On Saturday 9th April the Birley Ward Councillors joined the PCS organised march in the city centre against the hundreds of jobs under threat in our city.
The Birley Ward Labour Party would like to congratulate all of today’s Sheffield Half Marathon runners!
A great big well done to all those who took part in both the half marathon and the fun run, and a great big thank you to all the sponsors and supporters who were out in full force to cheer on the runners!
The results are now available online and can be found at the following link: http://chiptiming.co.uk/results/?sport=1&year=2016&event=2586&race=4427
On Saturday 5th September there will be an Armed Forces Veteran Breakfast Club at the Benjamin Huntsman on Cambridge Street. More information will follow, but keep your diary open!
Birley Labour Party Chair, Mike Drabble, has been successful in winning the Arbourthorne by election. Cllr Drabble fills the vacant seat on Sheffield City Council following the death last year of popular councillor, Cllr John Robson. John will be a hard act to follow but we’re sure that Mike is up to it.
The TUC’s Austerity Uncovered Tour bus is visiting Sheffield on Saturday 22nd June and will be pulling up to talk to local people in Handsworth between 4pm -6pm. The tour will be calling at The Club at Holme Lea (the former Handsworth WMC) and will have members of the Shadow Cabinet alongside TUC Officials on board. The nationwide tour is gathering evidence to show that the Government’s Austerity Programme isn’t working , but the measures are hurting. So come along and help inform the debate, present your evidence and help support the campaign to convince the Tories and Lib Dems that enough is enough. During the visit, the National Musicians Union are providing entertainment through the Amelia Carter Band who will also be performing in July at the Tramlines festival.
For further information, visit http://austerityuncovered.org/
Formal consultation on the Charnock Estate 20mph zone begins this week with the distribution to all homes in the area of information about the proposals. Delivery will take place between the 15th – 17th May and asks for comments back to the council by 7th June. In addition to the proposed 20mph limit throughout the estate, measures to improve safety around the school are to be introduced with tougher controls on vehicles parking on the zig zag lines.
Look out for your copy of the leaflet coming through your door. If you have any comments or concerns, please feed these in to the consultation, through the details on the form.
Further information regarding 20mph zones can be found by clicking on the following link: https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/SCC-Home/roads/works/schemes/new-20-mph-speed-limits
There are just ten days left for you to add your signature to The People’s Petition for a Fair Deal For Sheffield. Signatures from the online petition will be collated with the thousands of signatures already collected.
On Tuesday May 14th a delegation of Sheffield’s political, faith and community leaders will take the Fair Deal for Sheffield campaign to London. The delegation, including the Bishop of Sheffield and Bishop of Hallam, will hand in the Fair Deal for Sheffield petition to the Prime Minister at Number 10 Downing Street.
The Fair Deal campaign was launched earlier in the year by Sheffield’s faith leaders, the voluntary and community sector, trade unions and local politicians to highlight the unfairness of the Government’s cuts on Sheffield, compared to wealthier areas which are receiving much lower reductions in funding. Thousands of Sheffielders have signed the petition to show their concern and anger about the Government’s unfair cuts, and to call on
the Government to give fair funding to Sheffield and South Yorkshire.
Cllr Julie Dore, who will lead the delegation, said:
“Sheffield has borne the brunt of this Government’s unfair cuts and I think local people believe it is wrong that Sheffield Council is receiving devastating cuts whilst some of the wealthiest areas of the country receive almost no cuts at all.
“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved and hopefully the strength of force behind the campaign which has included people from a wide range of sectors across the city will make the Government sit up and take notice of the impact that the cuts are having in Sheffield, when so far our concerns have fallen on deaf ears.”
Paul Blomfield MP, who raised the campaign in Parliament, said:
“Churches and mosques, community groups and trade unions, have come together with thousands of Sheffielders to raise their voice about the unfairness of the cuts on our city and on people’s lives. You only have to read some of the comments from those who signed the petition. Community services are closing, jobs are going and some of the most vulnerable people are facing real hardship. And it will get worse unless the Government listen to the people of Sheffield, change course and allocate funding fairly. It’s not right that parts of the country, far wealthier than Sheffield, are only seeing minor budget reductions. Unless there’s a change, Sheffield’s cuts will reach £200 per person by 2015 – over 5 times the amount taken away from wealthy areas like Windsor, Guildford, and Wokingham in the south of England.”
The Sheffield delegation who will travel to London to hand in the petition will
Cllr Julie Dore – Leader, Sheffield City Council
The Rt Revd Steven Croft- the Anglican Bishop of Sheffield
The Rt Revd John Rawsthorne – the Catholic Bishop of Hallam
Abtisam Mohammed- Chair, Sheffield Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Network
Sue White – Chief Executive, Voluntary Action Sheffield
Mohammed Aslam – Chairman of the Madina Mosque
And they will be joined by Sheffield Members of Parliament at the hand-in.
