Debate over rural boost

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A DEBATE will take place this week on whether Sheffield Council’s plans to spend £1.8m on improving services to rural areas of the city is a good idea - as the authority is looking to make £219m of cuts over the next three years.

The council’s opposition Labour group has called in the proposed Rural Strategy for discussion at the Successful Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee meeting at the Town Hall on Thursday.

The strategy was drawn up by the ruling Lib Dem cabinet on Sheffield Council, which claims the city’s 65,000 rural residents do not get a fair deal compared to urbanites.

But the scheme has been consistently branded “unaffordable” by Labour, which first attempted to overturn the idea when the council’s budget was published in February. Lib Dems want to spend money to help rural companies, improve internet connections and provide better services on the Peak District fringes.