Letter: A change of governance

Oliver CoppardOliver Coppard
Oliver Coppard
“The action the council took damaged Sheffield’s reputation in a way that cast a long shadow.” Not just the council.

One of the oddities regarding the Transport Committee meeting of December 15, 2022 was the metro mayor Oliver Coppard, unnecessarily kicking the decision about restoring the train concession six months down the road.

This, despite knowing how other areas financed their concessions and that the Gold Card report was based on wholly bogus data.

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Now we know. Coppard’s plan was to remove the Transport Committee permanently but couldn’t do it until June 5, 2023.

This was done by unilaterally abolishing the governance procedures and imposing a cabinet system by which he and the four leaders make all decisions behind closed doors. A system Sheffield citizens have rejected.

Without consultation we are forced into a fiefdom where paternalism, patronage and personal ambition replace public service. And backed by many of the supine cllrs we’re supposed to believe are sorry.

All evidenced by Coppard’s announcement that the next mayoral election be brought forward to 2024 so that he can take the P&CC and fire authorities roles - which will have no material or social benefit to anyone in South Yorkshire - except the Mayor.

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With just 14%-17% of the SY residents voting for him last time, it’s difficult to see how he has a mandate without first consulting the public.

Disgracefully, there was never any intentions of restoring the concession. No matter what evidence put forward, no matter what the benefits, no matter that it was cheap or cost free, no matter that 300,000 benefitted, it wasn’t going to be restored. The people and elderly of South Yorkshire are becoming aware that Labour are only interested in power for its own sake - we are held in total contempt and treated as such.

The Labour Party shames the city and region at every level with meaningless apologies and deceitful, undemocratic behaviour. The apology is meaningless without resignations and the full restoration of the concession. Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor, said: “You are not elected into this job to be the servant of your party, you are elected into this job to serve the people...”

Not in South Yorkshire.

Mike Smith

Park Grove, S70