Sheffield budget: Here’s how city councillors would spend your money

Sheffield Council’s budget hit a stumbling block when it wasn’t approved on the first vote. The budget was eventually passed – here’s a round-up of what each political party would spend your money on.

Friday, 4th March 2022, 11:24 am

Labour’s budget

Council Leader Terry Fox says the impact of Covid will be felt for many more years on top of 10 years of austerity and an unprecedented demand for services.

He said: “We’re facing one of the toughest budget gaps in recent years with Sheffield losing over a third of its government funding.

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Public transport, walking and cycling and reducing carbon topped the Green Party's list

“We have managed our finances prudently and we have ensured a balanced budget once again but we have been left with some very difficult decisions, sacrifices and savings. We have had to use £14m of reserves to plug this gap.”

Labour says it has delivered £591,000 for Forge Dam and £421,000 to open Woodseats pavilion.

More than £1m was spent on Parkwood Springs with £100,000 for Skye Edge. And there was £3.8m for the General Cemetery and £240,000 for Mather Road.

Coun Fox added: “We’ve got the challenges of the climate emergency but this also presents opportunities for clean growth and that’s why we’ve committed £16.8m in an inclusive economy.

More recycling facilities is one of the priorities for Sheffield Liberal Democrats

“We’re investing over £53m in housing stock and we’re also rolling out a £50m programme of active travel.”

The Green Party’s budget

Public transport, walking and cycling provision topped the Green Party’s budget amendments.

They backed the provision of a FreeBee bus service around the city centre and want large employers to pay a small levy on parking spaces.

Council Leader Terry Fox, pictured with Coun Sioned-Mair Richards, says Labour has invested over £53m in council housing stock

Councillors should also set an example by removing their ability to claim parking expenses, unless they are a blue badge holder.

Pavement parking is another issue and there should be proper access for the growing number of home deliveries and takeaway food.

The Greens also proposed a carbon reduction investment fund to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

They want to develop renewable energy projects and support a wide range of initiatives to address greenhouse gases at the earliest possible date to link in with the aim of being zero-carbon by 2030.

Green Leader Coun Douglas Johnson said: “This is a budget amendment to reflect the progress that has been made over the last year in setting out plans to decarbonise Sheffield.

“It addresses two of the big sectors of carbon emissions – homes and transport. We note the big step forward to look at large-scale housing retrofit programmes and want to back this up with a new £3 million carbon reduction investment fund.

“We also aim to provide genuine support for public transport with an honest approach to the cost of car parking and the real benefits of safe and convenient walking and cycling routes.”

With adult social care, the Greens would develop community-based care cooperatives where staff have a stake in the organisation they work for and the emphasis is on care not profit.

The cooperatives would reinvest surpluses in improving and extending the services they offer to provide a wide range of care services.

The Liberal Democrats’ budget

Employment and business recovery post-Covid, improving the environment and cutting emissions were the Liberal Democrats’ budget amendments.

Coun Simon Clement-Jones said: “We would investigate reinstating a free city centre electric bus service as soon as possible and invest over the medium term in major active travel schemes and the uptake of cycling.

“Businesses should be provided with e-cargo bikes to reduce congestion emissions by vans and we would devolve decision making with £1.5 million of transport funding allocated to local communities.”

The Lib Dems would increase CIL money, paid by developers, to fund tree planting, flood defences and improved moorland management

The current tree planting target would be increased to 200,000 trees over the next 10 years and a new task force would crackdown on litter, fly tipping, graffiti, and dog mess.

An £800,000 pilot scheme would increase the types of plastic that can be recycled in Sheffield with a £400,000 investment to increase the size of blue bins

More than £250,000 would be spent on keeping all recycling centres open seven days a week with extra on-street recycling bins. A vending system could give people cash recycling cans and plastic bottles.

A £50,000 fund would help communities invest in their environment while passageways between terraced houses could provide insulation to make homes more energy efficient.

There would be extra investment in Woodseats, Chapeltown, Hillsborough, Woodhouse, Darnall, Crookes, Page Hall, and Mosborough shopping centres and a doubling of council funding for a business support programme, with particular emphasis on young people.

There would be an investment in traffic systems, pedestrian crossings and school crossing patrols.

And school mental health services, Citizens Advice Bureau and luncheon clubs would get investment and support too.

The Conservatives’ budget

Sole Tory councillor Lewis Chinchen proposed a £2m fund to support businesses.

There would be a £500,000 investment in parks, playgrounds and sport facilities, to be split equally across the city and funding to look at delivering on-street electric vehicle charging points.

A road safety budget of £500,000 would targeting dangerous and accident hot spots and companies carrying out roadworks on busy roads should be charged per hour of road closure rather than giving permits for a set period of time