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Brexit.jpgSheffield’s Linda McAvan, Labour MEP for Yorkshire & the Humber writes:

‘People keep saying to me that it must be terrible in the European Parliament discussing Brexit all the time. But the truth is that it’s Westminster that is consumed by Brexit - our EU partners have other, more pressing, issues on their plate.

Yes, they are sad to see us go, would be pleased if we stayed, but a hostile Russia on the EU’s borders, political uncertainty in Germany, the migration crisis, instability in the Middle East, terrorist threats, and anchoring the improved economic situation in the Eurozone all loom larger for them. 

Meanwhile, as the budget shows, the government has no answers on the things the public really care about: stagnant wages, housing, underfunded health and public services, elderly care.

The government’s own figure shows a £60bn gap in the books compared with March 2016 - further proof that ordinary people are paying the price of Brexit and it’s the Tory Europhobes, not EU leaders as David Davies claimed, who really are putting politics before prosperity.’

If you want to keep in touch with how we look from the EU then follow the links below – or sign up for the regular newsletter here. There's a lot more EU news enclosed that still affects our area.

79 High Street, Wath-upon-Dearne, South Yorkshire, S63 7QB
Tel: 01709 875665 Email: lindamcavan@lindamcavanmep.org.uk
Web: www.lindamcavanmep.org.uk
Twitter: @LindaMcAvanMEP

Brexit Obsessed Britain Missing the Plot?

Sheffield’s Linda McAvan, Labour MEP for Yorkshire & the Humber writes: ‘People keep saying to me that it must be terrible in the European Parliament discussing Brexit all the time....

Crime1.jpgHeeley Labour MP Louise Haigh, spoke out after the Government's budget was unveiled by the Chancellor. The Shadow Policing Minister warned that continued funding cuts 'will break the police' and pointed out that South Yorkshire Police had lost one quarter of its officers since 2010.

The Government offered no extra funding for the police service, despite warnings from senior officers that forces are at risk of losing a further 6,000 bobbies. Louise said, "This budget proves the Government cannot be trusted to keep our communities safe. Thanks to years of Conservative cuts, police numbers are at historic lows, at a time when crime is rocketing. You can’t protect the public on the cheap." She added: "This is the grim legacy of seven years of Tory austerity - dedicated police officers fighting hard to keep the public safe with fewer officers per head than ever before. Labour will recruit another 10,000 new police officers to help keep us safe."

Labour Party figures suggest there were 2,915 police officers employed in South Yorkshire in 2010 compared to 2,362 now - a 23 per cent reduction. They also show that over the last two years, South Yorkshire Police's budget has dropped from £189,943,793 in the 2015/16 financial year compared to £186,431,848 this year.

South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, said the force has had to make savings of £73 million over the last seven years. "This has resulted in big losses of police officers and staff and stretched the service. Neighbourhood policing is being put back, but it cannot be at old levels of service. The police are doing what they can with vastly diminished resources and in conjunction with partners. We are just putting the budget together for next year but expect that substantial savings will still be necessary."

Thin Blue Line Getting Thinner Under the Tories

Heeley Labour MP Louise Haigh, spoke out after the Government's budget was unveiled by the Chancellor. The Shadow Policing Minister warned that continued funding cuts 'will break the police' and...

yearstolife.jpgTough austerity measures are leading to people dying at a younger age in Sheffield, a shock report has revealed.

Greg Fell, director of public health for Sheffield, highlighted in his report 'Adding life to years and years to life' how the real cost of financial cuts is resulting in people's lives being cut shorter. The document showed that there has been "very little improvement" in women's life expectancy over the last 15 years. The picture is worse for Sheffield’s men as there has been an actual decrease in average life expectancy from 78.8 years in 2012-2014 to 78.7 years for the most recent period of 2013-2015.

Councillor Adam Hurst, West Ecclesfield, raised this issue at the Council’s October meeting saying, “We have known for some time that austerity, the programme of government cuts since 2010, is almost certainly robbing us of life. Consistently rising life expectancy should be something we all take for granted – and yet the UK is the only major country in the world to have seen such a dramatic stalling of life expectancy, and the quality of this life, over the last seven years.

“There is nothing inevitable about life expectancy having to stop improving - rather this is direct result of policies enacted by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats since 2010.

