Clegg Corrected By Council Chief Exec Over False Claims

Nick Clegg faces rebuke from Sheffield City Council
Nick Clegg faces rebuke from Sheffield City Council

Lib Dem Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has been delivered an embarassing letter by Sheffield City Council’s independent Chief Executive, spelling out the untruths he has recently made about the council’s budget.

In recent weeks Mr Clegg has been caught misinterpreting Sheffield City Council finances in a desperate attempt to deflect attention away from the huge cuts that his Government are making to Sheffield. Sheffield City Council has to save £50 million next year, in addition to the £140 million it has had to cut over the past two years, whilst some of the wealthiest areas in the country receive almost no cuts at all.

At its February meeting Sheffield City Council asked the Council’s Chief Executive to write to Nick Clegg correcting inaccurate claims he has made on a number of issues.

The letter corrects Nick Clegg’s inaccurate claims around the council’s work to save money on accommodation costs and essential Town Hall maintenance. The letter also points out that contrary to his claims, Sheffield City Council has the lowest useable reserves of any large local authority in England and also corrects incorrect Lib Dem claims on consultant spending.

Councillor Bryan Lodge, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources said:

“It is a damning indictment of the untruths that Nick Clegg has been telling that we have had to ask the Chief Executive to write to him to correct the misinformation that he has been putting out in recent weeks.

“The fact is that across the country cities like Sheffield are being forced to make unprecedented reductions to services because of the massive cuts that as Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg is responsible for. At the same time as we are being forced to make these cuts some of the wealthiest areas of the country are receiving almost no cuts at all. Instead of continuing to try to mislead the people of Sheffield about council spending Mr Clegg should stand up to the Tories and tell them to give Sheffield a fair deal.”

Frecheville Panto

frech pantoWhat outstanding talent Frecheville has! A brilliant performance of Cinderella was put on last week at Frecheville Community Centre and what a laugh. So much time and effort has gone into rehearsals, costumes and scenery. Thank you to everyone who got involved from the performers to the back stage staff, raffle tickets sellers, security, lighting etc etc it was really great – well done everyone.

Public Meeting to Discuss the Future of Hackenthorpe & Birley Tenants and Community Association

A meeting has been called to make tenants and residents aware of the suspension of the Hackenthorpe & Birley Tenants and Community Association (HTACA). The officers and three other members of the HTACA recently resigned their positions to Sheffield Homes. The outstanding balances within the accounts have been transferred back to Sheffield Homes whilst a decision on the future can be made. 

Four members of the existing committee remain committed to the association and have arranged the meeting to make tenants and residents aware of the situation, whilst seeking views on a way forward.

The meeting will take place at The Sportsman on Main Street, Hackenthorpe on Thursday 14th February at 6.30 pm.  

If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like further information, you can do so by contacting: 

Eric Staniland by email or 07598665984                            

Doreen Walton by email or 0798446357740


Many parents and carers may be worried about the recent news stories regarding horsemeat in pre-prepared meals. The following is the Sheffield City Council statement (dated 11 May 2013) on this issue.

Jayne Ludlam, Executive Director for Children, Young People and Families, Sheffield City Council, said:

“Under our contract with Taylor Shaw, very little pre-prepared food is used in the preparation of school meals. Dishes are made from fresh meat and supplies brought in two or three times a week to make sure that there is as little frozen meat product as possible. Dishes such as Lasagne and Meat and Potato Pie are always made by the cooks themselves to agreed recipes. The service is also regularly monitored to make sure this is carried out to the council’s expectations.

“Most of the meat used in school meals in Sheffield is provided by Underwoods Meats of Rotherham and only British beef is used. Burgers and sausages are provided by Brakes, which has no connections with any of the companies involved so far. All suppliers are complying with the Food Standards Agency’s deadline to have tested all beef products by Friday 15 February. Taylor Shaw are keeping us informed of all developments.”

