LIBERAL Democrats in Sheffield this week cose Shaffaq Mohammed to lead them in the aftermath of their drubbing in the elections.
The 38-year-old councillor for Broomhill succeeds Paul Scriven, also a Broomhill councillor, as the party gears up to opposition after three years in control of the city.
“There is no doubt that the local election results show Liberal Democrats have a tough task ahead,” he said. “However, we can be proud of our local record and the people of Sheffield will remember this if local Labour councillors go back to their bad old ways.
“Despite the fact that Labour took control of the council, more than half of people who voted in the local elections didn’t vote for them. We will ensure that those people have a voice by providing a robust opposition and a real alternative to Labour policies.”
Coun Mohammed beat off challenges from Colin Ross, who becomes deputy leader, Andrew Sangar and Ian Auckland to secure the leadership,
The son of a steelworker, he was born in Pakistan and came to Sheffield at the age of four. After being one of the Co-op’s youngest managers, he studied A-levels at Sheffield College then business studies at Sheffield University.
A father of three, he is a part-time youth worker - and an avid Sheffield Wednesday fan.
One of his priorities, he said, was to try to ensure that Labour not only retained the structure of community assembles that the Lib Dems created, but developed it so that more power was devolved from the town hall to the grass roots. “I’m a great believer in people,” said Coun Mohammed. “Given the chance, they know what is best for their area.”
The new shadow cabinet is Colin Ross (children, young people and families), Alison Brelsford (homes and regeneration), Gail Smith (health, care and independent living), Roger Davison (business, jobs and growth), Ian Auckland (environment and transport), Simon Clement-Jones (finance) and David Baker (communities).