Lib Dems to survive no confidence challenge

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SHEFFIELD Council leader Paul Scriven and his ruling Lib Dem party look set to survive an attempt to oust them by the Greens.

The small opposition group of two Green Party members – Jillian Creasy and Rob Murphy – are tabling a motion of no confidence in the authority’s leadership at tomorrow’s full council meeting.

The pair are unhappy the Lib Dems “ignored a democratic decision” at a full council meeting in November, where a Green motion was passed with Labour’s support. It requested officers draw up a report to the council’s ruling cabinet on opportunities available through the renewable energy ‘Feed in Tariffs’.

The payments, from the Government, enable profits to be made by connecting small-scale wind, solar and other green power stations into the National Grid. The report has still not been produced.

The Greens could have their motion passed with support of opposition Labour councillors as the Lib Dems do not have a majority.

But Labour have announced they will not be supporting it.

Their leader, Coun Julie Dore, said: “There will be an election in 10 weeks and the people of Sheffield will decide whether they have confidence in the Liberal Democrats.”

Coun Andrew Sangar, Lib Dem cabinet member for climate change, said: “We have just announced a groundbreaking partnership with power generator E.On that will see Sheffield become the first city in the UK to generate enough renewable energy to become self-sufficient, so the claim from the Greens rings hollow. It is simply a desperate attempt by the Greens to get noticed.”

Green councillors have revealed they will seek to preserve funding for Sure Start children’s centres, Police Community Support Officers and daycare centres for the elderly in their amendment to the Lib Dems’ budget proposals, to be voted on by the council on Friday. They have not said what they think should be cut.