Letter: Will you now eat your hat?

This letter sent to the Star was written by Barbara Masters, Liberal Democrat councillor for Ecclesall

Friday, 14th May 2021, 6:43 am
Updated Friday, 14th May 2021, 6:44 am
Nancy's hat

Nancy Fielder wrote on May 8, that she’d eat her hat if anybody is able to remind Sheffielders of how the city benefited from the coalition.

If I qualify as an ‘anybody’ then I’m just one of many who can and is prepared to say so.

Whether any of you are prepared to read further before resorting to your keyboards in outrage, faux or otherwise is another matter.

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For a start Sheffield benefited from the City Deals.

This was a bespoke package of funding and decision-making powers approved in July 2012 which ‘enabled the city to borrow against projected business rates in order to invest in infrastructure, invest and develop in a national centre for procurement based around at the Advanced Manufacturing…’

Even Coun Julie Dore, the leader of Sheffield City Council at the time, praised it as a good deal for Sheffield.

More generally, people here benefited from the increase in the income tax threshold, the increase in pensions and the extra money for schools via the Pupil Premium.

We put mental health firmly on the agenda and started the move to a low-carbon economy making it possible to be reliant on renewable energy for many weeks since.

All these were pushed through despite considerable opposition.

It was a time when talk of The Northern Powerhouse included Sheffield and we had a voice nationally.

And to the keyboard warriors, remember Nancy asked for instances of how Sheffield benefited.

Our approach to issues is markedly different to those parties which believe they know what’s best for everyone.

Even where all parties agree on what the problems are we do not necessarily agree on the causes or the solutions.

We do not dictate how people must think and feel.

Our mantra is ‘no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance and conformity’. Our rights as individuals come with responsibilities to others and society so yes we want a better future for Sheffield and will work with others to achieve that.

I can write more but is this enough for Nancy to eat her non-existent hat?