Statement from Taylor Shaw (School Meals’ contractor)

“As a Company we take the provenance of our products very seriously. All our suppliers are required to undertake a rigorous due diligence process to ensure that all products are traceable and from reliable sources. The fact that we produce the majority of our meals from fresh ingredients supplied by UK butchers is reassurance as we are not using meat sourced from abroad.

“The latest information regarding cross contamination of meat has given rise to the need for additional vigilance, although as a company we do not use any of the products mentioned or indeed take product from the named manufacturers. It should be stressed that there are no hygiene or safety issues arising from the recent issues although the matter is extremely disturbing for religious compliance.

“All our halal meat comes from recognised suppliers within the relevant communities and as such we would expect the religious observance to be excellent. We have been in touch with all our meat suppliers and have spoken to them to ensure that they are complying with the Food Standards Agency deadline to have tested all beef products by Friday 15th Feb to ensure that the meat is of the highest quality and does not contain any cross-contamination. We have also asked our suppliers to respond to us as well with the findings. We will continue to be vigilant and review our processes so that if changes are required in our checks then these can be accommodated.”

Further Joint statement on behalf of Sheffield City Council and Taylor Shaw Ltd (15/2/2013):
“There is a national maximum level of prepared meat products that can be used on menus in schools, but the Sheffield specification is even stricter, which we test thoroughly and regularly. The majority of food from Taylor Shaw is prepared fresh on site each day and only 6 per cent of meals are pre-prepared.

“Although we have been given assurances by our suppliers about the provenance of the pre-prepared food, we take the safety of the young people in our schools very seriously. In light of the ongoing revelations of illegal activity by unscrupulous people regarding the contamination of processed meat products this week, as a precaution we have taken the joint decision to suspend the use of all processed meat products in all school meals with immediate effect.”

“We hope that this will reassure parents and carers who may have any reservations about their children’s school meals.”

“We are aware that the Food Standards Agency are carrying out urgent investigations into meat suppliers nationally and we will monitor any feedback from their investigations before considering the re-introduction of any processed meat products in our school meals, in the future.”

“We would advise all schools who do not have Taylor Shaw as their school meals contractor to adopt this decision.”

Frecheville Library celebrate National Library Day

Today I had the pleasure of joining members of the community at Frecheville Library to celebrate National Library Day. I arrived at 9.30 a.m. thinking I would be one of the first but I was wrong several people had already arrived. People were busy making tea and coffees and setting out cakes and buns. I was only able to stay for approximately 40 minutes but it was great to such a hive of activity and so many people attending. The event was supported by members of the Knit & Natter group held at Frecheville but also from the Crystal Peaks group, the local parent and toddler group and general members of the public – all were made to feel very welcome.

Emma Bramwell, Local Library Information Assistant said ”what a great morning, it was so busy there was standing room only at one point! People commented on how lovely it was to see the young mums & their children”

Libraries are our Community hubs – bringing people together across different sections of the community. Thank you to all those who provided the cakes, refreshments and raffle prizes. Over 120 people attended the event in 3 hours and raised just short of £100 for McMillan Cancer.

Councillor Karen McGowan said “A special thank you must go to Emma Bramwell for all her hardwork in promoting and bringing this together – well done Emma. A big thank you also for all the donation of cakes and prizes – these events don’t just happen it takes support from those that donate and also those that attend. Thank you to everyone for making it a huge success.”

Frecheville Library are Celebrating National Library Day on 8 February 2013

Frecheville Library are Celebrating National Library Day on 8th February 2013 (National Library day is on 9th). Staff would like to invite all members of the community to a coffee morning on Friday 8th February 2013. Emma Bramwell, local library Information Assistant said “we want the community to help us celebrate their local Library”. Library staff have invited local groups such as the reading group, babytimes and the knit & natter group as well as local people who regularly come in to the Library. All members of the community are welcome so please come and join in. The event is from 9.30 to 12.30 (local Birley Ward Councillor Karen McGowan will be present from 9.30 to 10 a.m.)

Please support this local event.