Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey MP on Sheffield’s industrial heritage, cost of living crisis and local elections

Sheffield could become an industrial powerhouse of the country if it has the right investment, says the national Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Friday, 11th March 2022, 11:50 am

Ed Davey MP spoke about the city’s industrial heritage as the Lib Dems unveiled plans to tackle the cost of living crisis.

When asked what he thinks of when Sheffield is mentioned, he said: “I think of a wonderful proud city that has lots of green spaces and beautiful countryside but a city that has a proud industrial history and presence.

“And I think it needs support in investing in the industry of the future, whether it’s the green industries or some of the high tech industries. Sheffield has always been the powerhouse of the country and it needs that investment to make sure it is again.”

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Sheffield could become an industrial powerhouse of the country if it has the right investment, says the national Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey (image: UK Parliament)

Local election battle

Mr Davey said the Lib Dems would put up a strong fight against Labour and the Greens in the local elections.

“We’ve been looking to make gains on the ground this May and when it comes to Westminster, we’ve been closing the gap in Sheffield Hallam.

“We’ve got a strong candidate with Laura Grodon and we believe she can win Sheffield Hallam next time as everyone knows it’s either us or Labour, there was only 700 votes between it at the last general election.

“We absolutely can win it. The Tories have no chance, they only have one councillor in Sheffield and have not won Hallam for decades.”

Mr Davey admitted the elections would not be an easy victory but said the Lib Dems were determined to become the largest party on the council.

“Sheffield’s Lib Dem Leader Shaffaq Mohammd is one of my best friends in the party. He is a fantastic campaigner, a brilliant councillor and his leadership pushed the council into no overall control last May.

“Labour only clung on to power by doing a deal and going to bed with the Greens. Although this is not an easy set of elections, we want to become the largest party on the council.

“We get a sense that Labour has run out of steam. They’ve not been listening and their financial plans have not been responsible.

“There is a real chance we can come back, be the strong campaigners and lead in Sheffield once again.”

Cost of living

Mr Davey said the cost of living was the top issue which people were talking about on the doorstep.

The party says it would introduce a one-year 2.5 per cent cut in VAT, paid for partly by extended windfall tax on energy companies.

“Because of the horrible events in Ukraine with Putin’s appalling attack, the impact on gas and oil prices has made that cost of living crisis into an absolute emergency.

“This would give a tax cut to your average family of over £600 a year. We’ve also plans to double the winter fuel allowance for pensioners and double the warm home discount.

“So we already have a package of measures to respond to what people have been saying on the doorsteps.”