“In Sheffield we will try to do everything we can to stem this tide and this is why I am pleased that our Labour council is updating the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, to take a much more in-depth look at how as a council we can improve health and wellbeing in the city”

It is now well established that the country is in the midst of crisis in Adult Social Care but it should also be noted leading charities, religious groups and public figures contend that austerity is also bringing about a crisis in care for children, and young families, which is just as dangerous.

This is something Councillor Dawn Dale, Shiregreen and Brightside, knows all about. Councillor Dale is a former Sure Start worker and she continues to work closely with families in communities. Councillor Dale highlights some of the measures underway by Sheffield’s Labour council to help children and young adults but that, due to austerity and severe government cuts, many children and young adults are still suffering in the city.

Councillor Dale:  “We know that the current government, and the Coalition before them, are badly letting down our children. Under Labour this council will always do everything we can to fight government cuts and make sure that our spending goes as far as possible.

“A key target of this council is to build on our early years prevention work – making sure we are proactively providing the support that so many depend on. We are having great success in this but we can’t hide the fact that national policies and funding cuts are really hurting us”

 

Austerity Kills

Tough austerity measures are leading to people dying at a younger age in Sheffield, a shock report has revealed. Greg Fell, director of public health for Sheffield, highlighted in his...

171018_Universal_Credit_2.jpgThe Government’s roll out of Universal Credit is causing debt, poverty and evictions. Yet the Tories push on regardless. 

 Citizens Advice has described Universal Credit as a “disaster waiting to happen”

 Housing Associations report an increase of up to 50 per cent in the eviction of tenants with rent arrears due to Universal Credit

 Even former Tory Prime minster, Sir John Major, described Universal Credit as “operationally messy, socially unfair and unforgiving”

 Some working families will be up to £2,600 a year worse off under Universal Credit

The changes to benefit payments will see benefits going to the claimant rather than straight to the landlord, as was the established system. This change was originally piloted for council homes in Sheffield, and in the piloted areas there was a 43% increase in arrears, and this was for people who were not in arrears beforehand.

The Council could now face a huge shortfall which will have a significant effect on the ability to build and repair council homes. The council has already had to make millions of pounds of provision for loss of income.

Councillor Mohammad Maroof, Nether Edge & Sharrow, says “Our Labour council has been clear with our concerns for some time about the proposed changes to Universal Credit. We believe the changes could have a devastating impact on the most vulnerable – a large proportion of whom will be single parents and/or from the BME community - and this must not be allowed to happen". 

“We have seen already that Labour have forced the government into scrapping the 55p a minute telephone call service for people calling for help affected by the benefit changes,”

Fellow Nether Edge Councillor Jim Steinke added, “I find it incredible that the government are pressing ahead with the roll-out of Universal Credit despite the widespread outcry. It is even more incredible that they are doing so given that they are closing job centres, such as Eastern Avenue, and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau are unlikely to be able to cope with an increased demand”

Sign Labour’s online #FixUniversalCredit petition – Or you can download and print a #FixUniversalCredit Petition – please send completed petition forms to LabourSheffield, T&LC, Talbot Street, Sheffield S2 2TG

LabourSheffield says #FixUniversalCredit

The Government’s roll out of Universal Credit is causing debt, poverty and evictions. Yet the Tories push on regardless.   Citizens Advice has described Universal Credit as a “disaster waiting...

1710South_Yorkshire_Police_and_Crime_Commissioner.jpg

The work of Labour’s Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings continues.

His recent monthly report covers a wide range of developments across South Yorkshire and is available here.

A member of the Independent Ethics Panel, Sheikh Dr Mohammad Ismail, has been made Deputy Lord Lieutenant for South Yorkshire. The appointment recognises all the work Mohammad has done over the years not just for the Muslim community, but for community cohesion and interfaith understanding in the wider community of South Yorkshire. Dr Ismail is an imam and scholar who works as chaplain to the University of Sheffield.

You can sign up for monthly PCC reports by completing the email sign up form here.

If you have any issues that you would like to raise then you can contact Alan in the following ways.

Write to Alan Billings at South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Ground Floor, Carbrook House, Carbrook Hall Road, Sheffield, S9 2EH – telephone on 0114 296 4150 or email at info@southyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk

Alan Billings PCC Update

The work of Labour’s Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings continues. His recent monthly report covers a wide range of developments across South Yorkshire and is available here. A member...

20-mph-zone.gifSheffield City Council will introduce a 20mph speed limit in the city centre following strong public backing to the recent consultation.  

