Having viewed the agenda for the forthcoming full Sheffield City Council meeting to be held on Wednesday, May 5, I cannot help compare our council to the famous character Jim Royle from the classic sitcom The Royle Family.
Like Jim Royle, the father who loves his children as long as he doesn’t actually have to do anything himself for them, it seems we have a council who are happy to preach to the masses about the problems in our city to win votes, as long as they don’t actually have to do anything themselves.
Take, for example, the first notice of motion for the meeting which tells us that “according to figures from South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) there were 268 million bus passengers in 1986 but now the number has fallen to 102 million, a drop in passenger numbers of 62 per cent”.
The motion fails to mention that Quality Contracts (the system used for regulating bus services in London which has a much higher take-up than Sheffield) is already available as an option for bus services in Sheffield but the Labour group scrapped plans for these to be implemented in favour of a much weaker voluntary partnership.
A further notice of motion criticises the government for introducing the Schools Fairer Funding Formula for implementing a real terms cut for education in the city.
It fails to mention that the council has a choice on how it treats its schools and young people’s workforce through the terms and conditions it implements, for example forcing low-paid school staff to take holidays in school holidays.
Am I alone in despairing at the right Royle mess our city is in?