'Reckless' and 'callous' austerity policies letting Sheffield down, say Labour councillors

Coun Ben Miskell, who was targeted by an off-road biker.
Coun Ben Miskell, who was targeted by an off-road biker.
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Labour councillors will blame austerity for rising crime and early deaths in Sheffield.

The party will use this afternoon's full council meeting to attack Government cuts, and in particular spending on healthcare and policing.

The full council meeting will take place at 5pm today.

The full council meeting will take place at 5pm today.

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Coun Adam Hurst will highlight the slowdown in life expectancy in the city since the start of the Coalition Government in 2010.

He will say women's life expectancy has not risen by much, compared to historic trends, while men's life expectancy has fallen slightly.

Coun Hurst will propose several measures aimed at improving the health and quality of life of city residents.

These focus primarily on early intervention and reducing the number of 'adverse childhood experiences' that damage prospects and wellbeing.

The West Ecclesfield member said: “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."

Policing cuts will also come under fire. Coun Ben Miskell will put forward a motion calling on the Government to change its 'reckless' policies and back national Labour proposals.

Coun Miskell, who recently highlighted the problem of off-road bikers after his car was attacked while he was in it, said: “The Government are badly letting down Sheffield with their callous, ideologically driven cuts to police services.

"Nearly everyone outside of Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats is united in their outrage at the cuts inflicted on the police.

“For five years the Liberal Democrats backed Tory police cut every step of the way and we are now really starting to feel the damage of this.

"We are calling on the government to rethink their strategy for policing and adopt Labour’s 2017 manifesto commitment to put 10,000 extra police on our the streets - be paid for by reversing planned cuts to capital gains tax which only benefit a wealthy few."