Six bidding to win Crookes seat at Sheffield Council election

John Hesketh, Sheffield Council election candidate, May 2014
John Hesketh, Sheffield Council election candidate, May 2014

Voters will go to the polls on Thursday, May 22, to choose new members for Sheffield Council, including a new representative in Crookes ward.

Six candidates are vying to join existing ward members. Coun Rob Frost and Coun Geoff Smith – Coun Sylvia Anginotti is not seeking re-election.

The candidates are:

JOHN CLAPHAM, of Watt Lane, Crosspool – UKIP

Awaiting information

NICK HALL, of Brandreth Road, Upperthorpe – Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts

The 25-year-old bank customer adviser said: “There needs to be an opposition to the Labour Party in Sheffield from the Left. As the Tories drive forward austerity, it’s not the ‘big society’ that suffers, it’s just ordinary working-class people, who Labour is supposed to represent. But Labour isn’t socialist. In fact, Labour isn’t even Labour anymore, Time and again they pass on these cuts to the most vulnerable in society, while claiming they can do nothing. So what’s the point of a Labour council if they just do the Tories’ dirtywork? It’s important to show Sheffield there is a real alternative, not the ‘more Tory than the Tories’ UKIP. I would scrap the Bedroom tax now, bring back the education maintenance allowance, stop the shutting of libraries and children centres and mobilise with the trade unions and local communities to win back funding from central government to fund our jobs and services.”

JOHN HESKETH, of Netherfield Road, Crookes – Independent

Mr Hesketh, who represented Crookes ward for the Liberal Democrats for 16 years, said: “I have parted company with the Liberal Democrats, uneasy with where leader Nick Clegg is taking the party. It’s not just the broken election promise on student tuition fees, but the constant scaremongering over jobs should we choose to leave the EU referendum. In recent weeks a number of local residents have urged me to stand for Crookes and Crosspool ward in the council elections. I believe my experience can be put to use in the service of people who live in Crookes and Crosspool. I know how the Town Hall works and I am not afraid to stand up to council bosses. If there is one thing I’ve learnt in my 16 years on the Council, it is that you have to be strong willed and determined if you want to get the best for your constituents. I have a strong track record of doing just that. The other thing is I am genuinely a local candidate. I have lived in Crookes most of my life and have deep family ties to the community. I was born and educated in Sheffield and so were my children. When it comes to Crookes ward, I am the genuine article with no need to pretend I have local ties. I have deep ties and they are longstanding.”

SHAFFAQ MOHAMMED, of Norborough Road, Tinsley – Liberal Democrat

The 41-year-old youth worker and former Sheffield University student said: “When I’ve spoken to people on the doorsteps in recent weeks, it’s clear the community feels let down by the Labour council. Broomhill Library is a massive asset for the community and people are disappointed Labour councillors haven’t lifted a finger to keep it open. The library is one of the most popular in the city, but Labour have chosen to prioritise funds on expensive office makeovers instead. I’ve been proud to help lead the campaign to save Broomhill library and I’ve worked closely with the Crookes Liberal Democrat team to improve bus services and fight unwanted supermarket developments. With no Conservative candidate in our area, it’s a clear choice between Labour and the Lib Dems. Please send a strong message to the council that areas like Crookes, Crosspool and Sandygate can’t be ignored.”

ANNE MURPHY, of Cardoness Road, Crosspool - Labour

The 50-year-old social worker is a governor at Hallam Primary school, a member of the Crookes Forum and volunteers with the soup run at Crosspool’s St Columbus Church and The Dry Road Recovery Cafe in Highfield.

She said: “I was born and Brought up in Crookes and now live in Crosspool and most of my family still live in Crookes, I am campaigning hard on the issues which are currently affecting people such as the cost of living, energy prices, affordable housing, ensuring children get excellent schooling and that our young people have employment opportunitys such as the RISE scheme set up by the Labour council which is a graduate internship for smaller bussinesses which helps the bussines world and keeps graduates in Sheffield. With the increasing elderly population I also want to ensure that services for the elderly and vulnerable are well run and funded adequately. I am also proud Sheffield’s Labour council has set up a Green commission, as green issues are important to me and my family – the Green commission looks at ways Sheffield can become even greener. I find it a sense of shame and anger that in the worlds sixth largest country a large proportion of our community are having to rely on charity and food banks. This Lib Dem /Tory Government should be ashamed of how they have treated the poor and vulnerable people in our communities.”

JONATHAN PETERS, of Parkers Road, Broomhill - Green Party

Mr Peters said: “I’ve lived in this part of Sheffield for three years and know Crookes well. I’m in my final year at Sheffield University, studying international relations and politics. I’m also chairman of Sheffield Young Greens which campaigns on a range of issues, from the university’s environmental performance to more equal pay among all those working on its campus. I enjoy supporting and sourcing ingredients from local greengrocers in the Crookes and Broomhill areas. It concerns me that our nearest libraries, Broomhill and Walkley, are under real threat after Labour councillors voted to make them volunteer-run without professional staff or adequate support and funding. I will work to protect vital services from austerity cuts and to help maintain a broad range of sustainable, locally owned shops and businesses in the area.”