Labour is aiming to strengthen its grip on Sheffield

News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.
News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.

It is looking to add seats to add to its current majority of 36, making a push in the likes of Stocksbridge and Upper Don, Graves Park and Greenhill, Beauchief and East and West Ecclesfield.

Labour launched its manifesto this week, highlighting its record in creating more apprentices, supporting job creation, launching 20mph residential zones and the Streets Ahead project to repairs the city’s roads.

It is promising to deliver 600 new council homes, to create an 100 extra apprentices a year and to “bring forward a new radical plan for the city’s economy”.

Labour says it is “doing everything we can to protect the most vulnerable in our city from the impact of the Government’s unfair cuts”.

Labour council leader Julie Dore said: “In the past three years Labour have demonstrated our commitment to supporting our economy through schemes such as the Keep Sheffield Working Fund and to create opportunity for all through the Fairness Commission.

“We will continue to be guided by the values and priorities of local people to work together to make Sheffield a great place to live, learn, work and enjoy.”

Liberal Democrats say they are campaigning “to overturn Labour’s anti-business policies”, promising to work alongside local businesses to help create more jobs.

They also point to Lib Dem support for the proposed Ikea store in Attercliffe.

They continue to oppose the closure of up to 16 community libraries and accuse Labour of “wasting millions of pounds on high-paid consultants, office makeovers and political pet projects, like the Park Hill development”.

Local Lib Dem leader Shaffaq Mohammed said: “Everyone knows the council faces challenges, but local people have been clear that closing libraries is not the right way forward. Yet instead of listening to local concerns, Labour’s town hall bosses continue to waste money on their priorities at a time when every penny counts.”

The UK Independence Party hopes that this will be the year it can make inroads in Sheffield - on the same day that the European elections are also being held. It has no city councillors at present.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage launched the party’s national campaign in Sheffield in the belief that his party will strike a chord in the northern cities.

Also notable this year is the emergence of a new left wing party, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, which is campaigning against austerity measures and is contesting 21 of Sheffield’s 28 wards, almost as many as the Conservatives and UKIP.

Sheffield Green Party has launched its local elections manifesto as it seeks to increase its number of councillors from two.

Broomhill candidate Brian Webster said: “We’d invest in good quality jobs and services, and push for better wages and conditions for low-paid workers. “We’d favour local shops and businesses because they keep money in the area and create more jobs.”

Green councillor Jillian Creasy said: “All three of the big political parties favour further cuts, which will harm ordinary people.”

Each ward has three councillors, and one third of the seats on Sheffield City Council are up for grabs.

The size of Labour’s current majority virtually guarantees there will be no overall shift in power.

Many voters will not be waiting until May 22 to express their political choice.

Increasingly, they are using postal votes, which means they cannot be swayed by any last minute issues.

-The current composition of Sheffield City Council is: Labour 60, Liberal Democrats 22, Greens two.