Sheffield MP raises Fair Deal campaign in Commons

Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield
Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield
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SHEFFIELD Central MP Paul Blomfield has raised the Fair Deal for Sheffield campaign in Parliament.

Labour’s Mr Blomfield urged Chancellor George Osborne to soften the blow on big northern cities which are receiving a ‘disproportionately’ high level of cuts.

Mr Blomfield said: “Last Friday the Bishop of Sheffield, the Bishop of Hallam, other faith, community and civic leaders came together to launch a campaign for a Fair Deal for Sheffield.

“Will the Chancellor recognise their concerns that the combined effect of his austerity programme, with unevenly distributed cuts and benefit changes that hit the poorest hardest, is having a disproportionate impact on our urban areas and our big cities?”

The Fair Deal for Sheffield campaign, backed by The Star, Sheffield Labour Party, trade unionists and the city’s Anglican and Catholic bishops, highlights how Sheffield has had a larger cut than some southern councils.

Deputy Prime Minister and Hallam MP Nick Clegg said Sheffield is receiving hundreds of millions of pounds for spending on infrastructure under the coalition and that southern councils highlighted by Labour only have very small budgets.

The campaign to get Sheffield a fairer deal is gathering momentum among charities in the city.

Voluntary Action Sheffield, which oversees and supports hundreds of third sector organisations, has joined the campaign to demand a better deal from the Government in light of huge budget cuts.

It comes after a survey found 80 per cent of voluntary groups had cut staff hours due to a reduced budget.

A spokeswoman for Voluntary Action Sheffield said: “Our work with voluntary and community organisations in the city shows that many organisations are having a very difficult time dealing with significant reductions in income in the past two years.

“As voluntary and community groups support some of the most vulnerable people in society, we are seeing the impact of cuts in services and benefits on people.

“At the same time organisations are struggling to continue to provide that support.”

* Visit A Fair Deal for Sheffield to sign the petition.