SHEFFIELD Council’s ruling Liberal Democrats have pledged to set aside a £1.4 million fund to help companies to create new jobs in the city.
The funding – to be allocated to businesses by the Lib Dems if they retain control at next month’s local elections – has been awarded by the Government towards economic projects under a wider scheme called Local Area Based Growth Initiative.
Labour has said it would use the money to reverse some cuts to services made in the Lib Dems’ budget for 2011/12.
Sheffield Council leader Coun Paul Scriven said: “Over the last few weeks we have seen 1,700 new jobs announced for Sheffield thanks to the business-friendly policies the Lib Dems have fostered in the Town Hall.
“What’s more, we have set aside a ring-fenced fund of nearly £1.4 million for the next year to help bring in even more new jobs.
“Despite the fact new jobs are top of local people’s agenda, Labour leader Coun Julie Dore has promised the first thing she would do if she became council leader would be to halt the work, cutting the fund entirely.
“That’s a whopping 100 per cent Labour cut to work on attracting extra jobs for our city.”
Coun Scriven said: “While it’s no surprise to me that Labour councillors want to halt this work and stick two fingers up to much-needed new jobs, I’m sure many local people will be shocked.
“It’s yet more proof that, under Labour, Sheffield would go back to the bad old anti-business days with local people being the ones that suffer.”
But Labour said its plans involve using some of the fund to create 200 apprenticeships for youngsters.
It would also use the money to reinstate funding for 10 of the 25 police community support officers paid for by the council, which the Lib Dems have axed.
Labour said it would also reverse a 15 per cent cut in funding for Sure Start – but Lib Dems say Sure Start children’s centres should reduce management costs like other council departments.
New jobs announced in recent weeks include 500 posts each at Sky and Voice call centres, and up to 750 positions at new Rolls Royce factories to be located at the Advanced Manufacturing Park, Waverley.