This morning Shaun Wright, Labour’s candidate for South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, visited a new youth project in Basegreen called Under One Roof.
The project, a co-operative set up by Basegreen resident John Johnson, is supported by bodies such as Sheffield Labour Group (represented by Cabinet Member for Finance Councillor Bryan Lodge), Birley Ward Labour Party (represented by Secretary Mike Drabble), Change AGEnts Network UK Ltd. (represented by Cheryl Barrott), Sheffield College and a number of local employers. It is being set up to help local young people, giving them the educational options and mentoring support to ensure they don’t fall prey to anti-social behaviour or worse.
Though Under One Roof is not yet up and running, Shaun was keen to show his support at this early stage, as boosting crime prevention strategies which focus on early intervention is a key part of his campaign to become South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner. Shaun was given a tour of the site by project manager John Johnson, after which a discussion ensued in which Shaun made clear his backing of such projects. Shaun said:
“With the Conservatives and Lib Dems slashing funding for valuable local projects like Under One Roof, it’s essential that we support them. Such local initiatives are key in stopping crime happening in the first place by giving at-risk kids a viable future. If elected Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, I will do my best to support projects like this across the whole county, meaning better communities for us all.”
John Johnson, manager of the project, was grateful for Shaun’s visit:
“It’s a real boost to have Shaun coming out to see what we’re building here at Under One Roof. We know these kids have a future, and now we know that he sees it too. I wish him well in his campaign, and look forward to inviting him back to meet some of the kids once we’re up and running and he’s elected!”
Despite increasing numbers of cities seeing the real benefits of Bus Partnerships, Sheffield Liberal Democrats are still opposing them. Along with their Green Party allies, they’re continuing to advocate the outdated ‘Quality Contract’ model for bus service provision, despite it being more costly for the taxpayer and less responsive to the wishes of the travelling public.
Their position is so wrong, even their own Transport Secretary – Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker – opposes them! In a recent policy document – ‘Green Light for Better Buses’ – he wrote:
“…recognises the welcome difference that partnerships are making up and down the country. Collaborations between local authorities, operators and passengers are helping co-ordinate timetables in Liverpool, Oxford and Sheffield…They are succeeding because they combine local knowledge of what passengers want in their area with the resources to make a difference.”
A Voluntary Bus Partnership – a key policy of Sheffield Labour Party – is by far the best way to run the city’s bus system, as it is more affordable, better integrated with other transport options, and much more in tune with the needs of the bus users of Sheffield. Furthermore, since it involves passenger groups, the bus companies and the local authority working together, the Partnership can be changed quickly and effectively as issues arise. Councillor Leigh Bramall, Labour Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development, said:
“The bus partnership is the best deal for Sheffield and it is supported by cross-party MP’s at a national level. Norman Baker has praised Sheffield for its collaborative approach to improving bus services in the city. The Lib Dems are trying to score political points by stalling improvements and are not concerned about the best interests of Sheffield residents.”
The opposition of Sheffield’s Lib Dems to the city’s successful Bus Partnership is yet another sign of their increasing disarray. Not only do they oppose the needs of Sheffield’s travelling public, they’re now in conflict with the preferred policy of the senior transport spokesman of their own party! If the Lib Dems’ last administration wasn’t so damaging to Sheffield, we might even be starting to feel sorry for them…
Proposals put forward by the South East Community Assembly for a 20mph zone in Charnock were approved by the Cabinet Highways Committee at it’s meeting last week. Residents have been calling for traffic calming measures for many years across the Charnock area and Labour Councillors McGowan, Fox and Lodge were successful last year in securing funding for a feasibility study to be carried out. The South East Community Assembly proposed the Charnock scheme as it’s preferred option that was considered at last week’s meeting. Although the scheme is programmed for installation in 2013/14 during the upgrade to the areas’s roads and pavements as part of the Streets Ahead project, this is a significant step forward in delivering road safety improvements and reducing speeds in the estate. The zone will focus drivers attention on the speed limit through gateway signage and repeater messages rather than engineering solutions such as humps and cushions.