A 20mph speed will now be rolled out before the end of the year on hundreds of streets in Sheffield city centre in a bid to make roads safer, better for pedestrians and cyclists and to improve air quality. The limit will affect every street apart from a few major thoroughfares such as Arundel Gate, Derek Dooley Way and Sheaf Street. 

The Council is also making plans for additional improvements to tackle congestion on the inner ring-road.

Since Labour were elected to run Sheffield City Council in 2011 a series of measures have been undertaken to achieve their aim of establishing 20mph as the maximum speed for residential areas throughout Sheffield.  The restriction has already been introduced with great success in areas such as Darnall, Gleadless Valley, Heeley and Stannington and now the city centre is to follow.

20mph1.jpg

Labour Councillor for City Ward, Moya O’Rourke said, “Since my election I made a promise to the ward that I would make our city centre roads safer and more environmentally friendly – and I have been pushing for 20 mph zones in the centre to do just that.

Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure at Sheffield City Council, said: “Anyone who’s been in our city centre recently will have seen that it is growing rapidly and for the better, with cranes, new shops and new developments. It needs to be a place where safety and sustainable travel are actively supported and encouraged.

“I’m pleased that the consultation was received so positively. This Labour Council is absolutely determined to improve road safety throughout the city and 20mph zones play a big role in this. Not only do speeds reduce in these areas, there’s a reduction in the severity of the accidents and an improvement in air quality”.

Twenty is Plenty in Sheffield City Centre

Sheffield City Council will introduce a 20mph speed limit in the city centre following strong public backing to the recent consultation.   A 20mph speed will now be rolled out before...

Sheffield becomes the largest Local Authority in the Country to commit to Ethical Care Charter

Unison_General_Secretary_Dave_Prentis_and_Cllr_Julie_Dore.JPGAn agreement between Sheffield City Council leaders and care provider trade union UNISON promises better homecare for Sheffield residents and more support for care workers.

For residents it means there will be enough time for home visits so workers have time to talk to clients, not rush off to their next appointment. And visits will meet the needs of residents so they get the care and support required.

For homecare workers it means pay for travel time, travel costs and, for those who are entitled, statutory sick pay.

This development comes on top of Sheffield City Council already being a Foundation Living Wage employer for directly employed council staff. And it has banned zero hour contracts replacing of permanent contracts.

Signing the council up to the charter, Sheffield City Council Leader Julie Dore said: “We are absolutely committed that people in Sheffield should receive the high-quality homecare we would all want for ourselves and for our loved ones.

Cllr_McDonald_with_Union_and_Carers.jpg

"Such care needs dedicated work from care workers and they need to be rewarded fairly. By signing up for this charter we are ensuring the recruitment and retention of a more stable workforce through better pay, conditions and training levels, which will lead to improved support for those in care.

 “We are the largest local authority in the country to sign this charter to date which we’re very proud of.”

Councillor Cate McDonald, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, pictured at the event with local workers said, “I am really proud of the fact we have signed up to Unison’s Ethical Care Charter."

Better Homecare and a Fair Deal for Workers

Sheffield becomes the largest Local Authority in the Country to commit to Ethical Care Charter An agreement between Sheffield City Council leaders and care provider trade union UNISON promises better...

Julie_and_Oliva_-_a.jpgOlivia Blake is the new Deputy Leader of Sheffield City Council.

 

Councillor Blake was elected at a Labour Group meeting last night following Leigh Bramall’s decision to stand down as Deputy Leader two weeks ago. She was previously a Cabinet Adviser in the Health and Social Care Portfolio, a position she has held since May 2015.

 

Olivia was elected as a Councillor for Walkley in May 2014 and is highly regarded as a hard-working and effective ward councillor in her local community. 

 

For the first time ever Sheffield will now have a female Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council.

 

Councillor Olivia Blake, Labour Deputy Leader of Sheffield City Council said:

“I am honoured that Labour Group have elected me as the new Deputy Leader of the Council. Leigh Bramall will be a hard act to follow as Deputy Leader but I am excited to have the opportunity to serve our wonderful city at such an important time. Working with Councillor Julie Dore I am committed to delivering Labour’s ambitious agenda to take Sheffield forward, to continue to stand up for Sheffield and fight the Government’s austerity agenda.” 


