What is needed?
Sheffield needs a clear, positive vision for business in the city, flexible enough to adapt to a changing economy. Sheffield needs investment and a wide range of businesses to improve our prosperity and enable us to compete on equal terms with other major UK cities. Bringing inward investment and jobs to the city should always be a priority for the council.
We confirm our commitment to the Sheffield City Region devolution deal which is the only deal offered by the government and believe that this would be a great opportunity for the city and its people. Liberal Democrats condemn the in-fighting by South Yorkshire Labour Council leaders which has resulted in the stalling of £30 million per year of inward investment for jobs, skills and training for our region and the loss of an automatic £155 million from the Transforming Cities Fund which the Sheffield City Region would receive if the combined authority was established. The failure to achieve this has left us behind other city regions such as Manchester and Birmingham.
Liberal Democrats believe that every child should be helped to achieve their potential through access to high quality education, ensuring they acquire the skills to enable them to succeed in a changing world. We will ensure that the most vulnerable children have access to the additional services they need.
What we will do
● Liberal Democrats will ring fence 10% of city-wide Community Infrastructure Levy money for infrastructure projects to support small, local business. For example, local parking schemes, new road crossings to encourage more local residents to use their local facilities.
● Set up a ‘Community business group’ for each part of the city to involve local business in the decision-making process.
● Liberal Democrats will support a diverse redevelopment of the city centre, ensuring that Sheffield has a distinctive offer, with a better balance of residential, business and leisure development.
● Attract big business to Sheffield and strengthen our international links.
● Liberal Democrats want to help independent businesses and boost the local economy by investigating the feasibility of introducing a ‘Sheffield Pound’ so more of the money spent in Sheffield stays in Sheffield.
● Support the city centre and local & district shopping centres by managing parking flexibly, to encourage business activity throughout the week. Supporting city-centre businesses by re-instating free parking on evenings and all-day on Sundays.
● Scrap Labour’s bus partnership which has seen higher charges for worse services, and instead, give residents greater control over bus services in the city by introducing a London style bus contract to deliver a good value, stable, comprehensive and easy to use bus network.
● Lobby for improved rail connections to Manchester and Leeds, and to revive electrification of the Midland Main Line.
● Investigate an expansion of the use of tram-train to improve connectivity across the city.
● Hold the ‘Streets ahead’ contractor to account to ensure high standards of work and ensure that damage and any deterioration of the highways are addressed promptly and repaired to the required standard.
Invest in young people
● Liberal Democrats will support community schemes across our city including the De Hood and Unity Gym to provide activities for young people to keep them safe and give them the opportunity to engage in positive activities.
● Work with schools and others to improve the education offered in all schools across Sheffield, particularly those currently failing to meet acceptable standards in their OFSTED inspections.
● Maintain the focus on high aspiration and attainment for all children and young people in all our schools.
● Support technical and vocational education as an equal alternative to academic qualifications to provide the skilled workforce a thriving economy needs. Ensure opportunities for appropriate work experience to introduce all pupils to a range of opportunities for their future careers.
● Ensure that best use is made of the Pupil Premium, introduced by Liberal Democrats in government, to provide educational support for disadvantaged children.