire mayoral candidates: Conservative’s Ian Walker

A Conservative, born and bred in Sheffield, is standing for mayor in a Labour stronghold.

Ian Walker, Conservative party candidate for Sheffield City Region mayor, wants to bring together South Yorkshire’s four councils to secure £900m over 30 years promised by the government.

He said: “I only got involved in politics five or six years ago because I thought we could do so much more in this region if we get our act together.”

The Conservative candidate aims to increase higher skilled jobs, training, education and investment with the £900m provided for having a regional mayor.

Mr Walker said: “I’m the only candidate that’s got experience and a track record of being able to get the councils together for the good of the region.

“I want to rise above the thiefdoms and child politics for the benefit of all of us.”

Mr Walker is an engineer and has worked as a school governor, a director of Sheffield Health Authority and NHS North of England, as well as Chairman of Sheffield’s Training and Enterprise Council.

He said: “The Conservative government will listen to me if we’ve got a credible plan and we can start to invest in our future.”

These investments include financing digital and transport infrastructures by introducing better ticketing systems on busses and a new TransPennine tunnel. The ticketing system would integrate bus services and standardise prices in the South Yorkshire region.

Mr Walker also wants to fund training in universities and technical colleges to secure better jobs.

He added: “The best way to get people into a more prosperous life is having a good quality job. Unemployment has fallen across the region and we want that to continue.

“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.”

Voters in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster will vote for a Sheffield City Region mayor on Thursday 3 May.