Public Q&A with South Yorkshire PCC Candidates – Monday 5th November

Sheffield First Partnership, The Star and Sheffield for Democracy invite you to attend a public question and answer session with the candidates for the post of Police & Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire on Monday 5th November 2012, 5.00 – 7.00 pm.

The candidates speaking are:

  • Shaun Wright (Labour)
  • Nigel Bonson (Conservative)
  • Robert Teal (Liberal Democrat)
  • Jonathan Arnott (UKIP)
  • David Allen (English Democrats)

This event will take place at:

Peak Lecture Theatre
The Owen Building
Sheffield Hallam University
Howard Street
S1 1WB

For any queries regarding this event, please email sheffield.first@sheffield.gov.uk or call 0114 273 5822.

Tories/LibDems Force Punitive Cuts on Sheffield

Nick Clegg Doesn't Care About The Cuts Attacking Sheffield - He'll Be Long Gone!
Nick Clegg Doesn’t Care About The Cuts Attacking Sheffield – He’ll Be Long Gone!

As may be seen in our previous post, Sheffield City Council has just issued a press release regarding the Council’s budget for the near future.

It’s important that all residents of our city read it, as it sets out the extremely tough financial environment the council will have to operate in in the next few years and beyond. Press and political opponents will no doubt paint this as ‘Labour cuts’, but these cuts are entirely the result of the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition slashing the money that Sheffield receives from council tax receipts raised in the city. It’s true that councils across the country are facing reduced funding, but these reductions are both disproportionate and partisan: so far Sheffield has lost £280 per head of population (with more to come), while Tory/Lib Dem councils in the south have lost much less. Dorset, for instance, has only lost £40 per head!

Given this, it’s essential that all people striving to build a better Sheffield find out for themselves the extent of the Tory/Lib Dem attack on our city, and then set the record straight in discussion with family, friends and work colleagues. These cuts are not Labour’s doing: they’re the scheme of a government that has it in for working class people, and that message has to be heard. It would be scandalous for hard-working Labour councillors to take the blame for this, thus letting in the Lib Dems again… the very party that’s colluding in this brutal attack on our public services!

But the most shocking thing is that this attack on Sheffield’s being driven by one of our city’s own MPs! Co-architect of the cuts Nick Clegg doesn’t care, though: he has no illusions about getting re-elected in Sheffield, and no doubt has already lined up some lucrative job at the EU for when the cuts truly hit and the voters of Sheffield show him what they think at the next election.

If you’d like any more information on this, please don’t hesitate to contact your Labour Councillor (for Birley Ward, these are Councillors Bryan Lodge, Denise Fox and Karen McGowan).

It’s up to the people of Sheffield to ensure that the Tories and Lib Dems get the credit they deserve for what they’re doing to our great city.

 

Bigger Budget Cuts Destined for Sheffield – Press Release

Sheffield City Council News Release

Sheffield will have to deal with greater cuts from Government than originally anticipated which will mean tougher decisions will have to be made on where tight resources could be spent.

That is the stark but realistic warning made by Sheffield City Council leaders as they continue to plan for the budget challenges from April next year.

The local authority was bracing itself for £40m worth of Government cuts in funding for 2013/14 but now expects to have a further £10m less to spend on services and deal with additional pressures such as energy bills, rising prices and increasing demand for its services.“I am passionate about Sheffield and providing good value for money services to local people but the latest news that we will be hit even harder is a real body blow and without doubt savage and unfair,” said Cllr Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council.

“Over the last two years the Council has made £141m of cuts to services as a result of the Government’s austerity programme. That equates to around £280 for every resident in this city thanks to the reduction in grants to us as a council.

“That places added strain on already stretched resources. So now we are working hard to focus on where we can possibly spend less.

“Whilst we are unable to go into detail at the moment as we now need more time to find these savings and consider proposals to take to the public, we can be certain of one thing, things will have to change as we cannot afford to stand still.

“I will not at this moment guarantee what that change will look like, what I can guarantee is that we will continue to protect services for those people who need it the most and work with businesses and our partners to make the most of opportunities to help the local economy grow and Sheffield continues to have its sights firmly set on the brightest future possible,” she added.

The Council has already drilled down on costs and saved £6m a year on IT by using an outside contractor, a further £1m could be reduced from directors’ pay bill as part of a proposed restructure which is currently out to consultation with staff affected and saving £12m this year and a further £50m over the life of the of Streets Ahead scheme to improve and maintain the city’s roads by reorganising how it is financed to save money.

