Stop mud-slinging and stand up for our city

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Coun Shaffaq Mohammed’s letter (July 11), claims that Labour plans to unnecessarily slash council services.

This could not be further from the truth.

The Tory/Lib Dem Government has cut £219 million from the council’s budget over four years.

Dealing with this presents a massive challenge, so we are already working to identify the things that the council can do differently to save money without cutting services. This approach will be central in protecting Sheffield’s communities from government cuts.

While the Lib Dems would like readers to believe that Labour are slashing services, in fact we have reinstated some of the cuts that the Lib Dems made earlier this year; putting extra money into Police Community Support Officers, children’s study support services and community groups. We are also launching an apprenticeship scheme to try to prevent losing a generation of our young people to unemployment.

In terms of council tax, when we came into power, we learned that the Lib Dems had been planning for a 4% council tax increase in 2012. Labour have made it clear that we do not want to see a massive hike in council tax and we have given a commitment to keep any increase as low as possible.

The Lib Dems’ petty sniping will get us nowhere. Since they lost the local elections all we have heard from them is desperate scare-mongering.

Delivering decent services for local people in the face of £219m cuts will be the greatest challenge that this council has faced in a generation and in order to achieve this we need to face up to reality and work innovatively to protect as much as we can.

I urge the Lib Dems to stop this mud-slinging and start to stand up for Sheffield.

Coun Julie Dore, Council Leader