Preserve strong opposition plea in Sheffield

Liberal Democrats launch 2012 local election campaign at Park Hill flats.
Liberal Democrats launch 2012 local election campaign at Park Hill flats.
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SHEFFIELD Council’s main opposition group kicked off its local election campaign - in the heart of safe Labour territory.

The Lib Dems, who lost control of the council last year, gathered at Park Hill flats to emphasise local issues.

The complex is being redeveloped, but has needed additional public money to cover security costs at sections awaiting redevelopment.

Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, Lib Dem group leader, said: “We went into one of the safest Labour seats in the city to highlight the choices in spending Labour is making.

“There may be less money, but there is not no money to spend.

“Labour has protected senior management pay, trade union officials and invested more public money into Park Hill - when we would use money to maintain weekly bin collections, free garden waste collections and dementia centres.

“I think we are more in touch with ordinary Sheffielders in what we are proposing.”

Coun Mohammed said his party has had an ‘easier’ reception on voters’ doorsteps than last year, when anger at coalition spending cuts was at its height.

He said his party has had a ‘positive impact’ nationally by securing a £5 per week increase to pensions and an increase in personal tax free allowances putting hundreds of pounds into people’s pockets.

He said: “It is important to have a strong local opposition - shown just last week when our proposal for a review of closure of the dementia homes was accepted by the rest of the council.

“We are defending 15 of the 28 seats up for election this time. If Labour make further gains the Town Hall could become a single party dictatorship.”