“We are under no illusion that the months ahead and indeed years, are going to be the toughest we have faced in generations thanks to a double whammy of cut upon cut by the Government, “ said Cllr Bryan Lodge, Cabinet member for Finance and Resources.

“We will do all we can to reduce our spending in a fair way and minimise the impact, where we can, on our communities, However, at the moment, there is very little that we can rule in or out as we put the spotlight on our spending. It will be tough but we hope local communities will understand the position we are now put in and wherever possible work with us,” he said.

Ends

Why Do Sheffield Lib Dems Oppose Successful Bus Partnerships?

Norman Baker MP Tells Sheffield Lib Dems What To Do With Their Transport Policy
Norman Baker MP Tells Sheffield Lib Dems What To Do With Their Transport Policy

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…

Kash Walayat OBE for South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner: Birley Branch Endorsements

Kash Walayat OBE
Kash Walayat OBE

The Labour Party’s decision on whom to nominate for South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner is imminent. Given the importance of this post, it is essential that the best candidate is put forward to contest the full election in November.

Birley Branch Labour Party is pleased to announce a number of endorsements for Kash Walayat OBE: Councillor Bryan Lodge, Councillor Karen McGowan, Councillor Denise Fox and membership secretary Mike Drabble are all convinced that Kash Walayat OBE is the right person for the job.

His skills, experience and connections with all sections of the community mean he is better placed than any other candidate to offer effective oversight of South Yorkshire Police in what will be a challenging time for our local force. In addition, Kash Walayat OBE has demonstrated his commitment to the post by giving up his highly paid civil service job to stand: something none of the other candidates can say!

So we urge all local Labour Party members to vote for Kash Walayat OBE for South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner. He’s a long-standing Labour member that has worked hard for the party in the past, and will work hard for the people of South Yorkshire in the future.

 

Vote Bryan Lodge for Councillor for Birley Ward on Thursday May 3rd!

The elections for Sheffield Council are being held this Thursday, May 3rd. We urge all residents of Birley Ward to vote for Bryan Lodge: he is the only candidate that can effectively fight for the people of our ward.

As Deputy Leader of Sheffield Council, Bryan has a record of standing up to the coalition government, and of doing his best to oppose the punitive cuts inflicted on cities like ours by the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives. Remember, a vote for either of them is a vote for the parties that are slashing funding in councils in the north of England, while leaving Liberal Democrat and Conservative council budgets in the south virtually untouched! It’s clear that Liberal Democrats and Conservatives in Sheffield can’t be trusted to stand up for us: they’re too busy helping their coalition cronies.

So if you oppose the cuts, vote for The Labour Party’s Bryan Lodge on Thursday May 3rd, and help him continue to fight for your interests.

Bryan Lodge, Karen McGowan and Denise Fox Greet Labour Deputy Leader

Bryan Lodge With Labour Deputy Leader Harriet Harman
Bryan Lodge With Labour Deputy Leader Harriet Harman

Bryan Lodge, Karen McGowan and Denise Fox met Harriet Harman today. She came to speak outside the City Hall and show her support to the Sheffield Labour Candidates.

The Labour’s Deputy Leader Harriet Harman took to those very same steps to launch a new Labour Party document called “Caught Yellow Handed”. It exposes the Lib Dems campaign in these local elections for what it is – hypocritical and the same old Lib Dems – saying one thing, doing another”. She said

“Lib Dem literature across the country is conspicuously lacking any trace of Nick Clegg on it. In Sheffield some of their leaflets don’t even have any Lib Dem logos on! Don’t let them get away with it send a clear message to the Lib Dems and help Labour win on 3 May”.

It was raining but the prople of Sheffield stood and listened to what she had to say. It was a moral boost to the candidates and she welcomed by the Council Leader Julie Dore.

Clive Betts MP also came and listened to Harriet.

Clive Betts MP Hails Victory On Local Planning Laws

Proposed Coalition changes to local planning laws have been controversial, with many fearing that green belt land could lose vital protections. In a constituency like Sheffield South-East, this could result in countryside at present enjoyed by all being lost to developers.

Fortunately our MP Clive Betts, in his role as chairman of Parliament’s backbench Communities and Local Government Committee, has been leading the fight against the worst aspects of the National Planning Policy Framework. On hearing news that changes to proposed legislation have led to increased protection for our green spaces, he said:

The select committee listened to the campaigners, and the Government listened to the select committee. Great credit should go to everyone who has campaigned to get this change… the draft NPPF would have reshaped England very differently if the initial plans had gone through.

Full story at the Daily Telegraph website:

Hands Off Our Land