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…