Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Council AGM (and that Labour reshuffle in full)

My colleague Anders has already covered what happened at the AGM in some detail, so I'll be brief:
This means we have an all-Labour cabinet, with some minor changes:

Cllr Tim Rippon replaces Cllr Robert MacDonald as Economic Regeneration, Culture and Planning spokesman. Cllr MacDonald moves to a sub-cabinet role - Cabinet Adviser for Personnel.

Cllr Terry Fox leaves the Transport portfolio and the Cabinet. Cllr Fox is replaced by Cllr Bryan Lodge, who will take expand his existing Streetscene portfolio to include Transport.

Astute readers will notice that both members who are leaving the Cabinet are up for election in marginal wards next time - Terry Fox in Gleadless Valley and Robert MacDonald in Hillsborough.

Cllr. Jan Wilson has been re-elected as Council Leader, and Cllrs. Jones, Harpham, Weldon, Rooney, and Lea have retained their respective cabinet positions. Cllrs. Price and Barton stay on as Scrutiny Board chairs, for Culture, Economy and Sustainability, and Successful Neighbourhoods respectively.

On the Lib Dem side of the aisle, Cllr. Clive Skelton replaces Cllr. Roger Davison as chair of the Health Scrutiny Board. Cllr. John Knight remains chair of the Children and Young People (i.e. education) Scrutiny Board.

There are no changes to the Lib Dem Shadow Cabinet team, with Cllrs. Scriven, Sangar, Anginotti, McCann, Auckland, Mohammed, Baker (David), Dunkley and Clement-Jones poised to continue their excellent work.

You can view the full list of portfolio-holders here.


Labour start education climb-down

Well, it's finally happened - Sheffield Labour have realised that closing a well-liked local school is actually unpopular.

Labour councillors are now planning a "review panel" to examine deeply unpopular plans to close Wisewood and Myers Grove schools.

There will be three members of the panel in total:
although it remains to be seen who they actually appoint to these positions - and who will make the appointments!

The alert among you will have noticed that Labour have promised very little here - merely that they will look again at "all the options".

What "all the options" are is left to interpretation - local parents will remember well that last year the options given at consultation were

a) closure and merger of the two schools, or
b) there is no option B...

(In fact, Hillsborough Labour Councillor Robert MacDonald was quoted at the time as saying it was "the only option" - how they've changed their tune!)

They have also stopped short of restarting the public consultation process - a key step demanded by local parents' group Save Our Community Schools.

But by far the most comical part of the announcement has to be this - the sheer naked self-interest that has motivated it. Labour leader Jan Wilson goes so far as to admit that this apparent re-think is motivated by one thing alone - their defeat in Hillsborough Ward (and ergo the desire of the remaining two Labour councillors to save their skins...)

"It is absolutely clear that we lost due to new voters voting against Labour on the school amalgamation issue - we need to take notice of this," said she.

Be in no doubt, local parents will not be fooled by this - they will want to know categorically that their local schools are safe before they even consider voting Labour again.

Labour's press release leaves no doubt whatsoever: if local residents in Hillsborough had not rejected Labour so overwhelmingly on May 3rd there would be no question of any re-think of these plans whatsoever. Good for them I say.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Sheffield Labour lefties - read this and despair

Sheffield Labour MPs nominating Gordon Brown:

David Blunkett (Sheffield Brightside)
Richard Caborn (Sheffield Central)
Angela Smith (Sheffield Hillsborough)
Meg Munn (Sheffield Heeley)
Clive Betts (Sheffield Attercliffe)

Sheffield Labour MPs not nominating Gordon Brown:

Any Labour members out there who wanted a contest - you know who to blame...

Also I read that Meg Munn (edit: and Angela Smith and Clive Betts) supported today's thoroughly shameful attempt to make MPs exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

Not a good day for what the Labour Party is meant to stand for, really.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Labour lose control of Sheffield

Superb - simply superb.

Labour 41 seats (-3)
Liberal Democrats 39 seats (+4)
Green Party 2 seats (-)
Conservatives 1 seat (-1)
Independent 1 seat (-)

Congratulations to the following new Lib Dem Councillors:

Councillor Steve Ayris (member for Hillsborough - LD gain from Lab)
Councillor Denise Reaney (member for Gleadless Valley - LD gain from Lab)
Councillor Penny Baker (member for Walkley - LD gain from Lab)
Councillor Mike Davis (member for Dore & Totley - LD gain from Con)
Councillor Colin France (member for Nether Edge - LD hold)


Sheffield, Hallam - notional majority increased

In keeping with the theme of Lib Dem held seats doing rather well at the local elections, here is the full vote share for Sheffield, Hallam on the new boundaries. Changes from last time are in parentheses.

LD 44.1% (+2.6)
Con 21.3% (-1.4)
Lab 10.7% (+0.4)
Grn 7.2% (-0.5)
UKIP 0.8% (-0.1)
Others 0.0% (-0.8)

Also, all five Council seats were won by over 1,000 votes - including a gain from the Tories. Councillors in the constituency now stand at LD 14, Con 1, Others 0.

The final remaining Tory is up for election next year, where they could be wiped out in Sheffield district for the first time since its creation.

Congrats to Nick Clegg and his excellent organiser Anders Hanson!

Printed (hosted) by Published and promoted by Joe Taylor, 28 Pendeen Road, Sheffield S11 7EN on behalf of the Sheffield Liberal Democrat Group.

The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and may not represent those of or the Sheffield Liberal Democrat Group.