Councillor Julie Dore, Labour Leader of Sheffield City Council:

“I’m delighted to welcome Olivia as the new Deputy Leader. It’s important that we continue to have a strong team fighting for Sheffield and I am confident that with Olivia’s dynamism, hard work and determination she’ll do a great job for Sheffield. Olivia will bring a fresh approach and new ideas and I am really looking forward to working with her.”

Olivia Blake is New Deputy Leader

Olivia Blake is the new Deputy Leader of Sheffield City Council.   Councillor Blake was elected at a Labour Group meeting last night following Leigh Bramall’s decision to stand down...

Mosborugh_Fracking.pngLabour councillors and members have been out force in Mosborough to speak to residents about the license given by the government to Ineos to carry out fracking in the area.

Whilst MP’s or local councillors do not have the power to say “no fracking here” – they do have the right to make sure that residents are fully informed and have their views represented to decision makers.

Labour MP Clive Betts is greatly aware that there is much confusion and concern about fracking in the area. Along with hardworking local councillors Tony Downing and David Barker he has set up a meeting for local residents. Also in attendance will be a representative from the Council’s planning agency and a spokesperson from an anti-fracking group. Crucially, Ineos will also be present to explain what they intend to do. 

All are welcome on Thursday 23 March at Mosborough Primary School, New School Road – start time 7.30pm.

Labour in Sheffield has been consistent in their opposition to fracking and have opposed it when and where they can. Last year Labour committed the Council to not permit fracking on Council-owned land and to reject approaches to do so.

Sal Young, local Mosborough resident (pictured left) said, ‘Labour councillors are committed to ensuring that any decisions over fracking should be taken by local communities and not by the government. I hope as many as possible will turn up – but if you can’t make it then please let our MP know your views or send questions to officeofclivebettsmp@parliament.uk

Fracking in Mosborough? - Have Your Say

Labour councillors and members have been out force in Mosborough to speak to residents about the license given by the government to Ineos to carry out fracking in the area....

CouncillLeighBramall.jpgor Leigh Bramall has announced that he is standing down as Deputy Leader of Sheffield City Council, to take up a new role in communications having worked in this field before entering the Cabinet.   

Councillor Bramall has been a councillor for Southey since 2004. He has served in the Cabinet for nearly six years since May 2011 and as Deputy Leader of the Council for two years since 2015.

In this period Councillor Bramall has led the Business and Economy portfolio working to bring jobs and investment to the city. He has led a number of key achievements working with Councillor Julie Dore, the Leader of the Council, including securing the largest Chinese investment deal of any city outside London, the development of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District, fighting for a Sheffield city centre HS2 station location, resurrecting the Sheffield Retail Quarter project and leading the campaign to establish Sheffield as the UK’s Outdoor City.  

Councillor Bramall will also be standing down as ward Councillor for Southey. 

Councillor Leigh Bramall, said:

“I have been privileged to have the opportunity to serve Sheffield, working on cementing the city’s economic future and ensure we are creating jobs, growth and investment opportunities. I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved, in the past year we have seen a number of very high profile businesses coming to the city, new developments being built and investors choosing to put their money into Sheffield.

“Sheffield is a special city and has many unique attributes with much to offer, this can be seen as we grow to become the country’s centre of Advanced Manufacturing and as the Outdoor City.

“After being in the Cabinet for six years and a councillor for 13 years, I have put everything into my job and love what I do. I remain 100% committed to the work of the Labour council. But I have to put my family first and now is the right time for me to move on. I am moving to a fantastic Sheffield company and feel this is a great opportunity for me to start a new chapter in my professional career which also allows me to stay in Sheffield, the city that I love.

“I would especially like to thank the people of Southey who I have represented for nearly 13 years. It has been an honour to serve the community, working with some fantastic people who make a real difference for the area.”

Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council said: 

“Leigh has thrived in the Business and Economy Portfolio where he has made a real difference in driving forward some of the city’s key economic ambitions such as the Innovation District, the city centre and Outdoor City project. He is passionate and committed to Sheffield, it has been a pleasure working with him over the past 13 years.

“He has been dedicated to serving the people of Sheffield as Deputy Leader of the Council and given his all to the job. This inevitably takes its toll on your personal life and I completely understand and respect the decision he has made. I wish him all the best for his future career.”

 

Farewell Leigh: Council Deputy Leader Stands Down

Councillor Leigh Bramall has announced that he is standing down as Deputy Leader of Sheffield City Council, to take up a new role in communications having worked in this field...

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