The Fair Deal for Sheffield campaign was endorsed by Sheffield City Council at the Full Council meeting on March 1st and has also received the backing of a wide range of local organisations, charities, churches and individuals. Supporters include Voluntary Action Sheffield; the Third Sector Assembly; Sheffield LINK; Church Army; Sheffield Wildlife Trust; Sheffield University Students Union; Sheffield Hallam University Students Union; Yorkshire and the Humber TUC; the trade unions Unite, Unison and the GMB; and the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright.
For more information, visit the Fair Deal For Sheffield Website
Vonny Watts, Deputy Chair of the Conservatives in Sheffield, shows just how out of touch the Tories are with the majority of people across Sheffield.
Speaking on Radio Sheffield this morning, Vonny asked that we talk of “..efficiencies not cuts, because that’s what they are…” So does Vonny consider the cuts to Sheffield’s budgets as ‘efficiency savings’? Where has Vonny been for the last few months? Has she not heard the cries on anguish from across the City as people and groups see the impact of cuts to their communities and services? Does she really think that the decision to reduce the council’s budget by £140m over the last two years and a further £50m for the forthcoming financial year is based on ‘efficiencies’?
Her government, propped up by Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems, have brutally cut the sum allocated to Sheffield that means we are having to curtail spending across all services. They have slashed over £7m from the Early Intervention Grant that supported Children’s Centres, Child Care and Youth Activities; they have cut over £5m of funding for Council Tax support, hitting low income families and they have introduced the horrendous ‘Bedroom Tax’ that penalises people for wanting to say in the family home they’ve lived in for years! Staggeringly, inspite of these attacks on low income families, Vonny went on to proclaim that the Tories are “the compassionate party”!
And lets not forget, these ‘efficiencies’ that Sheffield is facing come at the same time that Vonny’s friends in London are introducing a £100k tax cut for millionaires. But hey, we’re all in it together!
Sheffield Lib Dems made a great song and dance about alternate week bin collections upon their introduction, which is unsurprising since they haven’t got much else to talk about (unless you count their remorseless attacks on public services as part of the Coalition – wonder why they’d want to avoid that subject?). According to Lib Dem Councillor Anders Hanson, fortnightly bin collections were something to be fought tooth and nail: indeed, he promised to ‘mercilessly attack’ the Council for moving to fortnightly collections
But not only are Sheffield Lib Dems now dropping their opposition to alternate week collections… they’re doing it on the quiet! Last week, without publicity they submitted a motion to December’s Full Council meeting saying: “it would now be extremely difficult to revert back to weekly black bin collections”. In other words, Sheffield Lib Dems’ thundering opposition to fortnightly collections has ended with a whimper; they won’t include funding for weekly collections in their proposed budget for next year.
But this flip-flopping isn’t new. Earlier this year the hapless Mr. Hanson let the cat out of the bag with his comments in some obscure publication called Lib Dem Voice: “I think it has now become almost impossible politically to introduce new fortnightly bin collections as both the opposition and the press will mercilessly attack anyone who does it. … However most people are happy with fortnightly collections when they get used to it.”
So it’s clear that Sheffield Lib Dems have been publically campaigning against fortnightly collections while admitting in their barely read in-house magazine that that the public have no problem with them! The only conclusion to draw from this is that their opposition was nothing more than cynical political opportunism, intended to distract Sheffielders from the damage their Tory and Lib Dem colleagues in Westminster are doing to our city.
An exasperated Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for Environment, Recycling and Streetscene said:
“The Lib Dems are the only party to break their promises even when they’re in opposition. It now looks like they have finally accepted that we had no other option but to move to alternate week collection due to the massive cuts Nick Clegg and the Tory Government are imposing on the council.
“Their campaign against alternate week collections has been merciless and politically motivated, people can see through that. The Lib Dems should apologise to the people of Sheffield for making false promises yet again, they have a lot of questions to answer
“With further cuts coming from their Autumn Statement it’s about time the Lib Dems started campaigning against the cuts that will affect the people of Sheffield. It is wrong that they continue stand up for their government’s decisions instead of standing up for Sheffield.”
There’s good news for Sheffield shoppers and businesses with Sheffield Labour Party’s announcement of a new ‘shopper’ rate for city centre parking over the Christmas period. The new rate is £3 for three hours: compared to the standard price of £9.30, that’s over a two-thirds discount! The concessionary period will commence on Monday 19th November, and will run up to and through Christmas.
When added to the City Deal recently signed to safeguard the continued redevelopment of the city centre, this reduction is a clear demonstration of Labour’s determination to revitalise Sheffield in the midst of tough times. Labour are the only party that can be trusted to support businesses and shoppers while fighting cuts to council services resulting from vicious Conservative/Lib Dem cuts.
Labour Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development, Councillor Leigh Bramall, said:
“It is vital that we support the city centre in the current climate which is why we are introducing this new shopper rate of £3 for 6 hours and we hope that this will bring people into the city centre for Christmas shopping.
