Manifesto in brief
Support Recovery from the Covid-19 Pandemic
Bringing inward investment and jobs to the city should always be a priority for the council. Liberal Democrats will invest in people and infrastructure to support business and help the recovery by increasing prosperity & bringing jobs to the city. We will ring fence 10% of city-wide ‘Community Infrastructure Levy’ (CIL) money for local projects to support small, local business, and invest £2 million in local and district shopping centres.
The Liberal Democrats will build Sheffield back better. The pandemic has accelerated the proportion of on-line retail and we would use this opportunity to increase city-centre living as well as encouraging and supporting the diverse retail and cultural offer in the city centre.
Congestion in Sheffield can only be reduced by supporting both active travel and good quality affordable public transport. Building back must include prioritising and promoting public transport to encourage people out of their cars alongside schemes to increase active travel by making walking and cycling easier and safer across the city. Liberal Democrats will give residents greater control over bus services in the city by introducing a London style bus contract which would specify routes, fares & timetables and take control from the bus companies.
Many of Sheffield’s citizens are facing long term physical & mental health problems and many face financial difficulties following the pandemic. We will provide services that meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents. We will seek to extend the community support worker scheme to cover those in need across the city and not just those with council tenancies.
We will provide tenants of private landlords with support to address issues with their housing and we will support tenants of the council by delivering a ’right first time’ repairs service. We will encourage development that builds toward ’15-minute neighbourhoods’, with mixed housing types to promote resilient communities.
We will support elderly and vulnerable people through better integrated health and social care, building of the work already underway to reduce the number of people being admitted to hospital un-necessarily and enable people to return home promptly when they no longer need hospital care.
Maintain the focus on high aspiration and attainment for all children and young people in all schools remains essential if every child is to be given the opportunity to reach their potential.
We will press the government to ensure that all children entitled to free school meals receive a healthy meal every day of the year.
We will ensure that the best use is made of pupil premium funds; and help young carers with transport passes to help them stay involved with activities in their community.
We will support community schemes across our city which provide activities for young people to keep them safe and give them the opportunity to engage in positive activities.
We will provide additional support to help schools address mental health issues arising from the pandemic and the lock downs.
Meet the Challenge of Climate Change & Improve our Environment
Our planet is facing a climate emergency. As a city we need to act to deliver our pledge to make Sheffield carbon neutral by 2030. We will listen and act on the recommendations of the Sheffield climate citizens assembly.
Liberal Democrats will protect our green, leafy city for all to enjoy; protecting our parks & green spaces; promote our heritage and minimise our impact on the environment. We will protect and enhance our natural biodiversity, support re-wilding, to encourage more natural vegetation.
We will ensure that Sheffield’s Local plan is consulted on widely. We will ensure that developers comply with the need to provide a range of housing types, including affordable homes, and build low carbon homes in all large-scale developments whilst prioritising brown field sites and protecting our open green spaces.
We will launch the Big Sheffield Clean Up-
- Liberal Democrats will move Sheffield towards a ‘reduce, re-use, recycle’ economy.
- We will increase support for the ‘Clean Up Sheffield Task Force’ to attack the problems of littering, dog fouling, fly tipping.
- We will provide support and training to enable local volunteers to tackle graffiti in their communities.
- We will increase recycling with larger blue bins for those who want them,
- We will give people the option to recycle more types of plastic and will investigate options to recycle food waste.
- We will extend the opening hours of recycling centres.
- We will provide more on-street recycling bins.
- We will arrange ‘Bring out your Rubbish’ days for communities with low car ownership who find accessing recycling centres more difficult.
- We will supply schools with air quality monitors to help educate and inform students and their families.
Lead a Responsive & Open Council
Liberal Democrats believe that the purpose of the council is to represent, work for, and be the voice of all of the people of Sheffield; and that it is important that its decisions reflect the diversity of the city and will always put individuals at the forefront of the choices it makes.
Liberal Democrats will involve you with a council that listens to Sheffield’s citizens, is open, transparent, and involves communities in local decisions. We will respect the decision of Sheffield’s voters in the referendum on the future structure of the council.
The current council structure is broken and overcentralised. A Liberal Democrat City Council will devolve power and budgets away from the Town Hall by reinstating Community Assemblies, so that many more decisions are taken locally by the councillors elected to represent Sheffield’s communities. The community assemblies will comprise members elected for those areas, so residents have a direct path to the people who make decisions, and that all councillors are involved in taking decisions.
We will ensure council services such as housing repairs, social care, and universal services, are responsive to Sheffield‘s citizens, with clear points of access, transparent process and efficient service. Council tenants will contact Housing Services directly for resolution of their issues.
Liberal Democrats believe in an open and transparent council that listens and acts in the interests of Sheffield residents
We condemn Labour’s mismanagement of the ‘Streets Ahead’ contract, particularly with the felling of healthy street trees. For more than three years the council refused to engage with residents about the implementation of the ‘Streets Ahead’ contract; trees were felled and tax-payers’ money wasted on huge legal costs. The council needs to learn lessons from this episode and the report of the Local Government Ombudsman and engage in a meaningful way with Sheffield’s citizens. We will support an independent enquiry into the running of the contract.
Liberal Democrats are committed to the promotion of a flourishing system of democratic local government in which decisions are taken and services delivered at the most local level viable. Too many decisions have been centralised under Labour, making them less responsive to local need. Sheffield currently has a democratic deficit with too many decisions taken by a small number of councillors.