“Labour have made it a priority to be a business friendly council which is why we have introduced important schemes such as the Sheffield Apprenticeship Programme which supports local businesses to take on an apprentice and the Keep Sheffield Working Fund.
“It is vital for our city’s economy to have a vibrant city centre, which is why we are taking action to support businesses and secure its long term future through key projects such as the Moor redevelopment and continuing our work to deliver Sevenstone.”
The city centre car parks offering this promotional rate will be:
- Carver Street
- Rockingham Street
- Rockingham Way
- Silver Street
- Stanley Lane
- Wellington Street
- Wicker Lane
- Willey Street
Not content with collaborating with Tory cuts that are bleeding our city dry, the Sheffield Liberal Democrats are now coming up with schemes to waste mind-boggling amounts of taxpayers’ money. Their latest one is a proposal to waste £132,000,000 – yes, you read correctly, £132,000,000 – by giving free parking to Sheffield residents during the Streets Ahead project due to revitalise Sheffield’s roads.
After this proposal was put forward by the hapless Lib Dems in October, impartial feedback was given by council officers. This projected that free parking for the amount of cars likely to be affected simply could not be provided by the council without calling in private contractors. Even using conservative estimates of one car per household, with each car charged for parking at £4 per day, the bill would come out at £26,400,000 per year. For the five years the project is due to run that makes a grand total of £132,000,000!
In the present financial climate this is astonishingly irresponsible, and demonstrates that the Liberal Democrats have spent so long pandering to their Tory masters that they’ve lost touch with financial reality.
The Sheffield Labour Party, on the other hand, have proposed the prudent and sensible solution of asking residents to arrange parking alternatives for themselves for the short time their street is being improved. Not only would this avoid spending a ridiculously large amount of money; it would avoid the imposition of a solution when many car owners would prefer to find one for themselves. In addition, it has the benefit of harnessing Sheffielders’ famous self-reliance.
Labour Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling and Streetscene, Councillor Jack Scott, was incredulous when he said:
“I’m not sure if the Lib Dems are on the same planet as everyone else. The council is being absolutely hammered by this Government, which the Lib Dems are propping up, and at the same time they want us to spend over £26 million for the next five years to give free parking to everyone in Sheffield.
“The Lib Dems latest ludicrous idea that we need to give people free parking to everyone for 20 weeks whilst the Streets Ahead project is in their area, but the fact is that most people will only be affected by the Streets Ahead improvements in their street for a few days.”
“I can’t imagine that anyone else in Sheffield would support spending so much money on giving free parking to everyone, especially when we have had such heavy cuts imposed on us by their Government.
“Inevitably this will cause some disruption for some people but we wouldn’t be asking people to do it wasn’t to make such important improvements to transform the roads network, which we all know that people really want to see. The Lib Dems are playing silly games making stupid promises.”
We’ll add to Councillor Scott’s words by asking: with this shocking disregard for taxpayers’ money, could the Sheffield Lib Dems be trusted to run a stall at a jumble sale, never mind council finances? We think you’ll agree with us that the answer is definitely not…
Low-paid workers in Sheffield have received a boost with the news that the Sheffield Labour Party are supporting the campaign for a living wage. Changes being proposed by Sheffield Labour Group will see a Living Wage being brought in at Sheffield City Council, with council workers being paid a minimum of £7.20 per hour from April 2013. Over 250 staff are in line to benefit from this wage increase, and the projected cost of £700,000 will be more than offset by £1,000,000 savings made by reductions to senior management.
A Living Wage is not just great news for these low-paid workers and their families; it is also great news for Sheffield as a whole . If, as Sheffield Labour Party hopes, the example set is followed by private sector employers the increased spending power in the hands of families across the city would result in a significant boost for the local economy.
This proposal is set to debated at next week’s full council meeting. Let’s hope for the sake of hard-working council employees that the Lib Dems don’t adopt their usual position of opposition for the sake of it!
Labour Leader of Sheffield City Council, Councillor Julie Dore, said:
“A Sheffield Living Wage would help to reduce poverty in this city and I believe it is important that the council leads by example in this area, which is why I am committed to making sure that next year all council staff will receive a living wage. By implementing the Living Wage no one will earn less than £7.20 per hour in the council and we will work with employers across the city in other parts of the public sector as well as the private and voluntary sectors to make sure that this has a big impact across the city. It is the poorest who are being hit hardest by the Government’s failure to grow the economy, this is an achievable, pragmatic way of supporting people on low incomes across the city and I am pleased that we are able to take it forward.”
The public services union Unison have been at the forefront of the nationwide Living Wage campaign. Their Sheffield Organiser Dean Harper said:
“Unison have campaigned for a Living Wage and we are delighted that Labour are delivering this in Sheffield. Only yesterday we learned that one in five workers in the UK earn less than the living wage and we believe it’s vital that this is tacked. People on the lowest incomes are being hit hardest by rising prices, the increased cost of living and the double dip recession caused by the Tory Government. It is important that the council leads the way in this and makes sure that everyone earns a fair income.”